Holiday Home Insurance Belgium Belgium is not normally regarded as a place to acquire a property as either a second or holiday home although many investors are keen on the country as prices are stable and rental yields (partially in Brussels) are very good. Belgium is a federal state with three regions: Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia, Brussels is the most popular for investors and there are no restrictions on foreigners who wish to buy property in Belgium. One of the main problems with purchasing property in Belgium are the high costs involved although if your property is outside of Brussels, you can still buy at reasonable levels. Often persons working in Brussels (The capital city of Belgium and seat of the European Commission) for lengthy periods of time are tempted to buy property as this may work out cheaper than renting.
Holiday Home Insurance for Property in Belgium – Assetsure are able to help arrange insurance for an Belgium holiday home. Insurance for a holiday or second home in Brussels is now available from the United Kingdom and should be considered essential to protect your investment. In particular, Belgium is prone to insurance claims caused by river flooding and this is well documented as one of the major areas of loss. If you intend to buy a property in Belgium, ask to see if the policy includes flood damage cover. In the 1990s over 1 billion pounds was paid out in flood claims and there is every reason to expect that in future years, the number of claims is going to continue to rise.. Winter floods often affect large areas of the country, rain falling on saturated ground over an often lengthy period, causes rivers to flood surrounding areas. This leads to large scale flooding on flood plains. Flooding in Belgium is not only restricted to the winter months and in the summer heavy rain fall and subsequent damage has also been experienced. If you are interested in a particular property, it should be relatively easy to discover if it is situated on a flood plain. As well as checking your insurance policy has a wide range of perils, those intending to let their properties either on a short or long term ill need to ensure that the insurance company are aware of their intentions. By informing you insurance company that your property is let, they can make sure that you receive the correct form of liability insurance.
The Property Market Belgium – Property prices are still relatively cheap in Belgium compared with some other European countries, although it is expensive to buy property in Brussels. However, there are substantial additional costs involved in buying a property in Belgium arising from the tax laws and other fees, which typically add around 17% to the purchase price. In view of this, many people see the purchase of property for investment in Belgium as a long term deal. To help offset these high acquisition costs, you will often find that the property price is negotiable. It is a common practice to offer a price that is considerably below the asking price and barter with the vendor until you have reached a mutually acceptable amount.
How to Buy a Holiday Home in Belgium – Most property sales are conducted via agents and it is not uncommon for them to ask the purchaser to sign a commitment to buy document. This document or Koopintenties or Aankoopaanbod/Offre d’achat) commits the purchaser to but the property but oddly, not the seller to part with it. You can ask for an option on the property, which is slightly less onerous. Once all the paperwork and title searches have been carried out etc, the purchase agreement (Verkoopcompromis/compromis de vente): concludes the sale. However, in Belgium you are often allowed several months to put financial arrangements in place and you can make the deal subject to finance. At this stage of the deal and in common with most other countries, you may be asked for a deposit, this amount of money is withheld by the notary and will not be passed on to the seller until such time as the deal is completed. The official deed of sale must be signed by the parties and the notary within four months after the purchase agreement. Like the United Kingdom, Belgium does have a number of listed buildings, this means they are protected by statute and you may find that you will be able to carry out little or no alterations. If you are a landlord and wish to rent your property, you will need to be thoroughly briefed by your solicitor as to all of the rules and regulations. The Belgium property rental market is heavily regulated and rent levels are fixed by the state for the entire duration of the term. You can offer a lease for either three or nine years, and again your solicitor will be able to explain the differences to you.