It is not every day that you buy a house, an apartment or a piece of land. The quality of life of your entire family has a lot to do with the choice of the right home in the right location. The real estate specialists at CENTURY 21® are passionate about helping you find your dream home. They know the neighborhood you are looking in and are well up to date with recent market prices.
BUYING IN 5 STEPS
Define your search criteria
Set your budget
You are a home owner
STEP 1: Define your search criteria
Draw up a list of things that are essential to your new home, such as:
- a garden;
- a fireplace;
- a quiet neighborhood;
- a school nearby;
- close to public transport...
Owning your own home has a lot of advantages:
- Security 75% of Belgians own their own home. It is a great way to provide for the future of your family. Once your loan is paid off, there are no more costs to pay!
- Freedom You can do or not do whatever you want under your own roof. You can make your house a home and decorate and adapt it to your own tastes, needs and creativity.
- Financial Profit annually from a significant tax break: interest, capital and life insurance are, under certain conditions, partly tax deductible.
- Good investment In Belgium, average house prices have risen continuously. If you so desire, you can rent your house out later for an extra monthly income. Or you can sell your house to free up your capital.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much can I borrow? The first question you have to ask is how much you have to repay. monthly. A general principle says that the total amount of monthly credit repayments should not exceed one third of the family income.
- How much do I have in savings?
- Do I have a fixed income?
- Do I have enough money to pay the deposits and stamp duty?
- Is my debt lower than my income?
- What monthly repayments can I afford?
Don’t forget the additional costs:
- Settlement costs
- Stamp duty: in Flanders 5% or 10% (depending on the cadastral income), in Wallonia 6% or 12.5% (also as a function of the C.I.) and in Brussels 12.5% of the purchase price. In some cases you may qualify for a reduction in the stamp duty owed, either in the form of an "abatement" or as a “carry over” from a previous property. Ask your CENTURY 21 real estate agent whether you qualify for one of these exemptions and the applicable conditions.
- Mortgage costs: depending on the amount borrowed, these include the fee for the notary (settlement agent) for drafting the mortgage deed, the costs for the mortgage research, stamp duty, etc.
- Life insurance When taking out a home loan, you are usually required to take out life insurance at the same time. This provides the financial institution with the certainty that the balance of the loan will be repaid in the event of death.
- Fire insurance You are required, as an owner, to take out fire insurance for the duration of your home loan. We recommend that you do this the moment you sign the preliminary sales agreement. From that moment, in fact, the risks are borne by you.
- Administration costs The costs charged by your financial institution for drawing up your loan.
- Land tax Based on your property’s cadastral income (C.I.). The C.I. is listed on your annual tax return.
Do not hesitate to contact your local CENTURY 21 office for more information. The real estate specialists at CENTURY 21 are only too happy to assist you with the right advice depending on your personal situation and requirements.
The above information is subject to change. Each case must be investigated individually in order to make a precise calculation. Your CENTURY 21 real estate agent is glad to advise you about the various finance opportunities. He acts independently of any bank or institution and can provide objective advice about the most suitable formula or institution.
“My CENTURY 21”: your search starts here!
This handy tool lets you:
- Save your personal search criteria to help find matching properties faster, whenever you visit our site.
- Save your personal property selection.
Your CENTURY 21 real estate agent can make a selection together with you on the basis of your criteria and accompanies you when visiting properties in person. He can also provide you with a stack of extra information about the homes you visit:
- the surrounding area: access to public transport, major roads, schools, shops, etc.;
- land tax: this can vary greatly from property to property;
- any renovation or rebuilding costs;
- the going rate for homes in the neighborhood…
The seller wants the best price and you want the best deal. Here, too, your CENTURY 21 real estate agent plays a crucial role. He negotiates the best scenario for both parties. He keeps you informed at every step in the decision-making process and takes care of the administration of your file up to and including the signing of the deeds.
Your CENTURY 21 real estate agent guides you through the entire process. From the signing of the preliminary sales agreement to the notarial deeds, he can help you complete the necessary formalities and answer all your questions.
STEP 5: You are a home owner
Your CENTURY 21 real estate agent has helped you realize your real estate project and the deeds have been signed. Definitely cause for celebration! It is also a good time to make a few decisions before you move:
- any renovation or redecoration works,
- major or minor reconstruction works,
- connection to utilities,
- landscaping works, etc.
Here, too, your CENTURY 21 real estate specialist can advise you depending on your personal situation and needs.
Moving house: the final step
You will find plenty of tips and useful information in the CENTURY 21 Moving Guide (available in French and Dutch) such as:
- how to plan a successful move,
- who to inform when changing address,
- packing tips,
- checklists for moving day,
- various other check lists.
Ask for your free copy at your nearest CENTURY 21 office.