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I've been following these boards for a few years and live abroad as the UK isn't too appealing (left in 99, forgot to go back).

I did "all the right things", bought a house of a lower value than technically I could have afforded to in a country where mortgage lending is heavily regulated. My monthly repayments are fixed (in 5 year chunks) and there's a cap of 2% at the end of the 5 years meaning you know what you'll pay absolute worse case scenario until the end of term. My repayment is less than 30% of my take home pay.

However with everything else going up it's been getting tougher and tougher and my fears for the future have been ramped up - partially because everything I've been fearing has been echoed here on these forums.

I put my house on the market about 5 weeks ago at 7:30am one friday morning simply by putting an "A vendre" sign on the gates (I live in Belgium), by 9am I had my first enquiry. Within 10 days a price was agreed. We've signed at the "notary" and they're nagging me to get a shift on. The sh*t has NOT yet hit the fan in Belgium despite belgium being one of the few countries in europe admitting that inflation is on the rise, AND the rumbling warnings from the ECB, it seems to me the general population here doesn't have a clue. The initial paper signed here means that neither party can back out without paying a 10% fine and no gazundering/gazumping. I was VERY realistic about the price - thank you everyone! I had a price in mind of what I would "go down to" and as soon as someone offered me that I took it. It seems so daft to sit & wait & pay for 12 months waiting for that mythical perfect price. Some people have told me I am stupid to have let it go for that price... others have told me I'm stupid to sell my house - because, well, you all know the story "house prices only ever go up" blah blah blah! ;)

Every time my buyers phone I turn white and my hands shake and I think "they're backing out" - because who in their right mind would buy in this climate? ;) But it's always them just asking when I'm going, when can they sign? :) They're cash buyers and the woman's twin sister lives in the village... they're coming - but still I have this fear they'll back out!

I am moving across the border in to The Netherlands and renting a house I couldn't possibly afford to buy. I will be within cycling distance of work - I'm selling the car - hate driving these days. The landlord lives next door and does all the maintenance. I have HATED owning and it's felt like a millstone around my neck - what on EARTH is the big deal about owning? Of course Dutch rental contracts aren't out to f you over... and my new landlord isn't BTL obviously...

So although I'm not stockpiling rice I have gained some useful insights in to the world as it is right now and am very, VERY happy with my decision. On 1st August I move in to the new house and will sign the final house stuff on the 4th/5th and it'll all be over.

Yesterday I popped a lovely letter in the post to my mortgage company instructing them to "do one". :) Life doesn't get much sweeter than that! ;)

Work anecdotal: I am currently involved in the off-shoring of work to Bangalore - OK, everyone knows it's bl**dy hopeless anyway - but I feel quite secure work-wise. Right now I'm being paid to teach these people how to "take over" our jobs, which everyone KNOWS will fail... and then the work will come back and I'll still be employed. That aside, one of the team there has just gone down with Typhoid - this in BANGALORE, a supposedly advanced city... and they tell me they're routinely without power & water. Nice move shareholders! I don't see the out-sourcing of work holding up for long... it's a financial disaster from start to finish.

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Congratulations TPIOO! hope everything goes smoothly.

When you say you're training up people to take over your jobs, but you know it'll all go wrong, that wouldn't be down to the excellent training they're receiving now would it?! :P;)

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Congratulations TPIOO! hope everything goes smoothly.

When you say you're training up people to take over your jobs, but you know it'll all go wrong, that wouldn't be down to the excellent training they're receiving now would it?! :P;)

haha no... I'll be slaughtered for saying this so I'll say it as diplomatically as is possible *ahem*:

We experience some "cultural differences" between ourselves and our continental colleagues, e.g., it is "rude" for them to say "No". So when asking the question "do you understand?", the answer must be followed up with the questions "was that a yes-yes, or a yes-no?". They are able (mostly) to follow instructions, but free-thinking in this patricarchal society just does not happen. It seems they wait to be told what to do by papa or grand-papa. They can sew together clothes... but not make a decision. :ph34r:

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Of course Dutch rental contracts aren't out to f you over... and my new landlord isn't BTL obviously...

I think you've hit the nail on the head there - you've been away long enough not to remember what a crappy experience renting in the UK often is. That's not to say there aren't good landlords in the UK, it's just that you're much less likely to meet one here than in most other European countries for both legal and cultural reasons. Good move either way.

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Find this post very interesting indeed as we have been looking to buy in Belgium, dutch speaking part. Seeing lots of empty places (have they all gone into care homes?) then there is a reduction and then off the market. The EA's are saying everything is fine there prices won't come down blah blah blah.

Rental in Holland is incomparable with the UK. I never had one problem the whole time renting there unlike here. I just wouldn't fancy the LL next door though.

One question many Dutch go to live in Belgium for tax reasons, why are you doing it the other way around?

Good luck and please keep me informed of what is happening there.

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Find this post very interesting indeed as we have been looking to buy in Belgium, dutch speaking part. Seeing lots of empty places (have they all gone into care homes?) then there is a reduction and then off the market. The EA's are saying everything is fine there prices won't come down blah blah blah.

Rental in Holland is incomparable with the UK. I never had one problem the whole time renting there unlike here. I just wouldn't fancy the LL next door though.

One question many Dutch go to live in Belgium for tax reasons, why are you doing it the other way around?

Good luck and please keep me informed of what is happening there.

Oh the market here is stalling and falling, make no bones about it! I could've got more if I'd sold last summer that's for sure! But I suppose we're a good year behind the UK and the people seem far less informed than the UK. Bizarrely less than a month ago it was reported YoY sales of new cars were up... and yet my personal observation is more and more 2nd hand ones with "A vendre/Te Koop" signs in the windows...

Belgium has always had a glut of property because the birth rate is very very low here (1.2 per couple? ) - frequently the property has been inherited and they just don't give a monkey's about selling it... no skin off their nose type thing.

Don't use an EA - they cream 5%. In Belgium just find the house you like and once you've found it find a lawyer (www.notary.be) who will do all the legal stuff for a fixed fee. I'm sure the story is the same world over - they're pretty much useless anywhere. They want to charge 5% for "marketing" yet all they do is stick it on www.immoweb.be (56 euros) and a local newspaper. As I said, I stuck a sign on the gate, made a free website and had 3 viewers within a week, all 3 made an offer.

Tax wise I file EVERYTHING in NL - to file in Belgium would give me a net gain of maybe 200 euros a year which frankly isn't worth the bother!

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Oh the market here is stalling and falling, make no bones about it! I could've got more if I'd sold last summer that's for sure! But I suppose we're a good year behind the UK and the people seem far less informed than the UK. Bizarrely less than a month ago it was reported YoY sales of new cars were up... and yet my personal observation is more and more 2nd hand ones with "A vendre/Te Koop" signs in the windows...

Belgium has always had a glut of property because the birth rate is very very low here (1.2 per couple? ) - frequently the property has been inherited and they just don't give a monkey's about selling it... no skin off their nose type thing.

Don't use an EA - they cream 5%. In Belgium just find the house you like and once you've found it find a lawyer (www.notary.be) who will do all the legal stuff for a fixed fee. I'm sure the story is the same world over - they're pretty much useless anywhere. They want to charge 5% for "marketing" yet all they do is stick it on www.immoweb.be (56 euros) and a local newspaper. As I said, I stuck a sign on the gate, made a free website and had 3 viewers within a week, all 3 made an offer.

Tax wise I file EVERYTHING in NL - to file in Belgium would give me a net gain of maybe 200 euros a year which frankly isn't worth the bother!

As a renter in NL you will be very well protected. You have to not pay rent for months or trash the house before you can be kicked out legally.

As far as tax is concerned, you will have to file in NL if you live there for the most part of the year. If you try to fiddle with the taxman he'll come down on you hard; I'd advise against doing that, but since you already indicated you wouldn't that advise is rather superfluous. ;)

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Thanks for that advice. Now more questions, sorry. If we see something on immoweb is it still ok to sideline the EA by putting a note through the door to view and if we like it and agree price to then get in touch with a notary?

In the meantime we have been trying to find a rental there. They have some strange locations for their offices ie kitchen, living room. Is that normal or just the villages? Haven't found anything yet but that may be down to the one looking who is very fussy.

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Thanks for that advice. Now more questions, sorry. If we see something on immoweb is it still ok to sideline the EA by putting a note through the door to view and if we like it and agree price to then get in touch with a notary?

In the meantime we have been trying to find a rental there. They have some strange locations for their offices ie kitchen, living room. Is that normal or just the villages? Haven't found anything yet but that may be down to the one looking who is very fussy.

I am not sure I can answer your questions as I live in NL and not in BE. But I cannot see why you couldn't approach a seller directly and cutting out the EA. I mean, it's not you that has a deal with the EA. The worst that could happen is that the seller will have to pay the EA some sort of penalty or whatever, but I don't think even that is too much of a risk.

As to offices in kitchens... Hey, you are looking at Belgium! What do you expect! Seriously though, it may have something to do with the tax implications of working at home, or simply a way of making the best use of a semi-spare space. In general, renting in BE should be quite painless and cheaper than in NL for what I have heard.

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I've paid all my taxes in NL for the last 8 years and all above board - no intention of trying to pull a fast one. ;) Plus my new landlady's a solicitor ... ;)

As for strange arrangements for Belgian houses - it's very common for people to operate a one-man-band from home, be it doctor, hairdresser, insurance salesman whatever.

Yes, pop a note through the door or better still (to stop the agents picking it up) why not just ask the neighbours?

If you're a first time buyer in Flanders you'll pay a reduced rate of registration tax, but you'll still probably be looking at paying out the best part of 20k euros in taxes. Which means for me... when I look at what I paid for the house + taxes + work on the house - I make a loss. I'm still happy to be 'out' of the game though.

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Belgium to Netherlands, so must be close to the border, but you're in a French Speaking area, intriguing! Slightly O/T but there's something rotten about the state of Belgium, they take months to form a Government only for it collapse on linguistic fault lines, they have the worst inflation in the EU I believe and the worst for decades, I think you're right to jump ship.

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I'm in a french + german speaking area to narrow it down. ;)

Government is an ugly joke and has been for a year... at least the Belgians are ADMITTING there is inflation... I'll give them that. Yep, the state of the country is a very good reason why I'm off to NL - I'm thinking right now that I'm going to "hide out" there the next decade as the government don't seem about to completely screw their people over. Time will tell of course!

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I'm in a french + german speaking area to narrow it down. ;)

Government is an ugly joke and has been for a year... at least the Belgians are ADMITTING there is inflation... I'll give them that. Yep, the state of the country is a very good reason why I'm off to NL - I'm thinking right now that I'm going to "hide out" there the next decade as the government don't seem about to completely screw their people over. Time will tell of course!

I was in Aachen for a long weekend recently, we walked from Germany to the Netherlands, then to Belgium and back to Germany in an afternoon! Many Germans live in Vaals for tax reasons I believe. Drank a Belgian beer (in the UK actually) that was from that area but the language on the bottle (to my untrained eye) looked like the Luxembourg language. I guess you are not far from there :unsure:

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I remember koopsom (not sure of spelling) being 10% in NL unless new build, so I'm assuming the same for BE.

Vaals looks like a good bet but being contrary I'll go for Vise :lol:

What is happening in Holland with house prices?

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I'm in a french + german speaking area to narrow it down. ;)

Government is an ugly joke and has been for a year... at least the Belgians are ADMITTING there is inflation... I'll give them that. Yep, the state of the country is a very good reason why I'm off to NL - I'm thinking right now that I'm going to "hide out" there the next decade as the government don't seem about to completely screw their people over. Time will tell of course!

Prepare for lots of rules and regulations in NL, both of the legal variety and of the unwritten social type.

If you can manage that and learn a bit of Dutch life should be pretty much fine here, certainly in comparison to about 95% of the rest of the planet.

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I remember koopsom (not sure of spelling) being 10% in NL unless new build, so I'm assuming the same for BE.

Vaals looks like a good bet but being contrary I'll go for Vise :lol:

What is happening in Holland with house prices?

House prices are still rising but more slowly than previously. About 2-3% per annum, roughly speaking.

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Prepare for lots of rules and regulations in NL, both of the legal variety and of the unwritten social type.

If you can manage that and learn a bit of Dutch life should be pretty much fine here, certainly in comparison to about 95% of the rest of the planet.

I remember my old boss telling me, "the Dutch like to have meetings about meetings". He wasn't wrong, that vergarderkammer was in use morning, noon and night.

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I remember my old boss telling me, "the Dutch like to have meetings about meetings". He wasn't wrong, that vergarderkammer was in use morning, noon and night.

True enough. Its partially due to history. This country wasn't founded as a centralised state or even as a centralised kingdom, but as a confederation of provinces all demanding a say in proceedings. Thus, consensus seeking is the norm, also because the danger of the sea always demanded collective action to keep everyone safe and thus for everyone to have his 2 cents of opinion listened to.

As you can imagine, the boss of a firm that acts like some global American-style CEO won't last particularly long here.

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I speak Dutch and have worked there for 8 years and only moved to Belgium 6 years ago. I'll be fine in that respect.

Houses are in a bubble in NL - South Limburg - which is the Dutch social equivalent to Wales or Norfolk (;) ) - there are APARTMENTS going for 340k (euros) - we all know that's just daft. I read just last week actually that estimates put them (dutch property) at 20% overpriced - which personally I think is a conservative estimate - I just need to look around and compare house prices to wages to see it's not pretty. I'm not buying ANYTHING until I see what happens over the next 24 months or so.

Vaals isn't that nice, Vise is a total dump. I know this corner of the world very well now.

Dialect read/heard in Vaals/Kerkrade/Aachen is a strange one - to the untrained ear can sound almost like fluent German. Personally I love Luxembourgish, just jabber away in any language you like throwing in words from English/French/German/Dutch and you'll get by just fine! ;)

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I speak Dutch and have worked there for 8 years and only moved to Belgium 6 years ago. I'll be fine in that respect.

Houses are in a bubble in NL - South Limburg - which is the Dutch social equivalent to Wales or Norfolk (;) ) - there are APARTMENTS going for 340k (euros) - we all know that's just daft. I read just last week actually that estimates put them (dutch property) at 20% overpriced - which personally I think is a conservative estimate - I just need to look around and compare house prices to wages to see it's not pretty. I'm not buying ANYTHING until I see what happens over the next 24 months or so.

Vaals isn't that nice, Vise is a total dump. I know this corner of the world very well now.

Dialect read/heard in Vaals/Kerkrade/Aachen is a strange one - to the untrained ear can sound almost like fluent German. Personally I love Luxembourgish, just jabber away in any language you like throwing in words from English/French/German/Dutch and you'll get by just fine! ;)

I expect prices to fall on the whole for the simple reason that money will be getting tighter for us too. Some areas and house-types will be more affected than others. Where I live (in the centre of the country) I expect declines to be less steep. On the plus side: the interest on mortgages can still be deducted from income tax and NL hasn't quite had the same loose lending frenzy as the US (or Britain) has had. BTL is not a common phenomenon here since it would be impossible for someone to borrow the amounts necessary to 'build a portfolio'.

We will see. I am not too bothered since I rent the house I live in and am co-owner of another three mortgage-free which are rented out.

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That aside, one of the team there has just gone down with Typhoid - this in BANGALORE, a supposedly advanced city... and they tell me they're routinely without power & water.

According to the Economist, only 18% of Indian sewage is treated, and 750 million people live without a toliet. So I am not surprised! Scary though.

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displa...ory_id=11751397

Glad to hear you are a happy camper, Still got a job in 3 years you should be able to buy your old place back half price if you want it! :P

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Just a quick update, my bank ended up dragging their heels for months - you'd have thought they'd have wanted the money right? ;) No chain at all involved with this sale yet it still took the bank 3 months to sort it out - all the time me a nervous wreck - last weekend was the first time I think I've slept soundly in years.

Anyway, final exchange happened last Wednesday and when I heard the lawyer congratulate the new owners I did wonder for a moment if it were a sick joke! They certainly didn't look as chipper about the whole situation as they had at the beginning of the summer!

Still love my new rental house, there's something wrong with the oven so there's a chap coming over - won't cost me a bean!

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  • 401 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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