NewsCase StudiesEvents

Day to Day Living in Belgium

Belgium

Day to Day Living in Belgium

Recent forum posts

 

  1. business services for purchasing cocoa beans, roucou and cashew nuts

    Hello everyone,My name is Hermann Rodrigue KOUADIO, I am African, of Ivorian nationality. My interest on this site is to sell large quantities of agricultural products including cocoa beans, roucou seeds, and cashew nuts. And to allow German companies to build a supply chain with producers.I have a quantity of 10,000 tons of cocoa beans for sale for the next harvest in September-December. I am

    Total Posts: 1 Last post by Hermann

  2. Private venue event - running a bar

    I have been asked through a colleague to run a bar for a private event at a chateau in France. It is a pay per drink bar, and I am trying to make sense of the legal requirements - any advice please

    Total Posts: 1 Last post by PaulC

Day-to-day Living in Belgium

Utilities

The two predominant companies providing electricity and gas are Electrabel and Sibelgaz. Water is of a high standard and is safe to drink from the tap. To become connected and subscribe to Belgian utilities, you have to present some form of identification.

Transport

Public transport in Belgium is very contemporary and reliable. The rail and bus networks span most areas of the country. Trams are also very popular. However, you may need to travel to remote, rural areas by car, as public transport is less frequent in those parts of the country.

Costs

Although high, costs of living are not dissimilar to the rest of Europe. Many people, in fact, report that Belgium it is less expensive than the UK.

Accommodation

It is advisable to rent property in Belgium, unless you are planning to live there for more than 5 years. Mortgages are generally fairly easy straightforward to secure, although transfer fees will be costly, adding 15 to 20 % to the house price. Be aware also that there is VAT charged at 21% if you are planning to buy a new house.

Rental prices in Belgium are expensive. Like most places, though, prices do vary from region-to-region. As an example, if you were to rent a nice two bedroom flat in the Brussels area, you are looking to pay at least 1500 Euros a month. The market is well-regulated and prices are fixed with the state.

Using an estate agent may be wise, in order to gauge professional advice and a second opinion. When a price has been determined, a sales agreement must be signed between buyer and vendor. Commonly, a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the purchase price is used to secure the agreement. The buyer must be able to pay the balance in four months, usually by taking out a mortgage, before the sale is finalised.

A notary is required to handle the transfer of the property, and will charge a fee of 1 to 4% of the purchase price. 12.5% of the purchase price must be paid to register the sale.

Cuisine

Although not one of the world's foremost centres for food, you're in luck: Belgian cuisine is quite similar to French, the one difference being that Belgium is rather more inclined toward Gourmand (big eating) than Gourmet (fine eating). Don't worry, though, it's a truism in Belgium that quantity does not compromise quality, like in some countries.

Sociality

As a homogenous nation, it is hard to generalise the Belgian attitude to life. Belgium is an ethnic stew of French, Dutch and German. Therefore, there is no real national identity in terms of idiosyncrasies. What can be said without reservation, though, is that Belgian life is very family-orientated. Appearance is important and cleanliness is revered.

Also, Belgium, like Holland, is a very egalitarian society. The emphasis on equality for all, whether in the workplace or social circles, is very much stressed.

 

Click here to Ask an Expert about Day to Day Living in Belgium

Organisations that can assist with Day to Day Living

  • > Start Up Overseas

    British Corner Shop is the online British supermarket with worldwide delivery. Ideal for British Expats, Forces and Brits living and working abroad who can't get hold of their favourite British food locally.

    More Details Visit Website

You are not logged in!

Please login or register to ask our experts a question.

Login now or register.