Where to live in Brussels?

(71 Posts)
anotheronetobrussels Thu 26-Apr-12 14:35:59

Hi all

I am a first time poster but long time lurker here.We are moving to Brussels over the summer. Thanks to lots of help from Natation I have secured places for my two girls at three different maternelles. One in Stockel (SC de Stockel)one in Auderghem (Blankedelle)and one in Watermael-Boisfort (L'Assomption,Jagersveld).Just wanted to ask all you Brussels mamas given the choice which area would you opt to live in?
The commute for my Dh to Wavre will be by car so not much in it distance wise.

Thanks in advance

Portofino Thu 26-Apr-12 20:34:48

I would go for Stockel given a choice - lots going on, shops, cinema, public transport, lots of MNetters expats. Tis more expensive though.... We need Longtime for a view on Auderghem..Watermael looks nice - very leafy, lovely market on Sunday am. PM me your email address if you want to join our FB group/mailing list (if you haven't already) There are lots of here now and we go out!

I will link this thread on the FB group (secret) and rally the troops....

anotheronetobrussels Thu 26-Apr-12 21:36:35

Thanks Portofino. I feel like I know you I have read so many of your posts on Brussels! Yes Stockel seems to have a lot to offer. I liked Auderghem (well around Blankedelle) not as busy as Stockel but yet with corner shop and restaurant close to school. It seemed very chilled out..We stopped at Place Keym for a beer (as you do when in Brussels) and it also felt quite chilled and European. Where is the market held in Watermael? I will pm you my email.Thanks.

natation Thu 26-Apr-12 21:59:13

Boitsfort market is near Place Wiener, next to the maison communale.
The food in the Brussels markets, in the affluent communes, can be quite expensive, but the standard is very high. If you're after a cheaper market, the one next to gare du Midi on a Sunday is the best. The waffles at the Stockel market (3 days a week) are worth a visit in themselves.

Longtime Thu 26-Apr-12 22:51:35

Auderghem is fine, Watermael-Boitfort is really nice but personally, if I had the choice, I would go for Stockel. You are on the main line metro but the housing is really nice and you have lots of facilities there. The side of Auderghem Blankedelle is on is the side which leads on to Boitsfort so maybe nicer than my bit of Auderghem. I have a couple of friends who live over there and have known many more.

We often go to the Watermael market but it is very expensive (so we usually just go for the walk and some bread!!).

I would suggest that you have a look at house within your price range and then post the link to them on here so that we can advise. If you get the opportunity to come over to look at places, maybe one of us can meet up with you to give you some advice?

sasha08 Fri 27-Apr-12 07:54:18

Hello. My DS is at Communale de Stockel and we live about 15/20 mins walk (or 3 tram stops) from there. I would definitely recommend Stockel as an area to live but don't really know the other areas you mention to compare. Very happy to answer any questions you might have. I received lots of helpful info on here when we were choosing schools etc smile

frazzlenz Fri 27-Apr-12 08:20:35

Hi, I live in Stockel and have 2 boys at SC de Stockel, one in 3rd maternelle and one in 3rd primaire. I really like the maternelle at SC de Stockel. The maternelle section of the school has lovely teachers and the kids seem very happy. There often have class trips and sports days and the kids seem to enjoy them a lot. The children get swimming lessons and can do activities inside during the lunch hours during winter for a fee. There is reliable (and very $$) before and after school care, and hot lunches available 4 days a week. The school is very friendly and people I know who have had children at other schools and shifted to SC say it welcomes input and participation from parents more than a lot of other local schools. The teachers in maternelle are very used to expat kids so that helped DS3 to settle in and make friends.

In fact the whole school is very international and there are a lot of English speaking parents from a huge range of countries. DS3s best friends are still the other English speakers but he is increasingly making friends with the local kids as well. Parents (both expat and local) are friendly and are happy to help explain things or even translate if you need it.

Stockel is an great place to live with kids, as there is good public transport and heaps of activities for children in the area. Natation has most likely told you about all the activities but we have found the ones run through the sport centre really good as its so easy to get to and there is heaps to choose from. There are plenty of supermarkets in the area (though some are easier to get to if you drive) and the market at Place Dumon is nice if a bit $. From time to time there is a festival or carnaval at Place Dumon and they have a good Xmas market there too.

Ask away if you have any specific questions smile

frazzlenz Fri 27-Apr-12 08:24:09

Theres another market too nearby at St Alix though I havent been. Smaller I think than the one at Stockel, but others might know more. Some nice restaurants too in and around the Stockel area.

anotheronetobrussels Fri 27-Apr-12 15:03:49

Thanks so much everyone.

Yes I am coming over next week Longtime and I just wanted to suss you all out before deciding on school/house.
My Dh would probably prefer Watermael/Boisfort as he likes leafy (in fact we would be out in a farmhouse in the countryside if he had his way). I on the other hand like the city. We don't have to be on the metro line as I will be at home with the kids, well initially anyway. Although I do know that good transport links make life easier.

Frazzlenz thanks for all the positive info on SC de Stockel. I have met the principal and got a good feeling about the school so that will probably swing it for me in the end. I will meet the head of L'Assomption in W-B next week.

I also like the sound of the markets. I would nearly base my decision on where to live based on this (not really). I would prefer to shop at a market than a supermarket any day of the week. My dh will be getting worried if he is reading this!

Thanks again guys...I am sure I will meet some of you when we move over.


natation Fri 27-Apr-12 17:09:57

W-B is pretty similar in terms of leafiness to WSP, they both border the forest. They both have markets - mind you most of Brussels has too and you might change your mind about buying your shopping at the markets when you find how expensive the produce can be there compared to supermakets, they both have good sports centres with swimming pools and running tracks, the income of the average inhabitant of each commune is probably pretty similar too. They both have an expat population, but WSP has a bigger and more diverse one, means the rentals housing CAN but does not always cost more for a like-for-like house in the 2 communes.

Superspudable Mon 21-May-12 09:07:25

Sent you a PM regarding Blankedelle school, highly recommended.

Also very easy commute to Wavre from that area as Auderghem is right on the E411 - my neighbour used to drive there every morning to the uni there....

aharker3 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:00:52

Hello, I'm new to posting so hope I'm in the right place! I'm moving to brussels in 6 weeks, all very quick so lots to find out! I'd love any advice on pretty much everything! I have a 2 and a half year old girl and an 8 month old boy. We really want to live somewhere that I'm not reliant on a car for and would love a park and kids things nearby! We also want a garden so if you have recommendations on areas I'd be grateful. Re nursery I would like my girl to go 2 days a week to a local nursery so she can learn Flemish/French and my son to start for one day a week. Again suggestions would be appreciated. Also do you know of any dance classes for my girl. She loves dance and I'd like to keep this goading ASAP for her! I'd really love to join any Facebook groups etc to start meeting people online as I would love to meet moms once I get there and really want friends for the children. Autumn is always wanting friends around her and I really don't want her to feel she's missing out on friend time!!!! I'm excited to be moving out but really want us all to feel at home as quickly as possible. Hope you can help! Thanks

Longtime Mon 10-Jun-13 13:53:26

aharker3, will pm you

Portofino Mon 10-Jun-13 14:18:11

Looks like Longtime is on the ball re. FB group etc. 99% of Belgian children start full time maternelle at 2.5. I think you will struggle to get a part time place unless you pay for a private or montessori school. You should ideally be looking for a school place - it is the best way to immerse your dd in the language. The Dutch speaking schools are full this year already at Kindergarten level though according to the news.

Nursery provision tends to stop at that age as there is no call for it. Some one else can better advise on nurseries for one day a week - I think there are various Halte Garderies as opposed to a creche place which are aimed more at working parents.

The areas mentioned above in this thread would be top of my list. Stockel covers bits of Woluwe St Pierre, Kraainem and Wezembeek Oppem. All are popular with expats and there lots of activities laid on for children.

marchmad Mon 10-Jun-13 15:50:59

Where is work first of all, as that is where should be the biggest determining factor in deciding where to live?
Once you've decided on general area to live, that will determine the language, Dutch or French. Many people initially think of areas as part of Brussels, when they are in Flanders or Wallonia. Flanders is Dutch, Wallonia is French, 80% of Brussels schools are French and the majority of the pupils in the 20% of Dutch schools are also French speaking.

There are a few halte-garderies but many of those are mornings only. Many take from only 1 year too.

Part time in a local school comes with its own set of problems usually, the majority of of maternelle teachers will give you a hard time over any child deviating from the pattern of the other 24 in the class, the child might not settle because of them being different, the more time in immersion, the quicker your child will learn French or Dutch, the quicker they will be happy.

marchmad Mon 10-Jun-13 16:05:37

I don't know any dance classes for 2 year olds, but I know of music classes in English for children of that age, plus the BCT groups which might include some dancing. You'll get dance classes from the age of 3.

aharker3 Mon 10-Jun-13 19:13:45

Thank you all so much. I'll double check where husband is working but as long as the commute is only half hour max we are happy to live anywhere nice! One little question (one of many I am sure) but what do you mean by full time school starts at 2.5? Is that all day everyday or just half day? I'd be open to half day but will really struggle with putting her in full time. She's smart and confident so it's not that I'm worried about more it is about all the activities we do together that come from parent child time... Not school. I have nothing against it but for our family we always wanted a good blend of nursery and home time! Would be grateful to get more feedback in this and people's experiences. Thanks

marchmad Mon 10-Jun-13 19:28:01

Yes that is from 8.30 to 3.30. You won't find any parent-child organised activities in those hours, except BCT activities and a few paying activities marketed to expat families.

I have to say that your chances of a successful integration into a local school is much reduced if you choose part time. If you cannot do "as in Rome", then I'd say you should wait to put into school in a year or two and do that full time. The majority of children I know who were pulled out of local school under the age of 5 where pulled out because they were part time and that made it difficult for integration and for acquisition of language.

Portofino Mon 10-Jun-13 20:15:53

There is no school on Wednesday afternoon so full time is 4.5 days a week. I think dd's school allowed 5 mornings in the first year, after that it was all or nothing, other wise it disrupts the programme. Maternelle is very much seen as early years education vs child care. In ,y experience they have lots of fun though, and it is the best way for your dd to learn the language. My dd started at that age and positively thrived. She was quiet for the first 6 months then the French kicked in and she hasn't stopped since. She is still good friends with most of her first class.

Portofino Mon 10-Jun-13 20:23:49

As I said earlier, you might find a fee paying Montessori school willing to take her part time. But generally school places in Brussels are at a premium right now, paid or otherwise. If you haven't found a place before the end of the summer, you might go without entirely this school year.

aharker3 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:42:01

Thanks so much. I would be thrilled with 5 days a week morning only but of course will do what I have to to make it all work. I have no doubt dd will be happy whatever happens but I just want to explore all options. I will do my research based on the above and might book a trip over to make some appointments once I have an actual clue on how the whole enrolling process works! I've looked online but wondered if any of you have any good links you can direct me to regarding the school system. I am really appreciating this help. My husband will be working in the European Quarter, so does that have a bearing on places you might suggest to look at to live!? Thanks so much.

Portofino Mon 10-Jun-13 21:04:50

Schools break up on 28th June, so I would suggest making some calls to see where you might still find a classe d'acceuil place ASAP. If you dh will be working in the European district, Woluwe st Pierre, Woluwe st. Lambert, Kraainem or anywhere along the no 1 metro line is good. Evere has good links by bus also and there are lots of new builds there. All of them have websites which will give links to the schools. At this stage you will need to contact each school directly to see if they have places. I would get a place and negotiate the part time stuff later.

You shouldn't sign a rental contract til you have a place. Leases tend to be 9 years here as standard and you will pay to leave within the first 3 years. Would maybe be better to stay in short term furnished accommodation if unsure, otherwise you may pay more in the long run.

Portofino Mon 10-Jun-13 21:12:03

Www.immoweb.be is the main property website. You can search via the map. Most people I know - and the Belgian MNetters - live in eastern Brussels, the communes I listed above, plus Wezembeek Oppem and Auderghem, and Etterbeek. . It depends very much on what your budget is for housing and whether you prefer a house or apartment.

marchmad Mon 10-Jun-13 21:12:23

The 2 and 3 year olds also sleep between 12.15 and 13.45 as a rough guide, so they don't get tired, plus they spend copious amounts of time outside, no matter what the weather, as every local school has a canopy in case it rains.

For EU quarter, anywhere along metro lines 1 and 5 and tram lines 39 and 44. Some even like living in the EU quarter but you have to be careful with which schools and streets there, as it goes from affluent to poor in one street.

You phone (not email) every single local school. It's a good idea to limit your search area though, otherwise you'll end up with 30 odd schools on your list.

You can do any pattern of attendance in maternelle, if you must go with part time, mornings only EVERY morning would be best. Some maternelle teachers will say outright they don't like your child being part time, some might be more discrete. It means your child misses out on every afternoon activity. Some days, if they are doing something special, you might be persuaded by the teacher to allow your child to stay all day. Your child might be the only child in the class part time, it is more likely than not. You might be asked to collect away from the classroom at lunch time, meaning your child might go to the secretary for collection, it can be immensely upsetting for 3 year olds seeing a mum arrive and they don't see theirs.

rushingrachel Mon 10-Jun-13 21:15:54

I have a son 2.5 and technically he should start school in September. And we have places. But if I go with local schooling I only intend putting him in half time from September. After that time they only seem to me to eat, play and have a story. None of the schools we met seemed to find that bizarre. DS is my baby. I don't actually want to send him to school at all! And I am home so would strive for a balance.

So OP You may find schools are tolerant enough about the little ones leaving at lunchtime. But as the others who are more expert than me have said, chances of finding a classe d'accueil place in a nice school are slim enough.

marchmad Mon 10-Jun-13 21:24:24

At our school for acceuil and 1ere maternelle, there is an organised morning activity and an organised afternoon one too. 11.30 is lunch. 12.05 is sleep till 13.45-14.00 (children allowed to wake up naturally except the very heavy sleepers). Then they have a drink, go to the toilet, 14.15 to 15.00 an organised activity. 15.00 to 15.15 is playtime outside, then back inside to prepare for parents collecting at 15.30.

I know someone offered acceuil (2.5 class) places in 2 very well regarded schools just in the last couple of weeks, one is however in Wezembeek where you have to live to be able to go to school, one of the schools there always seems to have acceuil places, not so much pressure on school places due to the residential restrictions which they don't have in Brussels.

Longtime Mon 10-Jun-13 23:23:13

I waited until all three of mine were three before putting them into school because I thought three years in maternelle where, let's face it, they don't do an awful lot, was plenty long enough to learn to speak French and make local friends (and it was). Even then I only put them in in the mornings for the first year because they seemed to make them sleep all afternoon and mine had long given up their nap at that age so I didn't fancy having them up all evening having slept at school! The teachers were fine about it and actually seemed quite happy to have one less to look after.

Longtime Mon 10-Jun-13 23:24:50

(If you put them in at three they don't go into classe d'accueil but straight into first year maternelle though it does depend a bit on when the child was born.)

marchmad Tue 11-Jun-13 08:35:51

If you 2.5 year old is born in 2010, they are in fact 1ere maternelle in September 2013 and if born in 2011, they will be in acceuil .

Some schools mix acceuil and 1ere maternelle children anyway, mixed year groups are quite common at maternelle level.

The further out you go from the EU quarter, the more residential it becomes and more green it becomes. It is also cheaper as a general rule the further out you go, communes like Ixelles and Etterbeek can be very expensive for houses in particular. There are more places available in schools the further out you go. Even the end of metro lines 1 and 5 though are only 20 minutes from EU quarter, so they are actually closer in time to some areas which are closer geographically.

aharker3 Tue 11-Jun-13 13:29:40

Thanks all, I'll admit to being hugely confused by everything! But that said I'm diving in and calling schools today. Any you think I should just all out avoid? And any you think I should pray and hope for? As long as we are a half hour commute from eu district max we would be happy. Ideally we would like to avoid driving to schools but beggars can not be choosers... Certainly not in the school system in brussels it seems! Thanks

marchmad Tue 11-Jun-13 15:19:21

There is absolutely no need to drive to any school in Brussels and driving to work is highly inadvisable too. The public transport is excellent here and quite cheap. There are so many schools, you should be able to walk to school.

Without giving us an idea of where you'd like to live, I wouldn't like to say which ones you should phone first or last.

aharker3 Tue 11-Jun-13 16:16:23

I think at this point I need to call pretty much everywhere and look at where to live accordingly though uccle and wsp seem favourable to me.... Thanks smile

marchmad Tue 11-Jun-13 16:42:09

oh please don't do Uccle. Not only is it a terrible terrible commute to work, it is far harder to find school places there. Stick to metro lines 1 and 5 or tram lines 39 / 44 or EU district or Etterbeek. But even that is too much area to look at, decide what type of house you want, what type of area you want, what your budget is, then narrow down the search from there.

aharker3 Tue 11-Jun-13 21:50:14

Oh - I'd read on this forum (another thread) it is about 20 mins commute by tram to EU district... hmmm this just gets harder and harder! We don't want to live in the EU district as would rather a more leafy area - we would like a small town / big village feel with plenty to do for kids. Not majorly fussed on the house just not four stories and a garden is a must for us! I look into where those tram lines and metro lines go and use that as a good starting point.

Thanks again!

juneblues Tue 11-Jun-13 22:06:13

It's nowhere near 20 minutes by tram, there is no direct tram from Uccle to the EU area, you have possibly 30 minutes to Montgomery, change to metro another 10 minutes.

If you're after small town, go for the far end of the metro lines, north Watermael is near Beaulieu metro or the Auderghem side too, then Demey and Hermann-Debroux on line 5, then there is anywhere from Tomberg to Stockel of line 1, then anywhere along 39 tram route.

Actually many of the houses are indeed 4 storeys, the best value 4 beds are, ground floor is garage and caves or garden room, first floor is living room and kitchen, top 2 floors are bedrooms. It's a common design here. You'll get 3 floors without the garage too. The houses aren't like UK ones, other differences like it's rare to get more than a matchbox of a kitchen.

I wonder if Wezembeek on the 39 tram route might suit you.

This one is a real bargain if still available. It's not far from Louis Marcelis 39 tram stop, change onto metro line 1 at Stockel, alternatively 76 bus almost outside the house to Kraainem metro. It's also a 5 minute walk to Notre Dame de la Trinité and La Fermette school. English speakers in bother, especially latter, I know a child just offered an acceuil place at ND de la Trinité and know another child who'll be in 1ere maternelle there.

Portofino Tue 11-Jun-13 22:13:18

You need near Stockel - near metro line 1.

juneblues Tue 11-Jun-13 22:20:42

Here's one 2 stops from Stockel between "Aviation" and "Rue au Bois" on 39 tram route, a mumsnetter might just have looked at this one. Nearest schools AR Crommelynck, not somewhere I'd choose long term but take a look, otherwise, Joli-Bois or the 2 Stockel schools or Don Bosco or Jean 23 Parmentier, the nearest 6 schools all walking or short bus / tram ride away.


superfluouscurves Wed 12-Jun-13 08:33:01

Quick note about full-time school from 2.5 yrs:

Like Longtime I waited until my child was a bit older then, against my better judgement, put her in school full time.

She was still a bit hit and miss potty-wise but peer pressure did the trick!

Keep an open mind. School explained to me that many of the 'socialising' group activities that they place great importance upon here, happen around lunch time ie washing hands, lining up, taking turns, sharing, sitting at table, identifying and discussing different foods, eating together,manners/etiquette, going to loo + story + nap afterwards etc.

It turned out really well in the end so try not to worry. Early years care is generally v. calm and organised here.

aharker3 Wed 12-Jun-13 09:11:19

Seriously I can't thank you all enough - all this info is so helpful. I' going to look at those houses now and I'm calling schools today too. Re the four flights in houses - well if that's how it is in general I' fine with it - I think we are just a bit tired from our town house we have over here - too many stairs with babies!!!! I've kind of seen that all the kitchens are small and most look rather "retro" too but I'm ok with that - we'd love big kitchen as we have one here but that's not going to make me turn my nose up at a house - big kitchens are a luxury! Whilst slightly overwheled trying to get this all sorted so quickly I' excited and hugely grateful to you all for your support.


aharker3 Wed 12-Jun-13 09:23:55

one ore question... am I mad to think I can get a decent sized garden? Or are they generally all quite small? Thanks

superfluouscurves Wed 12-Jun-13 09:31:30

The houses immediately around the Montgomery/Merode/Schuman-EU district areas have small town gardens (if you are lucky) or at least a small courtyard or several balconies.

The houses further out in leafier areas such as Stockel (villas as opposed to multi-storey town houses) tend to have much larger gardens but it all depends on price.

Good luck with calling schools today!

juneblues Wed 12-Jun-13 13:04:27

Aharker3, you have exactly the right attitude. I admit I get a bit shirty with people when I try to help when they carry over their "wish lists" from their home country to here where houses and schools are different. I've had some reject houses because they have only 2 toilets and not 3, some because the 30 metre long garden was in their opinion too small, because houses don't have power showers, because they cannot fit a table in the kitchen (that really does limit choice).

Price should be a reflection of street, m2 floorspace, m2 garden, villa / semi / terraced, quality of finish. You should pay for what you get, but if you're not sure of a house, post the link here and we can all comment.

Those 2 houses I posted above, in fact anywhere between those 2 areas is great.

Here's another one which drew my attention, near école communale de Stockel, Sacré-Coeur de Stockel (I know a definite waiting list of over 10), St Georges.

This one looks maybe a bit dated, or otherwise the photos are crap, and therefore perhaps a bit overpriced, but near Sacré-Coeur de Stockel, St Georges, Notre Dame de la Trinité, La Fermette. You could walk to Stockel metro from here still.

Fancy a swimming pool for under 2k? Near SC de Stockel, école communale de Stockel, St Georges, it's on Av Baron d'Huart.

aharker3 Thu 13-Jun-13 08:01:51

Thanks so much again - Ill look at all of these and I think I am going to try and come over next week to meet schools. Originally we thought we could get exactly what we wanted but clearly we can't and that really doesn't matter as long as we are in a safe area and can make friends. We def want a garden but we only have a small one now and we manage to use it beyond it's potential so we would be happy with a small one over nothing. Some houses do look dated but then that's nothing a bit of imagination can't sort out! FIngers crossed I'll be posting that I have a school place and house soon! thanks

juneblues Thu 13-Jun-13 16:28:56

You can't alter a house, as in the decoration or fixed fittings, without the written permission of the landlord so do be careful. The Rue des Tulipes house for me is the best location V price. It's in the next street almost to a new mumsnetter too. Don't be put off by those big floor tiles, when you come to move out, you'll be eternally grateful you didn't choose a house full of beautiful wooden floors, as the wood is easy to scratch and you're responsible for giving them back looking like they did when you moved in, the tiles are far harder to damage.

aharker3 Thu 13-Jun-13 19:41:16

Oh no I didn't mean changing the decor - that's the same as here.. just meant in terms of styling! thanks so much

Portofino Thu 13-Jun-13 19:53:29

You can repaint, but if anything other than neutral colours you need to put it back to how it was before.

aharker3 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:24:50

I love the house on Rue Des Tulipes - looks a great size, nice garden and I'm gathering the area is good too - so thanks so much Juneblues I'll look into this. Another question (surprise surprise) does anyone know more about the schools in the area Juneblues mentioned? (école communale de Stockel, Sacré-Coeur de Stockel, St Georges.) I'm going to call tomorrow and then, if there are places, do I want to be making an appointment to go meet the head? I'm a little bit overwhelmed at the thought of this, because fundamentally aren't I choosing the school DD will stay at for the longhaul? Do I want to be trying to reserve a place for my 7 month old as well? Thanks a mill... when I get over I'll be having to buy you all a big round in appreciation!

Portofino Thu 13-Jun-13 21:55:54

Those schools will be fine. If there is a place, grab it with both hands. Honest. I have been here 7 years and will aim to put my child into one of the Stockel schools next year in anticipation of secondary school places. If you don't like the school you can move later. In Brussels, you can move freely in Maternelle. Once you start Primaire you are not supposed to move mid cycle - so 1,2 or 3,4 or 5,6. They tend to stay with the same teacher for the cycle.

Portofino Thu 13-Jun-13 21:59:51

So find a Maternelle place for your 2 yo. You can move later. No you don't need worry about your 7 month old just yet.

juneblues Fri 14-Jun-13 06:01:38

For St Georges, there is a geographical restriction of having to live in a "facility" commune, that means the school would ask you if you live in Kraainem or Wezembeek, you reply you are about to rent a house there.

aharker3 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:43:44

Hi all, can you put in offers when renting or is asking price basically it? Just so I know! Thanks!

juneblues Sat 15-Jun-13 21:49:31

Never ask the asking price unless you really want tthe place.

rushingrachel Sun 16-Jun-13 09:11:58

I found it nearly impossible to negotiate on rent when we were looking in the lower rental bracket (1500 and under). There were queues of people at the door the day our current house went on the market and no way our landlord would have taken less than he asked. I am a lawyer and I do not mind negotiating but sometimes you have to know when you don't have any negotiating power! In the higher bracket where there is less interest and people are more picky I think there's more wiggle room. Just my impression.

juneblues Sun 16-Jun-13 12:01:05

We managed to negotiate out the annual rent increase on a rent of 1500 euro - the annual increases are set nationally and a few percent per year. It's called indexing and it's in a standard contract. Our house will probably be for rent soon, it's 4 beds in WSP. Most houses around us are over 1500 euro. Looking for a 2 bed at under 800 euro for us if able to stay at all.

aharker3 Wed 19-Jun-13 16:01:09

Thanks everyone - all great to know. Will be back with a few more questions once school and house is sorted!!! you've been amazing! thanks.

aharker3 Wed 19-Jun-13 16:09:07

Anyone know a contact number for St George please? Actually a website would be helpful - It's the only school I can't find details of when I goggle! Ta

juneblues Wed 19-Jun-13 17:10:17

The contact numbers and websites are all on these maps.

Brussels region

Wezembeek-Oppem and Kraainem schools

Try using google.be, you'll get links to all your schools that way.

juneblues Wed 19-Jun-13 17:15:05

St Georges has a new website too, apart from the one linked.

so does ND de la Trinité

aharker3 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:08:56

Hi there,

Looks like I might have a place at St Georges and I would just love it if anyone has children there who can give me a little feedback on it. I'm going over to meet the head in the next week.


Ballet Thu 04-Jul-13 11:27:15

we are looking for flat and this is first time we are going to rent it on our own.so far we have lived in service apartment that was paid by employer.
so I have no clue about extra charhes that comes every month.can anyone justt give an idea hw much electricity bill and heater bill should be coming and also telephone connection and internet and Tv bills.

chamonixlover Thu 04-Jul-13 12:32:32

There are no standard charges, it depends on floors pace, insulation, how much you personally decided to use - water is wholly dependent on your personal use, fuel depends on how hot you decided to heat to.

If you are savvy, live in a 2 bedroom well insulated apartment of 100m2.

water 300 euro
gas and electricity 1500-2000 euro
TV/internet/phone cabled 700 euro
Brussels tax 100 euro

2600-3100 per year

Some of these might be included in charges for an apartment, such as the hot water element of gas / electricity. You need to look carefully at charges and have an exact breakdown, as charges can also includes maintenance of lifts, hallways, gardens.

Ballet Wed 10-Jul-13 09:33:08

what is Brussels Tax and is it monthly?

chamonixlover Wed 10-Jul-13 10:50:30

Ballet, this house is on the same street as the school, you'll never get a bargain like that so close and I'd say offer 1000 on it.

Brussels region tax is about 100 euro a year.

chamonixlover Wed 10-Jul-13 13:52:04

PS I did actually already say the tax was annual and the amount!

Ballet Fri 12-Jul-13 08:20:36

this quetsion is bit off track but it would be nice if I get any answer.I have never lived in Stockel and I have got flat on 3rd floor but I am not sure how it is going to be there on 3rd floor with noise of aeroplanes.
does somebody live there and in similar flat?please give me your feedback if it is okay or it is nightmare???

Ballet Fri 12-Jul-13 09:30:37

I chekced this house on Monday and it is gone.

so we are moving in 2bhk flat in krainnem.we are not sure about aeroplane noise in stockel.is it manageble or really hellish on 2nd floor.
pls tell.

Ballet Fri 12-Jul-13 09:33:10

whta type of insurence I need to get for flat.I have been asked to contact any bank for this.
do you suggesy any particular bank for it.
and also for electricity and for gas?what Iam susposed to do to get all this in my name?

chamonixlover Fri 12-Jul-13 09:42:18

It's unfortunately a bit late to ask about plane noise if you've signed a contract. Plane noise is very personal.
As for gas and electricity, yes you are liable for arranging this and all other utilities, it really isn't hard, just ask the landlord who the suppliers are, he/she has probably already got the sign-up sheets ready and you'll receive notifications through the post of confirmation of supply, then a few months later, your first bills.
And as you're in Flanders and not Brussels, no Brussels tax but you will receive a 25 euro bill for "old people's tax", you must pay this and actively ensure you have received the bill, it is your responsibility to know this tax exist and you receive the bill, failure to pay will lead to a large fine.
Good luck.

Ballet Fri 12-Jul-13 10:20:47

we have not signed the contract as yet.we have just seen the flat and liked it.I want to make sure everything is okay befoe we sign contract.

chamonixlover Fri 12-Jul-13 11:14:52

Plane noise is extremely personal, no-one can tell you how you might be affected by it, your only way of knowing is to wait for another day when planes are directly over Stockel (they were for most of last week, very unusually but back on the more used runway again) and spend the entire day next to your potential flat and see if it bothers you.

Think about however how prices are very high in the area, that show that for most people, it's a non issue.

chamonixlover Mon 15-Jul-13 18:34:23

PS on the subject of airplane noise, just found a leaflet from Brussels airport saying during the month of August, one of the 3 runways will be closed, which will mean increased traffic on the runway where Stockel is on the flightpath. So in August, you'll get plenty of chance to have the planes overhead - that runway is the usually the least used of the 3.

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