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Tervuren, Belgium - buying property

(62 Posts)
malteserinbelgium Wed 03-Nov-10 16:23:22

we're looking to buy a property in Tervuren, Belgium but we never seem to be sure whether an area is decent or not.

does anyone have any tips on where we could get more 'real' advice?

natation Wed 03-Nov-10 16:50:44

Tervuren is the small town which itself is split into different areas, Moorsel, Duisburg and Vossem, would depend on where exactly you are looking. There is also a bit of Wezembeek-Oppem which is sandwiched between Tervuren streets, which if you are French speaking, gives the children the right to French school up to 12 years just up the road and the right to communicate in French.

There are only a few streets in Tervuren central area which I would think are a little less decent than the rest of the gemeente, only as they used to be social housing, the area around GBS and KA schools, even there is fine.

Wouldn't personally ever buy there (well I wouldn't be able to afford it for a start!!!), I feel uncomfortable in central Tervuren, due to the presence of BSB, the village areas are too rural for a pubic transport user like myself. But for you, it might be perfect, certainly a good place to buy a property if you like the area and likely to hold value too.

malteserinbelgium Wed 03-Nov-10 16:56:41

Hi thanks for your reply.

Can you tell me exactly where the GBS & KA schools are? Or at least what they stand for :O

And what do you mean by feeling uncomfortable because of the BSB?

malteserinbelgium Wed 03-Nov-10 16:57:34

I meant, what GBS & KA stand for, so that perhaps I can google them & get the address

natation Wed 03-Nov-10 17:24:40

What is uncomfortable for me is a big pulling factor for others in the area. BSB has 1150 students, then there are 3 other English schools in the gemeente which must have another 200 pupils in them, about 2/3 of BSB students live in Overijse and Tervuren and most of them in Tervuren. There might be a breakdown on the internet somewhere of what nationalities live in the area. For me it is simply too many anglophones, that's all, it often feels for me that I'm in the UK, but it's a very very popular area to live to I think my feelings of being uncomfortable are very much a minority opinion!

GBS Gemeente BasiSchool Tervuren
KA Koninklijk Atheneum Tervuren

I would NOT avoid the former social housing in that area, it's still a nice area, plus the bonus is the prices are going to be a bit lower! It's also an area not far from the 44 tram line, has in fact primary schools, near to shops, near to the swimming pool. Actually, it would probably be where I would be more comfortable.

LongtimeinBrussels Wed 03-Nov-10 21:35:29

My sister-in-law lives in Tervuren but the other side of the village to the BSB (ie before you get to the animal jazz band roundabout!!). She lives in one of the former social houses not far from the 44 tram that natation mentioned though it looks nothing like the image most people have of social housing. Her ds (like his dad before him) goes to Heilig Hart which is actually in Wezembeek but borders on Tervuren. It is a Catholic school with a good reputation. She has a great group of local and international friends so it is definitely possible to make friends in Tervuren outside of the British School crowd. Not that I'm knocking that if that's what you feel comfortable with (I did some volunteer teaching for the mums at the school and they were all very nice but I never had the desire to socialise with them) but it's not all Tervuren has to offer. She lives close to the Diependal sports centre (Sportcentrum Diependal - Lindeboomstraat 30 if you want to look it up on google maps).

Like natation, I would never personally choose to live there (or at least in the areas where the Brits tend to live) because for me one of the plus points of living in Belgium is speaking two other languages and mixing with the locals. I'm also a public transport user (no car) so we chose to buy two minutes walk from the nearest metro station!

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:47:03

I guess the question should be is what is that you WANT in a neighbourhood. Do you care about language spoken, or proximity to international schools? When you say "decent" do you mean posh big houses, or friendly neighbours? Do you want to be close to things, use public transport, or happy to be more secluded and drive?

Are you in Belgium already? Why does Tervuren stand out as the place to buy? Too many questions wink - just trying to get an idea of what will make you happy!

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 03-Nov-10 21:56:39

In my case, for example, we moved out of Brussels to get more space and a garden. My dd is at a french speaking communal school in Brussels still. We are in Nossegem (Zaventem). My neighbourhood is lovely and we are close to everything.

Now we will be here long term, so actually we would have been better off in Kraainem/Wezembeek Oppem to take advantage of the better french speaking primary schools. And closer to better french speaking secondary. OR we should have bitten the bullet and gone for the Dutch option originally. Decisions, decisions....if you are going to buy, you need to take all these things into account.

malteserinbelgium Thu 04-Nov-10 08:35:01

Thank for all the input.

We saw a house near the KA school and we wanted some input about the area.

We've been living in Belgium for 4 years now & we've been looking for a house to buy for the past year! We have a toddler so we are looking for a house with a garden in a nice area. What I mean is that we're looking for somewhere where it's not full of noisy people, with stereos blasting & fights in the streets in the middle of the night. we want somewhere safe.

we've looked in loads of communes but sometimes by the time you research the area the house is already gone.

If a house is near public transport it's a bonus, but we have a car & we take the kid to the creche by car ... Don't really feel like dealing with a crying kid at 8 am on public transport hmm

I don't really care about the nationality of the neigbours & I'm not British so it's not as if I'm going to feel like I'm still in my own country but abroad... if you know what I mean.

PortoTreasonAndPlot Thu 04-Nov-10 09:57:11

I would say any of the leafy suburbs to the East of Brussels would suit - Tervuren, Kraainem, Woluwe, Wezembeek etc. I would be happy to live in any of them

natation Thu 04-Nov-10 11:37:31

Well out of all the Tervuren areas, I prefer the area around the tram line, but the side of the road with the KA Tervuren on it 1) because the 44 tram runs nearby and gives you easy access to Brussels, 2) because there are buses that take you to Leuven, Stockel, Wezembeek-Oppem 3) you have a choice of 3 schools 2 1/2 to 12, a 4th from 6-12, 3 schools from 12-18, all in walking distance, you have the sports centre, the swimming pool (albeit a tiny one with restricted opening hours), the shops in the town centre. Really there is only a lack of supermarket but you have Delhaize and Carrefour just a few kms away, cycling distance though 4) in the housing nearer to KA and GBS Tervuren, you don't have such a concentration of Brits, but have more Belgian families (well most can't afford the bigger houses closer to BSB) and the Belgians are Dutch majority but quite a proportion of French speakers there too. As your child grows up, you'll probably appreciate more the fact that (s)he can walk to school, play with school friends in the neighbourhood, walk to the swimming pool or sports centre, walk to the playground, walk to the shops. I think it's a super area to live, given a choice between a big house near to BSB with neighbours changing every year or 2 and a smaller house near KA Tervuren, the KA Tervuren area is a clear winner. Finally, the area is certainly safe.

Why don't you come to Tervuren the day Sinterklas is coming? I am guessing this year it will be Saturday 27th November. You could walk around the area where your house is and hopefully some of the population will be making their way down into the centre of town to see Sinterklas arrive by helicopter, think it's around 2pm in the car park just off the main square.My kids love this day, they are French speaking but know all the songs in Dutch and come prepared with bags to collect the sweets.

natation Thu 04-Nov-10 11:55:14

PS if you have a toddler born in 2008 or 2009 and you are thinking of moving to Tervuren soon, be aware that enrolments for the first class is usually done quite a long time in advance in a local school. Children start school as young as 30 months old quite possible that a child aged 13 months now is already enrolled to go to local school in 17 month time after Easter 2012 for example. As all local schools in that area do their own enrolments, you can put your child's name down at all of them. Apart from KA Tervuren and GBS Tervuren, there is also Mariaschool in the area, Heilig Hart's kleuterklassen are unfortunately separate from the rest of the school about 4km away in north Wezembeek-Oppem, but they do have a shuttle bus apparently from the main school which is in walking distance of the area.

malteserinbelgium Fri 05-Nov-10 11:28:09

wow natation .. thanks for all the info. I take it you live in Tervuren?

the building behind the KA school .. do you know what that is?

I think there also is a musselfeest in 2 weeks time at the KA school?

the housing near the KA is it all social housing ?

natation Fri 05-Nov-10 12:27:00

No idea which building you mean, but the basischool (2 1/2 to 12) of KA Tervuren is called de Katternsprong and is right next door to the middelbare school (12 to 18), the 2 complexes of buildings are right next to each other, maybe one of their buildings is what you are thinking of.

No I don't live in Tervuren, my Dutch is not good and I'm fluent in French, so I live in bilingual Brussels.

You can tell from google imaging which streets are the FORMER social housing, all the houses look the same, from the sky so you can guess that way.

malteserinbelgium Fri 05-Nov-10 15:18:08

I know what social apartments might look like, but not social houses

natation Fri 05-Nov-10 17:39:59

Edouard Hubertilaan
Camille van Camplaan
Hypolyte Boulengerlaan

That's looking at google maps, I'd have to be on the ground to be certain. That's an interesting set of names.

malteserinbelgium Fri 05-Nov-10 20:27:25

hehe they are just names to me blush

in fact the house we saw is in one of the streets you mentioned. the houses in the street look like they have been designed by the same architect.

malteserinbelgium Fri 05-Nov-10 20:33:18

what does it mean when you say 'former' social housing?

i don't understand this concept. in my country, a social estate remains like that forever.

sorry for all the questions blush

LongtimeinBrussels Sat 06-Nov-10 00:25:00

Former social housing is housing that was once social housing but was bought by the tenants to become private which can then be sold on the market like any other house. The fact that the houses in the road, or at least on one side of the road, all look the same is a giveaway. The traditional way for a Belgian to buy a house is to buy a plot of land and have an architect come up with a design. That's why, in most roads, every house looks different even if the houses aren't particularly big. It's certainly the case in my road and I found it quite fascinating when we were househunting as I lived in a three bedroomed end terrace growing up that looked like all the other houses in the street (well identical to every fourth house to be precise as it was a end terrace).

scaryteacher Mon 08-Nov-10 11:48:24

'the housing near the KA is it all social housing' Once you get to the top of Boulengerllan, it is Jezus Eiklaan that leads to the Arboretum and most of that is private housing.

Supermarketsa in tervuren are fine - there is the Carrefour opposite BSB and a Carrefour in Tervuren itself. There is also a Carrefour express that sells most things on the road leading up to Helig Hart.

Tervuren is a mix of nationalities as lots of those at NATO send their kids to BSB, so you get Estonians, Bulgarians, Hungarians here as well. The KA side is nice and quiet, but the roads the other side are nice as well by the 44 tram stop, and are considered to be the 'better' areas of Tervuren, especially around Karel van Lorreinenlaan (vvv expensive).

I've lived in Tervuren for 4 years now and am very happy.

'mums at the school and they were all very nice but I never had the desire to socialise with them'...won't go for a curry with you again then!!!!!

LongtimeinBrussels Tue 09-Nov-10 13:00:00

Scary, I socialised with you as a mnetter not a bsb mum ;)

They were a REALLY nice bunch of mums, truly, and as you said of all different nationalities. I just didn't want to get too friendly with them. Partly because they would have been moving on and I had so many friends that moved on when the boys were little that I wouldn't have wanted to go through that again and partly because it all seemed a bit er, don't know how to put it without sounding negative and I don't mean it to be, false for me having lived here for so long. It doesn't mean I don't like socialising with Brits - I find they have a more fun sense of humour than the Belgians I know. It's a completely different experience. I'm looking forward to the cinema next week (want to come?) and the Christmas meal! Honest!!! Really didn't mean to offend

scaryteacher Tue 09-Nov-10 19:53:21

You didn't offend me at all, I was teasing!

natation Tue 09-Nov-10 20:35:55

I'm off to find the Carrefour in central Tervuren now as I didn't know it existed, thought there was the just the one near BSB. So in fact the KA Tervuren area has all the amenities you'd need, IMO better than all the other area in Tervuren, well all the amenities that I'd want anyway. Pity it's not part of Brussels.

scaryteacher Wed 10-Nov-10 08:27:59

Natation, it's along from Au Flan Breton on Paardemarktstraat. Go up past the church, keep going, and it's on the left hand side. It has most things one needs.

LongtimeinBrussels Wed 10-Nov-10 19:41:04

Scary, I was racking my brains to remember what the supermarket used to be called (in the days when the cinema was still there!). Do you remember?

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