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Where to Live in Brussels? Watermael-Boitsfort or Auderghem?

(21 Posts)
Pufferandthebabyfish Tue 25-Jun-13 05:24:29

Lovely Ladies,
Thank you so much for you help. It hasn't even been a week since we were offered the job and I've already secured 2 spots in a maternelle, Les Naiades in WB, for my 3.5 year old twin boys.

(1) Does anyone have any experience in Les Naiades maternelle? Of course when you get 2 spots in late do wonder. But it's small and sweet and my twins will be in the same class which was a deal breaker for me.
This is the address for the school: Avenue des Naïades, 21A 1170 Bruxelles

(2) Housing options in W-B are indeed few and far between. We don't want an apartment, not even a ground floor. Been in an apartment for the last 16 years. Done!

(3) Looking at housing in Auderghem closest to W-B. I found this one:
Looks great and not so far from the school. Google maps says 17 minutes walking but I doubt they timed two 3-year-olds. What is around there? Anything?

and this one which I really do love but is further away from the school (37 minutes walking).,1160

I can also bike them to school, plus they have scooters. However, I have never biked in the rain and I hear it might rain in Brussels from time to time.

Thoughts? Thanks!

juneblues Tue 25-Jun-13 07:40:58

For the first house, well it's nearer La Roseraie, Ste Therese (please don't reject Catholic schools, some have no Catholics in them, it's a name, no religion in maternelle anyway), plus Le Colibri. Le Colibri is the sister school shares the same head as Les Naides so I'd ask if there are places at Le Colibri - there is currently an American child I know there too. But ask at the other schools, they are also likely to have places.

For the 2nd house, again I'd ask at Le Colibri and Ste Therese, perhaps le Karrenburg too, la Roseraie is too far.

Le Colibri and Ste Therese are single class schools.

juneblues Tue 25-Jun-13 08:41:32

Have you noticed the 2nd house has 150 euro of charges, bringing the price 300 euro more than the first one? There is less in that area too. The first one is very large, it's 4 beds + office which can be 5th bedroom, says it has a new boiler and kitchen, shops are nearer to here around Pl Keym, you're nearer to the sports centre and cultural centre too. Oh it's near the metro too, to get to work it would probably be faster to take the 71 bus and change to 94 tram, or stay on bus and walk a bit further. There's a mumsnetter in the next street to the first house.

If you took that house and could get a place at Le Colibri or Ste Therese, there is the 17 bus. The children go free.

rushingrachel Tue 25-Jun-13 16:57:21

I live a couple of roads the other side of the big road you can see, near the Japanese school, and I have to say we've been super happy in this area. We have a lovely traiteur/deli at the end of the road, a pharmacy on the same corner, a playground at the end of our road, the metro 2 minutes away and we can walk to the supermarket and up onto Chaussee de Wavre which has the very handy 94 bus. That first house is the other side of a big road conglomeration though and not exactly sure what's over that side. We often go to WB for the market on Sunday which is lovely and to walk in the woods. Very accessible from here.

My kids are 2.5 and 4.5 and slightly difficult to handle on long public transport journeys. So I would not like to be without my car even though I don't use it for everything. Eg the gym I go to where the activities are fabulous for the children is awkward for public transport. So can't comment on school walk ability. Guess it just depends how good your kids are during morning. My big one is an ordeal for getting out of the house and that is without a long walk involved!

I think the first house for this area is correctly/well priced.

I used to work near the second house. Playground at parc Seny is nice this is true.

Hope you come to Auderghem. We need new faces at the local BCT group!

juneblues Tue 25-Jun-13 17:13:50

I thought you lived near the first house in Auderghem Rachel, not the second one??

Public transport with young kids, I think it's an individual thing. I've got 4 and find it far easier to use public transport than strapping children into car seats and getting them out again. I don't own a car, so it's just me, I don't have the car option, unless someone gives us a lift!

rushingrachel Tue 25-Jun-13 17:21:21

Yes the first is where I live and what I was talking about, wasn't I clear?!?!?! Obviously losing my control of the language. In mitigation I offer that I have 4 of my sons school friends here and they are NOISY. And all their parents are late!

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 14:27:50

Here's another one worth looking at, again nearer to Le Colibri and Ste Therese schools. The nearest school has an ok reputation, CS du Souverain, definitely worth a phone call, this school is a short walk along the bike path and has a nice little park on that bike path too.

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 14:41:21

PS remember Les Naides and Le Colibri have the same head teacher, give them a ring again and ask if both schools have places, explaining you are finding more housing nearer to Le Colibri, even ask if there is no space at Le Colibri and space comes up mid year, if you'd be allowed to change, if you cannot find housing nearer to Les Naides. La Colibri is almost next door to Ste Therese.

Pufferandthebabyfish Wed 26-Jun-13 14:51:20

Thank you once again ladies. Making progress here.

We are trying to get an appt to see this house:

I've ruled out the other previously listed--it's too far away and thanks for pointing out the extra charges--and yes, juneblues I do like the one you found as well. It perfectly fits our needs. Honestly there is no way we need 4 bedrooms, but it seems if we want a house/garden/parking there are 4 bedrooms. So be it. Our guests will be pleased.

I have spaces reserved for St. Therese de l'Assomption. They have not sent me paperwork like Les Naiades, but they will give me a tour while we are there July 8th even though they are closed. This is good.

Le Colibri does not have any spots left. But, they are a sister school to Les Naiades, so if Colibri is good.....doesn't it go both ways? Maybe not.
Karrenburg is going to call me back. I don't know what that means.

By the way, I have a lovely volunteer calling these places for me, someone I've never met who contacted me PM to help out so I am forever grateful for the kindness of strangers!!

juneblues and rushingrachel is this house
"closer" to amenities than the other?

We are going to have to do a big bike-about/walk-about to figure out the neighborhoods, etc.
Looking at Google Maps, it doesn't have many businesses listed so it's difficult to see what is in the area.

I haven't ruled out WSP as it really does look like an amazing area. But, there is a part of me that just wants to have a space in a small school and concentrate on looking for housing when we are there so we can move and be done with that bit of it.
I don't know if I can handle the stress of being in a corporate apartment and not having school settled until late August while waiting to see if anything for WSP shows up and THEN looking for housing while my wife is working and the boys are in school.
Perhaps that is a bit lazy? Urgh.

Pufferandthebabyfish Wed 26-Jun-13 14:56:25

juneblues the volunteer who is calling for me has her daughter enrolled for Le Colibri and she knows the director because of this process.
She tried Le Colibri first and they said no, but go to Les Naiades.
Is it only the location of Les Naiades or is there something else I should know....that is not being said??

Oh also rushingrachel we do not own a car (but I have a feeling we will get one in Brussels for weekending) and my boys have been riding subways, busses, taxis, ferries cars and bikes since birth!
They actually do best on public transport so I'm not too worried about hauling them around this way as it's what we've always done. But I would prefer not to have to go to school this way of course.

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 15:10:10

Between those 2 houses, I think proximity to amenities is about equal, the one I posted just now is nearer to the large Carrefour and surrounding shops and it's more built up around there, the other one is nearer to the more "small town" Pl Keym shops, but both are not far from each other. You'd have to judge for yourself, but for both, you could walk to shops.

Here is another 3 bed house not far from the 4 bed I just posted.

There are more small schools in W-B than WSP, given a choice between the only 1 class per year school in WSP likely to have places, that's AR Crommelynck, and the choice of several 1 class per year schools in W-B, I'd take the latter. I wouldn't like to say Le Colibri or Les Naides is better, I'd expect the same standard and same type of children attending too. I'm warning you, it's rather white and not to ethnically diverse the population around there, apart from the expat type foreigners!

Near Ste Therese and Le Colibri and Les Naides, you'll notice all the houses are painted green or yellow/black windows. These are Logis and Floréal "cité jardins" - look them up on wikipedia, they're famous!

juneblues Wed 26-Jun-13 15:16:16

Take a look at CAMBIO. One day I'll have the courage to join. If you're going to be rarely using a car, it's far far cheaper than buying your own car and insuring it, insurance is astronomical here.

Les Naides and Le Colibri are in similar areas, Watermael-Boitsfort is the most consistent commune in terms of "socio-economic" status of the children at the schools in the commune. All the schools are popular, some more than others such as St Hubert and La Sainte Famille BUT the difference here is zero population growth in the commune, whereas most of the rest of Brussels is growing, expected 10% growth in the next decade, so the schools are not oversubscribed like other areas. Grab those places.

Pufferandthebabyfish Wed 26-Jun-13 16:53:56

juneblues someone else had mentioned CAMBIO but I had yet to check it out. WOW.
We have ZIPCAR here in NYC and if we rent a car for the weekend, it's $300 USD.
The only real problem with getting a CAMBIO car is the installing and removing of the car seats each time we use it....but for that price...yes, I'm going to check it out for sure.
I can drive in the middle of crazy in NYC, can Brussels be any crazier?
Maybe....! But I will give it a try. Thank you!

Longtime Sat 29-Jun-13 19:39:29

Post these on the facebook page Puffer as there is a mnetter who lives really near the Av des Ablettes one. That area is nicer and quieter than Chaussée de Watermael. The latter is quite close to my house but the road comes from a main road down towards the motorway so won't be as quiet as Av des Ablettes. Both are easy to get to both the metro and big Carrefour. I walked down rue des Vignettes (the last one you mentioned) yesterday because a friend is just moving there. It's preferable to Chaussée de Watermael but I would still prefer the Av des Ablettes one.

Longtime Sat 29-Jun-13 19:42:35

PS I live in the next road to rushingrachel :-D

Longtime Sat 29-Jun-13 19:44:00

And the metro is great for getting around on. I didn't have a car when ds1 and ds2 were little and it was fine. They are installing lifts in all of the metro stations which would have been good when trying to get a toddler and a pushchair down the stairs but better late than never!

Longtime Sat 29-Jun-13 19:58:34

And the metro is great for getting around on. I didn't have a car when ds1 and ds2 were little and it was fine. They are installing lifts in all of the metro stations which would have been good when trying to get a toddler and a pushchair down the stairs but better late than never!

Longtime Sat 29-Jun-13 19:59:05

Oops, sorry for the double post!

heyjude1975 Fri 01-Jul-16 22:07:03

Hi, I am moving to Brussels in July and have registered my 2 and half year old boy to la rosarie school. Just wondering if anyone has any experience of this school for his age. I haven't done a lot research of other schools in the area. Thanks

lifeisunjust Sat 02-Jul-16 19:37:41

Try starting a new thread.
Favoured school in that area is La Sainte Famille and I'd look at Ste Therese before la Roseraie.

heyjude1975 Sat 02-Jul-16 23:26:05

Thanks for your recommendation. Any particular reason why you would not recommend la roseraie ?

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