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Help with choosing area of Brussels

(60 Posts)
bludot Mon 19-Aug-13 10:23:04

Hi everyone,
We'll be moving to Brussels this October with our son who's 14 months. We'll probably be there for two years, so we're thinking that schools won't be a massive problem as he likely won't start anything before leaving. However, we're having a hard time choosing where in the city to live. Ideally we would like somewhere we could find a lot of English speaking expat families with kids of the same age and also a location where we can walk to a lot of amenities; park, shopping etc.

We were looking at Ixelles or Etterbeck. Are these places good given our requirements? I have also looked at Boitsfort and Watermaal, but I was worried we would need to ride the tram for 40 minutes whenever we want to go shopping/meet people/to the park, since we don't have a car.

If anyone living in these areas could give me any ideas at all, that would be really great.


bludot Thu 22-Aug-13 10:10:32

Hi Everyone,
What are your thoughts on Woluwe-St-Lambert? It's walkable to Roodebeek metro and bus. Is it a nice area around there?

Advert is here:

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 11:30:11

Not as switched on as Stockel maybe, but handy for the parks - Parc Malou has a lovely playground and cafe - and for Woluwe Shopping Centre which is by Roodebeek metro. WSL is generally OK. The 28 Bus goes right by there - linking to the Metro at Tomberg - where the Poseidon pool/ice rink are. See for the transport map.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 11:44:02

Great find but it's not 5 minutes to the bus stop or metro, in fact that one on Baron d'Huart is 1 minute or 100m from the bus stop. This one is 1km or 15 minutes walk to the bus stop and metro, that's why you are paying less. Add on an extra 10 minutes on the bus, you are looking at in fact 25 X 2 = 50 minutes extra travel time each day. The area is not so convenient for your wife either although still loads better than Etterbeek and Ixelles.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 11:45:13

you can get modern apartments right next door to Roodebeek metro, hundreds of them up there.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 17:47:51

Roodebeek but slightly more expensive.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 17:52:02

stockel charges put it over 1000 euros but cover most of the utilities.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 17:54:50

another Stockel

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 18:12:50

There should be hundreds round Roodebeek, running mad, but not on Immoweb wink at least not 2 beds under 1000 euros. I have a search set up for 2 beds under 1200 in Kraainem, WSP, WSL, Wezembeek Oppem and the ones above are the only ones I could find close to the metro.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 18:16:50

There were LOADS in Evere before, under 1000 euros, in the new developments off Rue De Genevre. not Stockel but 21/12 bus gets you to Schumann in about 10/15 mins and they tend to be new build, nice quality, terraces, shops and playgrounds nearby and quite a lot of expats due to the proximity to NATO. There are none currently showing up.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 18:39:52

if you add together the cost of a STIB annual pass and SNCB annual pass to get to LLN from Brussels using STIB to get to the train station, that's 1500 euro, 1000 euro more than just the TEC bus, so you'd have to add it on to an apartment not right on the TEC bus route, that's an extra 83 euro a month. So the Stockel and right at Roodebeek apartments you don't need a STIB or SNCB annual pass just the 500 euro or so TEC pass.

The Roodebeek one with 7m2 second bedroom, not sure I'd like that size. That's 3 more now to look at in Stockel Are you sure you cannot even come and look on the outsides this weekend?

LoisPuddingLane Thu 22-Aug-13 18:46:41

I just want to add in a bit about travel costs - I think this is standard for everyone (but maybe not EP or commission?) - I get a lot of my travel costs back from my employer. It depends on the distance you travel - I travel about 50km to work and get nearly 70% of my travel costs refunded to me. And my travel costs are the same as they were in London - just travelling from Zone 3 to Zone 1 in London.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 18:48:33

Don't forget this one at 930 euro with charges (+ what looks like 180 withheld against utility bills) which is 100m from the TEC CBis bus stop and 300m from the centre of Stockel, is 15 minutes from 4 different local schools where you're early enough arriving you'll get into all of them if you apply on time so you get to choose between them. I'd still have preferred the one up for 850 on Francois Peeters, maybe you could get this one down a bit to under 900? Try Francois Peeters again just in case a rental has fallen through.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 18:52:29

It's entirely up to the employer, can be zero, or 150 euro a year or 90%

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 18:54:25

Definitely worth checking re. Travel. I get free travel to work. At my company you get a train, Tec, De Lijn, or STIB pass according to where you live. At DH's firm they pay according to distance away.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 22-Aug-13 18:58:17

I thought it was a legal requirement.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 19:05:44

Plus we have a private FB page for Benelux Mnetters if you or your wife want to join in. We organise meet ups with/without kids and it is a great place to get info/help. if you send me or Running a PM - see bottom left under our posts - we can add you.

Portofino Thu 22-Aug-13 19:06:49

Bottom right even!

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 19:43:31

I wish it were a legal requirement but it isn't at all for transport help,

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 19:50:04

Sadly this one is not Stockel, it's listed in another advert as Av Thilemans 111, which is not near a metro or the TEC bus stop, the apartment the OP found and posted 1km from Roodebeek is nearer. Pity, it looks nice.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 20:11:06

Here is one on Av de Hinnisdael 33, WSP, almost opposite Stockel metro and also about 200m from the TEC bus stop. 950 euro including charges, no note about utilities. Says is 92m2 so bit bigger than others.

It's as busy here as the one at 925 euro on rue de l'Eglise around the corner which has 150 euro charges including hot water and heating, would want the utilities removed from charges just to compare against the apartment above, because it's listed as 80m2.

I hope you're doing a google maps of these apartments.

runningmad Thu 22-Aug-13 20:47:01

Here is one which is still in WSP but it's near to Montgomery or Joséphine-Charlotte metros, so 2/3 metro stops to Schuman for the train. No good for TEC bus though. Rue Francois Gay, 209, WSP. 800 euro, 75m2, provision of 120 euro for water and heating, it's a private advert direct with landlord. for me, it would be a bit far from metro, about 700m away, adds on probably 20 mins on to train journey minimum. Still cannot beat the 40 minutes from Stockel times. But this is a cheaper apartment. Area is as quiet as you get near to the action of the city.

runningmad Fri 23-Aug-13 08:52:59

This one could possibly be near Schuman station, but no address, 800 euro a month, 100 euro provisions for utilities, it's a duplex so bedrooms above living and kitchen.

LoisPuddingLane Fri 23-Aug-13 10:18:30

Portofino, I cannot send you a message on here for some reason, but I'd like to join the Benelux Mumsnetters facebook group.

bludot Fri 23-Aug-13 14:11:30

Wow, thanks again everyone for all the links. We definitely have a much clearer idea of where to go; basically WSL and WSP. The flat near Montgomery that runningmad posted looks great too. I have some appointments to see some of these early next week so hopefully that trip will be a bit more successful!

Portofino Fri 23-Aug-13 14:38:21

Lois, I sent you a PM - check your inbox.

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