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View From Kitchen Corner Onto Living Area.

Apartment progress: 100% – Ready for renting out!

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Mr. FightToFIRE

After my last update, it’s been quite the rollercoaster ride. From battling unexpected delays to navigating a maze of invoices to transform my apartment into a rent-ready haven. As the keys finally landed in my hand this summer, the finish line, which once seemed like a mirage amidst a desert of endless tasks, became a triumphant reality. Let us dive into the ups and downs of this adventure, explore the cost breakdown, and discover how a blend of personal effort and smart choices helped shave off expenses while ensuring a cozy place the soon-to-arrive tenants could call home.

It’s interesting to look at my last update from over a year ago. At that time, I thought the delivery would be at the beginning of 2022. Boy, how wrong was I? It ended up being the summer of 2022!

On top of that, I couldn’t give any more visual updates as everything continued inside, which I was prohibited from entering. I was also busy preparing for significant professional changes, and our daughter still proved to be a bad sleeper, giving us very little sleep and time in the evening.

I never received a formal explanation for this delay. What I did get was a fit-and-finish offer for the apartment. The offer contained two interior styling packages as well as an option to have it professionally painted, hang curtains, and foresee bed and bath linens.

Like the options for the kitchen earlier in the process, the furniture and painting were priced as if they were using gold to do it. Severely overpriced! Suffice it to say, I didn’t go with their offer and instead opted for a personal mix of IKEA and other furniture stores and painted it myself. But before I could paint everything, I needed my keys.

Apartment payments between the last update and the temporary delivery

Eventhough I didn’t provide an update after they started working inside, I received three invoices between this delivery update and the last one.

Two were for the placement of the pipes and wires on all levels for both the garage and the apartment. This resulted in the below amounts. The third one was for the architect.

Invoice 1 – Garage

  • 10% of the Construction value: 19.500,00 x 10% = €1,950.00 excl. VAT or €2,359.50 incl. VAT
  • Indexation (they took longer but still indexed it!) = €513.79 incl. VAT
  • 6% Architect = €1,415.70 incl. VAT

Invoice 2 – apartment

  • 10% of the Construction value: 180.000,00 x 10% = €1,800.00 excl. VAT or €21,780 incl. VAT

For a total invoice amount of €26,068.99.

Final bills to pay

Before the building promoter handed over the keys to my apartment, I had to settle the last bills with them. This meant that I had to pay for the last two parts of the apartment/garage construction:

  • After delivery and installation of the kitchen (8%): €180,000 x 8% = 14,400.00 excl. VAT or €17,424.00 incl. VAT
  • The temporary delivery (2% / 8%):
    • Of the apartment: €180,000.00 x 2% = €3,600 excl. VAT or €4,356 incl. VAT
    • Of the garage: €19,500 x 8% = €1,950 excl. VAT or 2.359,50 incl. VAT

Plus, two additional bills:

  1. €7,560.00 was only mentioned in the deed for the expenses incurred during the completion of the apartment. The construction promoter can pass everything in full to me according to the distribution key for ownership of the entire building:
    • Water and electricity consumption used during construction
    • Additional permits and surveys
  2. €8,657.30: The extra costs for the fit and finish of the kitchen.

Total final invoice costs: €40,356.80 incl. VAT

With these final invoices, I finally paid everything!

Including the previous invoices, my current total paid is €281,104.89 excl. other costs and the land.

With the land and the notary costs incl. (€142,544.87), the total cost of an apartment in the center of Brussels incl. a parking spot signed in 2019, is …

Total cost of apartment incl. garage

Reaching the 100%: kitchen and paint job

With the final bills out of the way, I could finally look forward to the temporary delivery.

On 10 July 2022 I acquired my apartment and garage keys.

It was a long and tiresome journey but seeing the finished development put a smile on my face. Little did I know that I was in for some harsh weekends. the kitchen was done, but as stated, it still needed paint.

Saving money for time

However, I didn’t opt for a professional paint job -yet another crazy bill (€6,632.78) I wasn’t willing to pay to these damn thieves- so I still had to paint the doors, walls, and ceilings myself.

Eventhough it’s a rather small space (60m²) because I decided to put up woven wallpaper to protect the walls against small damages, it took a lot longer to paint it.
A small word of advice: pay a professional to do this. DIY’ing this during summer was hell. I saved a ton of money doing it myself (with my parents’ help), but I spent five weekends non-stop working on getting it done in time for my first tenant.

The cost of fit and finishing the apartment

At the end of these infernal weekends, I still had to decorate and furnish the apartment.

While I initially had a well-thought-out plan to get most of my furniture from an outlet store in Germany, lack of time and transportation made me cancel that and go for (nearly) new and IKEA furniture instead.

Detailed personal interior design plan

In the end, I still saved a good chunk of money compared to taking the easy way out and ordering the package through the property developer. It cost me €10,204.06 to furnish and decorate it completely compared to the package cost of €15,730.

To be sure the overall design made at least some sense, I made a moldboard of all the spaces so that future tenants could get a feeling for the place well before visiting it.

Mood board Brussels apartment
Custom curtains and linen

I did opt for custom linen (€369,05) and curtains (€2,092,81) as these prices were more reasonable, with the linen having the added benefit of being managed by the stewardship company.

Total cost of ownership till September 2022

Everything summarized gives the below table. This is accurate to the cent. The only thing missing are the recurring (syndic) running costs.

Tabular overview of my total cost of ownership till September 2022
Tabular overview of my total cost of ownership till September 2022

I’ll probably share that after renting out the apartment for at least a year.

Next steps: Welcoming the first renters!

  • The Foundations/base plate – DONE!
  • Ground-level – DONE!
  • The floor of my apartment – DONE!
  • The Roof – DONE!
  • Pipes and electricity – DONE!
  • Kitchen – DONE!
  • Temporary delivery (which lasts one year) – DONE!

With the apartment delivered, the next step is to start renting it out.

I ended up paying more (relative to the total price) than expected. Especially the furniture can quickly grow out of proportion. In the end, I’m happy with the result, and I can already share that the apartment is being rented. I receive €1250 excl. shared costs.

With everything delivered and rented out, is there anything left?

Of course!

  • A year of ownership next year which includes the running costs of an almost energy-neutral apartment building in the center of Brussels.
  • Share my rental experience using stewardship.
  • Update the series from the very beginning based on my overall experience.

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

Road to home ownership
1. Starting my journey towards my own home
2. Should I buy or rent my first home?
3. The Truth About Room Investments: Off-limits
4. Buying an apartment in Brussels while renting elsewhere
5. The big move and moving around
6. My mortgage: an interesting experience
7. Apartment progress: 5%
8. How one tax deduction reduced my apartment cost by 17K
9. Coronavirus impact on my new apartment
10. 6 reasons why you should(n’t) get a turnkey apartment
11. Apartment progress: 15%
12. Startling Extra Costs To Get A Better Turnkey Apartment
13. Apartment progress: 30%; finally above ground!
14. Apartment progress: 50%; rough construction finally finished!
15. Is prinicpal payment a saving or expense?
16. Where to get the cheapest furniture in Europe
17. Apartment progress: 100% – Ready for renting out!
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Congratulations for success. I know is a lot of effort to renovate and decorate yourself but is saving like 10-15k € – money for that I work myself for almost a year to save it.
Have you calculated the ROI of the apt., now, once it is rented?

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