Having our own place meant we’d finally start life as a couple – you know, doing things like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and cuddling on our own couch. It meant more privacy and freedom. I was crazy with anticipation! Even for the cleaning part.
To me it also meant more opportunities to study and work, since I can easily get everywhere on foot, by bike or by tram. I was excited to have a new routine and meet new people – you don’t stand out much as a foreigner in Ghent. I immediately started a new level of Dutch and found affordable yoga lessons. In less than a month, life is on track. I’m home.
We only needed to visit two apartments in our search and I consider ourselves extremely lucky for getting this one – it’s clean, well maintained, well located and what’s best, within our budget.
There were times when I couldn’t believe what I saw: dirty bathrooms, paint peeling off, weird layouts like a shower in the middle of the kitchen, exposed wires and so on. But the thing is, people rent those places. A couple of times we had just seen an advertisement, called the owner or the agency and the place was already taken. High demand!
If you’re moving to (or within) Belgium and have to find a house yourself, you must be patient but act fast.
There were two websites I checked every single day: immoweb.be and kapaza.be. They have a great amount of adds so you should know what you want and focus your search. What’s your budget? How many bedrooms do you need? What location do you prefer? House, apartment, loft? What are your deal breakers? For us it was dirty bathrooms and far, isolated locations.
Now, wanna hear something fun (not)? We went to the Ikea every Saturday for a month. Four Saturdays on a row! That was totally my fault because I wanted to start preparing for the move, getting small stuff and browsing furniture so that we knew exactly which ones we wanted once we finally came to get them on moving day. The Ikea website has a nice feature where you can make your shopping list and see if your products are available and where (in that big maze of a warehouse).
We survived our first Ikea experience. Isn’t that a strong relationship?!
But we also had amazing help. Thank you, guys!
If you have more time and creativity (and want to save money) you can go to a second-hand store. They have furniture in very good conditions and you can always renovate them the way you like. It adds charm to your place!
Now I’m off to explore this beautiful city (you’ll be reading many posts about it)!
If you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment below.