Hello Folks, got some exciting news today! We have scheduled another FIRE meetup, but one that is specifically focussing on real estate investing. In short, get ready for Utrecht Real Estate Con!

Utrecht Real Estate Con

We noticed that a lot of people are interested in real estate investing as (part of) their FIRE strategy. Likely because it is an investment that you can see, feel and easily comprehend. However, there are many things about real estate that one should consider.

Utrecht Real Estate Con

Utrecht Real Estate Con
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House#/media/File:1156_Marken,_Netherlands_-_panoramio_(1).jpg

There are also many different investment strategies related to real estate, which depend on your risk profile and preferences. It’s therefore time to review this investment method in more detail during a meetup.

Together with Divnomics and GeenBaanMeer.nl we came up with the idea of Utrecht Real Estate Con (Dutch: Vastgoed Con).

The Date

The “Utrecht Real Estate Con” is scheduled for Saturday 17 November 2018 (in Utrecht, go figure!). Location details will be made available for those that sign up for this event.

The Program

The preliminary program for the day:

  • 12:00-13:00 – Welcome
  • 13:00-14:00 – Introduction to Real Estate investing
  • 14:00-14:30 – Coffee Break
  • 14:30-15:30 – Real Estate investing Examples
  • 15:30-16:00 – Coffee Break
  • 16:00-17:00 – Real Estate Investing Strategies for FIRE
  • 17:00-18:00 – Q&A and Drinks

The final program details will be made available closer to the date. We plan to tailor the program upon your input. For example, we can focus more on the strategies and examples and skip on some of the introduction. Please let us know what you think. Either way, it should be very interesting and a good learning opportunity. Especially for anyone that wants to invest into real estate in the Netherlands.

The Costs

The fees for the day are about €29.61 (€28 + Eventbrite booking fees), which is including drinks and snacks. We have a total of 45 seats available. Don’t wait too long before signing up as our meetups are getting increasingly more popular.

Signing up?

Inspired and interested to talk real estate for the day? You can signup via the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/tickets-utrecht-real-estate-conference-48118543860

To sign in you need the following password: Vastgoed Con

 

Hope to see you in Utrecht!

 

Not interested in Real Estate, just come and have a chat with us in Zwolle! Check out Chris’s blog:

FIRE Meetup 30-9-2018, The Zwolle Edition

 

 

 

 

 

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Last weekend, on Saturday, we had another BENL FIRE meetup. The 6th already that we organized. We have already been to Antwerp, Eindhoven, Leuven, Breda and Utrecht. It was another fun day with lots of chats, discussions, presentations, food, drinks and financial fun. Without further ado, here is the Utrecht FIRE meetup recap!

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap

It was our second time we visited the venue in Utrecht. It’s a very nice place with good access by public transport and car, but gosh it’s hot on summer! The place is obviously very affordable (otherwise we would not have been there), but it does not have air-conditioning. With 28 degrees Celsius outside, it’s really hot inside. Needless to say a lot of folks enjoyed the outside and chatted in the sun. We will likely return to this venue again, but during a different season 😉 Other lessons-learned: when it’s hot, buy more beer!

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap

Utrecht FIRE Meetup Recap – We are not the only cheese heads!

Presentations

The real reason we organize these meetups is to have the opportunity to chat with like-minded people. But we do like to have the occasional group discussions and educational moments. This time we had two presentations and one interactive presentation with discussion.

Making money online with blogging

We started the “formal’ part of the day with a presentation about making money online with blogging/writing. This presentation was done by Adine from lekkerlevenmetminder (a Dutch personal finance blog). Adine is a great writer with a passion for personal finance. But this passion has turned into a nice gig where she is actually making some decent money blogging (in addition to her writing job). Her presentation can be downloaded here: Making Money Online.

Crowdfunding

The second presentation was done by Daphne. She has many years of experience with crowd-funding, both professionally as well as personally. Daphne has invested in more than 550 projects to date, and has a surprisingly low default rate! She shared some of her lessons learned and insights with the group. Unfortunately, this presentation cannot be shared due to the details of the content.

Negotiations

HOT” Chris finished up the “formal” part of the day with a presentation and discussion about negotiations. Bottom line is, always try to negotiate and try to find out what the percentages are that you could potentially get (think kitchens, cars, furniture, etc.). Also check on times when certain items might go in sale (think year-end inventory sales, etc.).

Thank you all for presenting!

Slack

Oh, for those interested in FIRE and want to spend even more time on social media/their phone, Spekvet and Divnomics have setup a Slack group. Just in case you are interested!

Next Meetup?

There will definitely be another meetup in the future, we have no fixed plans for now but are in for suggestions or offers to help. It takes a lot of time and energy to organize the meetups, which takes away some of our time to enjoy the meetups too.

One of our ideas is to have another meetup at a bar or pub, no entrance fees or presentation, you just show up and we have a beer/wine/whatever. Similar to what we did before in Gouda.

We also noticed that more and more new people come to the meetups that are especially interested in the presentations. A lot of folks are just starting out on the FIRE journey and are exploring their options for investing. I’m now looking at ways to see how we can cater to those of you. Perhaps I have to ask this guy to help out? There might even be a camp FIRE in Oosterwolde! Anyhow, lots to consider!

Any feedback from your end of what you would like to see or do for the next meetup is greatly appreciated.

Hope to see you next time!

 

 

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After a successful BENL FIRE Meetup in Leuven Belgium, we already started planning for the next one! We (Amber Tree Leaves and us) decided to visit Utrecht once again. So we hooked up with a great venue and secured our spot in June. It’s time for a second BENL FIRE Meetup – Utrecht Edition! This will be our 6th FIRE meetup already.

BENL FIRE Meetup – Utrecht Edition!

Utrecht is a great place with a very fun City Centre. If you want to join, and/or are coming from afar, it’s probably worth to make it into a long weekend and explore the city. On that note, we secured the venue for Saturday June 30, 2018, but we still have the option to make it into a weekend event too. Depends on your enthusiasm and the number of registration we receive. The venue has a maximum capacity of 50 people!

We already send out an email on last Thursday to the peeps on our distribution list. We now already have more than 20 confirmations to date! It’s just great to see that these meetups are appreciated and that people really like to come. Makes it worth it for us to continue these events 🙂

BENL FIRE Meetup - Utrecht Edition!

BENL FIRE Meetup – Utrecht Edition!
Source: https://www.visit-utrecht.com/experience-utrecht

As per “usual”, the following applies:

  • You are free to come and go as you please;
  • The venue is easy to reach with both public transport and car;
  • The costs will depend on the number of people attending, but is usually in the order of €10-15/day (including drinks and snacks but excluding lunch/dinner);
  • It is mandatory to have a good time 🙂

What Are We planning?

The general program for Saturday looks something like this:

  • 10:00 – 12:00: Warm welcome, informal chats and perhaps some financial speed dating again;
  • 12:00 – 14:00: Brown Bag lunch at the venue (or elsewhere if you prefer)
  • 14:00 – 18:00: Presentations and discussions;
  • 18:00 – 19:00: Dinner at the venue (we can order in food or bring some ourselves to heat up on the kitchen); and,
  • 19:00 – 21:30: Beers and other drinks + more informal chats.

As it looks now, we will have a presentation about crowd-funding. However, there is room for one to two more presentations on Saturday! What would you like see or would you like to present? Let us know!

BENL FIRE Meetup - Utrecht Edition!

BENL FIRE Meetup – Utrecht Edition!
Source: https://www.visit-utrecht.com/

So, Do YOU Want To Join?

If the answer is YES, please drop us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/email (info @ “ourblogname”.nl) and we will add you to the (ever growing) distribution list. Hope to see you all in Utrecht!

BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

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We just had a great weekend again with a lot of fun people. There was talk about money, dividends, permaculture and ethics, all while enjoying some good Belgian Beer! We also did a interesting (but rather chilly) city tour, courtesy of Amber Tree Leaves. Here is a (visual) Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap!

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap

The meetup was split over two days at two different locations in the city. Amber Tree Leaves really did a great job in finding these venues!

Day 1: Dividend Growth Investing

On the first day we gathered at a local chapel (Augustinessenklooster: Romaanse Poort), which had one of the most spectacular conference rooms I’ve ever been in. It looked like this:

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: Chapel

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap – Augustinessenklooster: Romaanse Poort
Source: https://www.leuven.be/augustinessenklooster-romaanse-poort

Yup, this was the setting for the Dividend Growth Investing (DGI) presentation, how cool is that! I did a two hour presentation about DGI. The first hour focussed on the basis of DGI investing. The second hour I talked more about the strategy, risks and problem with taxation we face here in Europe. There were some interesting discussions too!

For those that are interested, you can download the presentation here: Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: DGI Investing Presentation

If you are wondering about the reason for the selection of the “beautiful” purple-ish presentation template, the theme was called “Dividend”. Enough said 🙂

Day 2: City Tour

On day two we did a city tour through the center of Leuven. The start was on the main square of the city, at the old city hall and the main cathedral. We went through the city via the local university and visited a local small market squares (with lots of bars!). Next, walked to the “groot begijnhof”, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ultimately we looped back toward the train station, from which we went to the afternoon venue.

We took a couple of pictures of the tour, which are shown below. The first one is a stich of several photos, so it’s a bit distorted.

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - 01

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap:
Main square with city hall and cathedral

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - 03

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: inside the “Groot Begijnhof”

The above housing is now also used for students of the local university.

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - 02

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: “Groot Begijnhof” with local stream

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - 04

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: Local Church within the “Groot Begijnhof”

The city of Leuven is really a pretty and a lot of fun to visit! It’s high recommended to give it a try in you are in the area.

Day 2: Permaculture and Ethics

After the pretty but cold city tour we went for lunch and afterwards to a local hostel to do two more presentations. The first presentation was about ethics and how do deal with ethics and investing. It was a great session that was presented by Geld-is-tijd. A lively discussion followed.

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - Permaculture 101

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap – Permaculture 101
Source: http://survivalgardener.com/2015/03/getting-started-permaculture-garden/

After a short break session with coffee and delicious cake, the next presentation was about permaculture. If you like engineering, you have to love permaculture! It’s the most efficient way to use nature to your advantage and have maximum yield (for organic produce) and very little work. The sloths in us love this! However, we don’t have the right yard just yet, something we would like to work on in the future.

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap - Permaculture Presentation

Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap – Permaculture Presentation

For those interested in a basic Permaculture 101, you can download the presentation here: Leuven FIRE Meetup Recap: Permaculture

Next Meetup?

We are already making plans for a next meetup, this time we will visit Utrecht again. The plan is to do the meetup either the last weekend of June of the first weekend of July. Considering that “yours truly” will be travelling for a while, we decided to push back the next meetup until after we are back.

We are planning on a one day event, but if there is demand, we might stretch is into a two day event again! So if you want to join, please let us know and we will put you on the distribution list. If you have topics that you would like see discussed, let us know too! We still have some time to prepare.

 

Hope to see you next time!

 

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This is your final call for Leuven! If you still want to attend the next BENL FIRE meetup, let us know as soon as possible. We are currently having about 25-30 people confirmed for each day, so there are tons of people to chat with! No investing/frugal experience required, just the right attitude 😉

Final Call For Leuven!

For more details on what to expect, do go check this post. It contains tons of good references to previous encounters of the FIRE kind. However, this really is your last chance to register for the BENL FIRE meetup this coming weekend in the beautiful city of Leuven in Belgium! Don’t miss it 🙂

Final Call For Leuven, Belgium

Final Call For Leuven, Belgium
Source: https://www.toerismevlaamsbrabant.be/producten/bezoeken/bezienswaardigheden/oude-markt-leuven/

What Are We Planning?

The program for this weekend will look like this:

Saturday February 24, 2018:

  • 12:30 – 14:00: Warm welcome and informal chats;
  • 14:00 – 18:00: Presentations and discussions regarding Dividend Growth Investing (by yours truly)
  • 18:00 – 20:00: Dinner (local restaurant); and,
  • 20:00 – ??:??: Belgian BEER and other drinks + more informal chats.

Sunday February 25, 2018:

BENL Meetup in Leuven, Belgium

Final Call For Leuven, Belgium

How Much Is It?

You can attend either Saturday, Sunday or both days. Fees to cover various expenses are as follows:

  • Saturday: €8,-
  • Sunday: €12,-
  • Whole weekend: €20,-

Included in the fees are accommodation expenses, snacks and drinks for during the day. You are responsible for your own breakfast, lunches and dinner (as applicable).

Do you want to join?

Please drop us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/email (info @ “ourblogname”.nl) and we will add you to the (ever growing) distribution list!

 

Hope to see you this weekend!

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We are about two weeks away from a weekend of chatting about money, finances, FIRE, dividends, ethics and permaculture. We will likely also have some beer, eat some good food and go for a walk. Are you ready for the BENL FIRE Meetup in Leuven Belgium?

BENL FIRE Meetup in Leuven Belgium?

This is just friendly reminder that we will be getting together in the weekend of February 24 and 25, 2018. We will be meeting up in the beautiful city of Leuven in Belgium.

For more details on what to expect, do go check this post with many links to people that wrote about these meetups.

Please take note, we are targeting about 40 people for this meetup on both Saturday February 24 and Sunday February 25. We currently have about 10 spots left on Saturday and about 15 on Sunday. So you have some time to think about it, but don’t wait to long as we do a first come, first serve approach.

BENL Meetup Leuven Belgium

BENL FIRE Meetup in Leuven Belgium? Source: http://www.art7d.be/belLeuv1.html

What are we planning?

The general program for this weekend will look like this

Saturday February 24, 2018:

  • 13:00 – 14:00: Warm welcome and informal chats;
  • 14:00 – 18:00: Presentations and discussions regarding Dividend Growth Investing
  • 18:00 – 20:00: Dinner (local restaurant); and,
  • 20:00 – ??:??: Belgian BEER and other drinks + more informal chats.

Sunday February 25, 2018:

  • 10:00 – 12:00 Leuven City walking tour with Amber Tree Leaves as our tour guide;
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Brown bag lunch; and,
  • 13:00 – 16:00 Presentations and discussions about Permaculture and ethical investing.

The presentations about dividend investing, ethics and permaculture are being developed as you read this. However, if you have specific questions about these three topics (or if you want to add a 4th by doing a presentation yourself on Saturday), please let us know!

 

BENL Meetup

BENL FIRE Meetup in Leuven Belgium?

Do you want to join?

Please drop us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/email (info @ “ourblogname”.nl) and we will add you to the (ever growing) distribution list!

Hope to see you in two weeks!

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Amber Tree Leaves is still alive people! Spoke to him on Tuesday evening to discuss the upcoming BENL FIRE Meetup (Edition 5!). We are happy to announce more details of the next BENL FIRE Meetup – Leuven Edition. You in?

BENL FIRE Meetup – Leuven Edition

I hope that you are ready for another round of random internet dating with other FIRE enthusiasts. If you are, please mark your calendars for the weekend of February 24 and 25, 2018. We will be meeting up in the beautiful city of Leuven in Belgium.

This time around we are planning to make it into a weekend long event. As many of the Dutch (and other international visitors) will need to travel, the plan is to commence Saturday afternoon after lunch. We will conclude on Sunday afternoon, so there is sufficient time to travel home.

As per usual:

  • You are free to come and go as you please;
  • We will request the usual small fee to cover things like food, drinks and rental of the facilities/equipment. This usually boils down to around €10-15 per day (excluding breakfast/lunch/dinner!);
  • You are responsible for your own accommodation if you want to join for the full 2 days; and,
  • We strive to have the location(s) easily accessible by both car and public transport.

More details will be provided to all that register. Please take note, we are targeting a maximum of 40 people for this meetup on both Saturday 24 February and Sunday February 25.

BENL Meetup Leuven Belgium

BENL Meetup Leuven Belgium
Source: http://www.art7d.be/belLeuv1.html

What are we planning?

Not all details are clear just yet, but the general program for this weekend looks something like this.

Saturday February 24, 2018:

  • 13:00 – 14:00: Warm welcome and informal chats;
  • 14:00 – 18:00: Presentations and discussions (we are considering an afternoon about Dividend Growth Investing. For the discussions we are looking for your opinions, strategies, tips and tricks!)
  • 18:00 – 20:00: Dinner (local restaurant); and,
  • 20:00 – ??:??: Belgian BEER and other drinks + more informal chats.

Sunday February 25, 2018:

  • 10:00 – 12:00 Leuven City walking tour with Amber Tree Leaves as our tour guide;
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Brown bag lunch; and,
  • 13:00 – 16:00 Presentations and discussions about Permaculture and ethical investing.
BENL Meetup

BENL Meetup – Leuven Edition!

Why should you come?

Because it is entertaining, interesting  and simply put: great fun! It’s liberating to interact with people that think and act like you do. Yes, there are other people that don’t think it is weird to bring your own snacks/drinks! Go figure 🙂

If you want more motivations and some insights in previous meetups, have a look here (some posts are in Dutch):

Successful Eindhoven BENL FIRE Meetup

Big Fun – Utrecht meetup

Belgium-Netherlands Meetup

Meetup fun in Antwerp

https://hetrijkewijf.blogspot.nl/2017/06/fire-feeling-hot-hot-hot.html

http://hypotheekweg.blogspot.nl/2017/06/bloggers-bijeenkomst.html

Real Estate Investing; a Dutch Case Study

Is H.O.T the new F.I.R.E?

Antwerpen bijeenkomst

Do you want to join?

Please drop us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/email (info @ “ourblogname”.nl) and we will add you to the (ever growing) distribution list!

Looking forward to a whole weekend of financial and FIRE fun!

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Let’s have a drink! No, this post is not about buying your favorite liquor (will, maybe it is, it’s up to you 🙂 ). As the next BENL FIRE meetup is proposed for later February or Early March, we wanted to do something in between. So we devised a simple plan…..let’s have a drink!

The Plan?

The plan is rather simple actually, we name a location and venue(s) and you show up. How simple is that? No presentations or formal program for the day, no fees, just fun discussion and something to drink and eat. All at your own discretion of course (i.e. everyone pays for their own food and consumptions). We make no reservations anywhere, so be prepared to be flexible.

Obviously, similar to the meetups, the locations have to be easy to access by public transport, car and/or bicycle. But since we are lazy, we are currently planning to stick to cities in South-Holland so we keep our travel limited.

For this first drink we are proposing the beautiful city Gouda. Yes, from the Cheese (appropriate, isn’t it? You’d almost think we did this on purpose!). Potentially followed by places like Leiden, Haarlem, Delft, the Hague, Rotterdam, etc., if it’s a success (it’s up to you, no pressure).

Let's have a drink! - Gouda

Let’s have a drink! – Gouda
Source: https://www.holland.com/be_nl/toerisme/bestemmingen/provincies/zuid-holland/gouda.htm

Why?

We love meeting with people that are interested in personal finance, investing and FIRE. Same as you we struggle to find people in our daily lives to chat with, we hope that these informal meetings will help.

When?

Saturday December 30, 2017.

Location(s)?

The plan is to start after lunch at around 14:00 and meet at the “Siroopwafels & Banketbakkerij-Tearoom Van den Berg” in Gouda. For details have a look here: http://vd-berg.nl/contact-1

Let's have a drink - Stroopwafels

Let’s have a drink – Stroopwafels
Source: https://www.tripadvisor.nl/Restaurant_Review-g188628-d10302255-Reviews-Het_Stroopwafelwinkeltje-Gouda_South_Holland_Province.html

Between 17:00-19:00 we will just walk to the town square to get some dinner or a quick snack. If you want to join, make sure you are at the Tearoom before 17:00.

From about 19:00 onwards we will be at beer café “De Goudse Eend”. For details see here: http://www.cafedegoudseeend.nl/

Alternatives?

If you want to organize something yourself too, please do! But do let us know, we would love to come.

 

See you soon!

 

 

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It was a rather successful Eindhoven BENL Meetup, if I may say so myself. We had a total of 38 people (and one little person) join last Saturday to talk money and FIRE for the day. As with every event we have organized in the past, we walk away with lots of things to discuss and review. So many new ideas!

Eindhoven BENL Meetup

The group that met was quite diverse (as per usual), both in terms of bloggers and non-bloggers. Some people are FIRE already, other have no desire to become FIRE at all. This makes for great discussions and the ability to explore other viewpoints. We really enjoy this part of the event; random discussions with complete (internet) strangers and new friends.

That being said, we always try to make a program that is diverse in nature. However, due to time restrictions and the difficulty of finding presenters, this is always a challenge. The event in Eindhoven was this time geared towards the investing side of things with presentations on Cryctocurrencies and investing in Holdings (I’m in the process to see if we can make guest posts about the two presentations).

We also hosted the loverly Mr and Mrs W from Whatlifecouldbe. They are already FIRE and are actively working on a European version of the “Rockstar Finance” site: FIREhub.eu.

They also presented and provided information about a European FIRE event that they organize: FIWE. The next one is schedule for the summary of 2018. For more details, see the FIWE link above.

BENL FIRE Meetup Eindhoven

Many Cheese-heads at the BENL FIRE Meetup in Eindhoven

Other Bloggers

Obviously some of the bloggers make a short write up of these meetups, below is a summary of a few of them (mainly in Dutch!) from the Eindhoven edition last weekend:

http://geld-is-tijd.blogspot.nl/2017/11/de-ethiek-van-fire.html

EindhovenCon – FIRE meetup (2)

BENL Meetup Eindhoven

Next Time?

Of course we are going to continue with organizing these events. It is very rewarding and fun. The next event will likely be in February or March of 2018 in Leuven, Belgium. Those that attended the last few events will get an invite to propose their favorite days, from which we will select the final date (or dates, if we make this a weekend long event).

BENL Meetup Leuven Belgium

BENL Meetup Leuven Belgium
Source: http://www.art7d.be/belLeuv1.html

We are obviously already looking for new presentations and discussion topics. Some already proposed include:

  • Preferred Shares
  • Permaculture
  • The ethics of investing
  • Investment loans
  • Estate planning and inheritance
  • Financial Planners, are they worth a visit?

If you have a topic you are interested in, please let us know. If you want to present a topic yourself, you are encouraged to let us know too.

Amber Tree Leaves and us will keep you posted on the developments for the 5th BENL meetup.

 

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The next BENL Meetup is scheduled for coming Saturday November 4 in Eindhoven. We have had a few last minute cancellations and therefore have a few more spots available. If you still want to join, please leave us a comment! This will be a first come, first serve opportunity so don’t wait too long. We max out at 40 people for this event (due to the FIRE code, how ironic!), so that’s a lot of opinions, ideas and knowledge in one room!

BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

BENL FIRE Meetups – Financial Fun Since 2016

BENL Meetup – Eindhoven Edition – Final Call!

We will be having quite a internaltional group of people again, with folks coming all they way from Romania! It will be an all-day program with lots or interactions, discussions, fun, food and finance. It’s a great way to have an informal discussion on everyting finance, FIRE and personal situations without being looked as if you are nuts.

If you want an impression of what it’s like, check this post.

 

BENL Meetup

BENL Meetup – Eindhoven Edition!

The selected venue is in “downtown” Eindhoven and really easily accessible by public transport. Parking in not too bad, especially not if you don’t mind a short walk. More details will be provided to those that register!

What are we planning?

The program is now available and looks as follows:

  • 10:00-11:00 Doors open and general introductions;
  • 11:00-12:30 Financial speed dating (will make a couple of groups and have people rotate in 5 min sessions to get to know each other);
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch (Brown Bag);
  • 14:00-17:00 Presentations and discussions. Topics include a new European “Rockstar Finance” site, Crypto Currencies, investing in holdings and FIWE;
  • 17:00-18:30 Drinks and chats;
  • 18:30-19:00 Cleanup of venue & exit; and,
  • 19:00-?? Restaurant/Bars

Hope to see you soon!

Cheers.

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BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

Amber Tree Leaves and us are happy to announce that the next BENL Meetup is scheduled for Saturday November 4 in Eindhoven!

BENL Meetup – Eindhoven Edition!

Are you ready for another round of random internet dating for FIRE enthusiasts? We certainly are! So please mark your calendars for Saturday November 4. The Eindhoven area even has a (small) international airport, so you “international” folks could potentially fly in too.

We plan to make it an all-day program again, starting in the mid-morning and going all the way into the evening. You are free to come and go as you please. We will request the usual small fee to cover things like food, drinks and rental of the facilities/equipment. This usually comes down to around €10-15 for the day (excluding lunch/dinner!).

We strive to have the location(s) easily accessible by both car and public transport. More detail will be provided to all that register. But take note, we are targeting a maximum of about 35 people for this meetup. Don’t wait too long!

What are we planning?

Not all details are clear just yet, but the general program for the day looks as follows:

  • Warm welcome and informal chats;
  • Financial Speed Dating (yes, will try to actually do it this time around!);
  • Lunch (brown bag);
  • Informal chats;
  • Presentations and Discussion;
  • Dinner (pot luck style or restaurant); and,
  • Drinks and more informal chats.
BENL Meetup

BENL Meetup – Eindhoven Edition!

Why should you come?

Because it is great fun! It’s also nice to interact with people that think like you. People that don’t think it is weird to bring your own snacks/drinks  If you want more motivations and some insights in previous meetups, have a look here (some posts are in Dutch):

Big Fun – Utrecht meetup

Belgium-Netherlands Meetup

Meetup fun in Antwerp

https://hetrijkewijf.blogspot.nl/2017/06/fire-feeling-hot-hot-hot.html

http://hypotheekweg.blogspot.nl/2017/06/bloggers-bijeenkomst.html

Real Estate Investing; a Dutch Case Study

Is H.O.T the new F.I.R.E?

Antwerpen bijeenkomst

Please drop us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/email and we will add you to the list! Looking forward to another day of financial and FIRE fun with complete internet strangers, well, sort of.

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Austria - Castle

Last weekend we had our 3rd BENL (Belgium – Netherlands) FIRE meet-up in Utrecht and it was a blast! We had a total of 28 people show up to talk about money and freedom for the day. Many people we had never seen before, you got to love internet finance dating for strangers! We are pumped to do this again later this year and plans are already being made for that meetup. As part of the meetup I also did a short presentation: Real Estate investing – a Dutch Case study.

A slightly shorter version of this presentation is provided below. It includes some additional comments based on the feedback during the meetup. Note that this presentation is to provide some basics for property research and selection. It therefore lacks details! If you are really interested in finding the right property for you, additional detailed assessments are required. Such include risk assessments, investigation into the state of the property, taxes, a maintenance plan and more.

Property Screening

The first step into Real Estate investing is high level property screening. For this we use several sites to find properties that match our search criteria. Typical sites in the Netherlands include www.Funda.nl and www.beleggingspanden.nl. If you leave outside the Netherlands, do your search for your applicable sites, which should be easy (i.e. realtor.com, mls.ca, etc.).

Real Estate Case Study - Screening

Real Estate Case Study – Screening

Property Selection

Before you can make your property selection, you need to know what you want! Do you want commercial or residential rental unit? If residential, do you want a house, townhouse, condo or even a house boat (for Airbnb rentals).

Real Estate Case Study - Property Selection 1

Real Estate Case Study – Property Selection 1

Once you know what type of property you want, the next will be to look for one. You will have to select on price, location and the general state of the building/property. The latter is important as it affects the sales price. If you are handy and have time, a fixer-upper could be a good one. But if you are not, you should look for something that is ready to move in, but well priced.

Real Estate Case Study - Property Selection 2

Real Estate Case Study – Property Selection 2

The Condo Case Study

For this Case Study I ended up selecting a condo unit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This property looked appealing, some maintenance to be done in the bathroom, but generally in pretty OK shape. Price was reasonable too, but not spectacular. A perfect case study!

Real Estate Case Study - The Condo

Real Estate Case Study – The Condo

The Expenses

The first thing to look at are the expenses. We start with looking at the purchase expenses. These include costs for purchase, transfer taxes, notary and financing. Additional expenses could include urgent renovations, which are not assumed here. Please note that we assumed that there is some negotiation space for the price too (i.e. the lower purchase price)!

Real Estate Case Study - Expense Calculations 1

Real Estate Case Study – Expense Calculations 1

The next thing to look at are the monthly expenses for running the property. These include property management, insurance, maintenance, building management (i.e. condo fees), taxes and sewage fees. Because this is a condo, we only include about 1% for the maintenance reservation (otherwise it usually ranges between 2.5 and 3.5%). This allowance is to be used for kitchen and bathroom replacement, and any other things like flooring, lights, etc.

Property Management fees are included due to their tax advantages in the Netherlands (which makes this investment an Box 3 investment, rather than Box 1 income!). We also like the risk management side of things, as these guys have more screening tools than we do.

We included monthly fees and the selection fee (one month rent + VAT @ 21%). The latter is spread over 2 years (i.e. we expect new tenants every 2 years), which is slightly above average in this market segment.

Real Estate Case Study - Expense Calculations 2

Real Estate Case Study – Expense Calculations 2

Financing

We assumed we needed financing, so added an investment mortgage of €70k with an interest of 3.85% (5 year term). You might be able to get something cheaper, but will depend on your personal circumstance and other assets you may have.

We quickly calculated the total yearly mortgage costs and the cost of interest only. If you add that to the above expenses, you get the numbers at the bottom of the slide below. For cash-flow the maintenance reservation is not taken into account. As you won’t pay this every year, but likely in lumps  every couple of years. You may decide to do this differently when you are looking at a house. In which case you have yearly heating unit maintenance, for example.

Real Estate Case Study - Expense Calculations 3

Real Estate Case Study – Expense Calculations 3

The Income

Now the fun part starts, the money coming into the bank account! We normally use 3 scenarios for screeing purposes, so get some feel for the spread and associated cash-flow scenarios. These scenarios are based on 12 month occupation (best case), 11 months (base case) and 9 months (worst case). Albeit it should be noted that it could be way worse! For example if a tenant does not pay and you cannot evict due to strict tenant protection laws.

Real Estate Case Study - Income Calculations 1

Real Estate Case Study – Income Calculations 1

Now the next step is to find out net income, so after the expenses shown in the previous paragraph. When you do, this is what  you get:

Real Estate Case Study - Income Calculations 2

Real Estate Case Study – Income Calculations 2

Not bad, even in a worst case scenario you are still cash-flow positive! Well, at least you are close to breaking even, because utility costs are not included in the expenses for the 3 months you do not have a tenant. As a landlord you are responsible for these costs at about €15-30/month (subject to usage and utility rates).

Yields

So what does this all mean in terms of yield on your investment? The shown yields are not really great to be honest, especially considering the risks you take as a landlord. You kind of what to have a cash-flow yield around 8-10% in this leverage scenario. In short, you either have to get the property for less. If you cannot, you have to walk and look for something else.

Real Estate Case Study - Cash Flow Yields

Real Estate Case Study – Cash Flow Yields

In the ultimate scenario, when all the mortgage is paid off, you get the following (2017 price level: no inflation correction):

Real Estate Case Study - Ultimate Yields

Real Estate Case Study – Ultimate Yields

Not great yields, but your cashflow is likely about €4.5-5.0K average per year. With about 7 of these, and wealth taxes included, you would be FI!

Disclaimer and considerations

Some important assumptions and considerations apply to this simplified calculation, and its results:

Real Estate Case Study - Other Considerations

Real Estate Case Study – Other Considerations

If you have any questions, do leave a comment!

 

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BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

As you might have seen in earlier posts, we (Amber Tree Leaves and us) are organizing a Belgium-Netherlands (BENL) FIRE Meetup in Utrecht on Saturday June 17. We still have a few spots left, so if you want to join in, this is your last chance! Please leave us or Amber Tree Leaves a comment/drop us an email and we will get back to you.

The Tentative Program

The program is as follows:

  • 10:15-11:00 informal get-together in Utrecht, do some chatting and have a coffee or tea with a biscuit/cookie of your choice;
  • 11:00-12:00 Financial Speed Dating (one-on-one or two-on-two sessions of about 5 min each to get to know each other);
  • 12:00-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch (i.e. bring your own) and more informal chats
  • 14:00-17:00 Presentations and discussions. Topics to be presented and discussed include: alternatives ways to FIRE, part-time FIRE, FIRE in Europe and a Real Estate case study;
  • 17:00-18:00 Spare time in case we are having too much fun with the above;
  • 18:00-19:00 Do dinner together (bring your own / pot-luck, take-out or local restaurant);
  • 19:00-21:00 More chatting and some beers and close out of the evening; and,
  • 21:00-??:00 Party in Utrecht for the real Die-hards?

Other Details

Some other details that could be useful for you to know:

  • The venue in Utrecht is very close to a train station, but also has free local parking;
  • We will bring coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and a few light snacks (but please do bring some yourself if you can);
  • You bring your own lunch/dinner. For dinner we would recommend cold dishes like salads and pasta, or things that can be prepared without a kitchen. Otherwise you can order/get some food from local venues (pizzeria/snack-bar/local super market);
  • Costs will likely range around €10-12 pp, including beverages/light snacks. But is subject to the final number of people attending (more is better here!);
  • You don’t have to be a Blogger! Partners are welcome too; and,
  • You can come and leave whenever you want.

With under one week to go, we are slated to have some serious financial fun. We hope to see you all in Utrecht!

P.s. for those that are on the email distribution and have confirmed they are attending, details will be send to you later today!

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BENL FIRE Meetups - Financial Fun Since 2016

As noted earlier by both us and Amber Tree Leaves, we have another meetup scheduled for June 17. We have a maximum of 35 spots available and we are now already at about 20+ 25 confirmed people. But we have room for more! Do you fancy a date with complete internet strangers and talk money? This is  your chance 🙂

The Tentative Program

The tentative program is as follows, but we are happy to make adjustments if you have a brilliant idea:

  • 10:00-11:00 informal get-together in Utrecht, do some chatting and have a coffee of thee with a biscuit/cookie of your choice;
  • 11:00-12:00 Financial Speed Dating (one-on-one or two-on-two sessions of about 5 min each to get to know each other)
  • 12:00-14:00 Brown Bag Lunch (i.e. bring your own) and more informal chats
  • 14:00-17:00 Have a couple of fun presentations and discussions;
  • 17:00-18:00 Spare time in case we are having too much fun with the above
  • 18:00-19:00 Do dinner together (bring your own / potluck, take-out or local restaurant)
  • 19:00-21:00 More chatting and some beers and close out of the evening.
  • 21:00-??:00 Party in Utrecht for the real die hards?l 

Discussions and Presentations

Based on the previous meeting in Antwerp and feedback from many of you, the following topics could be presented during the meetup:

  • Life in the rear view mirror (a financial life in review)
  • The mystery portfolio (submit your portfolio, with as much or as little detail as you want for an blind review by the group. To get some various views on the matter)
  • Real Estate – what to consider and a case study
  • Crowdfunding – good idea or not?
  • How to be self-sufficient
  • When do you have enough and how do you get out?
  • Etc.

Let us know what you are interested in, and we will try to make an interesting afternoon program for you! Do you want to present, please let us know too! Still need one or two people/volunteers.

Other Details

And finally some other details that could be useful for you to know:

  • The venue in Utrecht is very close to a train station, but also has free local parking!
  • We will bring coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and a few light snacks (but please do bring some yourself if you can)
  • You bring your own lunch/dinner. For dinner we would recommend cold dishes like salads and pasta, or things that can be prepared without a kitchen. Otherwise you can order/get some food from local venues (pizzaria/snackbar/local super market).
  • Costs will likely range around €10-15 pp, including beverages/light snacks. But is subject to the final number of people attending (more is better here!)
  • We need someone who can bring a projector for the presenations (Chris, are you still on?)
  • You don’t have to be a blogger! Partners are welcome too.
  • As noted, we can have a maximum of 35 people.

With exactly one more month to go, we are slated to have some serious financial fun. We hope to see you all in Utrecht!

P.s. for those that are on the email distribution list but have not confirmed, please let me know if you want to join (and with how many).

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Antwerp Meetup

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the Saving Rate for the Month of January, let’s review our Meetup on Antwerp last Saturday (February 4). We personally had a great time, we enjoyed the presentations, discussions and the great open atmosphere in the room. We had over 20 people show up for this event, some bloggers, some not, some for a second time, some new, some young, some “not so young anymore”. In short, it was a very fun very interesting day. Thank you everyone for attending and your inputs, it was awesome!

We are seriously looking forward to the next event and have a long list of ideas that we want to pass by you all for some feedback and inputs! So keep eye on your mail box (for those whom attended one of the last two events), this blog or that of  Amber Tree Leaves.

January Finances

Ok, back to the financial stuff again: The Savings Rate. January was again a “normal” month (after the really spectacular November and December months of last year) from a saving rate perspective. Let’s have a quick look at what happened:

  • Regular (so one each) incomes from Mr. and Mrs. CF where deposited in the checking account;
  • There was a surprise in crowdfunding income. One project actually went bankrupt (second issue out of 34 projects) but was bought out by another party! We suddenly got paid out the total remainig loan! Lovely, 7.5% interest on 13 months and full investment back. Bring on more of those! Total “income” (interest and principal payments) from crowdfunding was €355;
  • No surprises on the living side of things. But we did finally get the bill for the roof replacement and repair work done in 2016. This was a rather “pleasant” surprise (for as far as a bill is pleasant), as it was a couple hundred lower than we expected and came in at just over 513 (it also helped that Mr. CF assisted to contractor in his work). No complaining at all!
  • Other costs in the Living and Healthcare category included some sewage taxes (€109), quarterly water bill (€41) and insurance premiums (€182);
  • Transport costs are increasing due to using our car again to get to work (company car is gone). Total costs for the month included about €336, which is primarily fuel (€112), road tax (€179) and insurance (€25);
  • Grocery costs were lower than normal this month, as we are still partially living off the large shopping spree from last December. Total spend was about €266;
  • The kid category was pretty stable too, not much more spend than the day care fees (net fees are about €950 – looking forward to Miss CF going to school by the end of this year, should cut the costs down to about 1/3rd or less!);
  • Travel and Leisure included some activities with Miss CF (skating on a market square). We also had tons of birthdays in January, so lot’s of “free” entertainment (gifts, if any, are covered in the “other” category); and,
  • Other items included a replacement charger for the our camera battery (€23) and a transformer (58) for the PS3 we brought back from Canada.

January Savings Rate 

All the above boiled down to a savings rate of 55.8%, we are pretty happy with that, because this is about as good as it gets for us! 

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

How was your Savings Rate for January? Where you happy with the results, if not, why?

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