Does it mean that house is outside of the city, like 'Nederland is ten noorden van België' (obviously, the Nederlands is not in Belgium). Or does it mean that the house is in the northern part of the city. If yes than how to distinguish the first and the second case?
Is the "ten" needed in this sentence because "noorden" is a noun rather than an adjective?
Yes I think so. If I'm not mistaken this is a remnant of the grammatical case system that used to exist in Dutch, so it is a form of te which is still used for cardinal directions. Another one similar to this is ten opzichte van x = when compared to x.
Yes, when you're indicating (to the) north/east/northeast/etc. of you use ten noorden/oosten/noordoosten/etc. van. Something like I'm from the north is simply Ik kom uit het noorden.
So essentially the "ten" signifies "to the" ... as in "to the north" of the city?
I thought I might sneak in another translation using "ten" as tends but, nope, "My house tends to the north of the city"... won't cut it! ;) Just thought I'd try it!
I would strongly disagree if it had been accepted. You can't really use "tends" about the location of an immovable object like a house. You can say: "my house tends to be cold", or: "it tends to be noisy", but not: "it tends to the north of the city". You could say: "it is towards the north of the city" (although it's not the correct translation here), but if you say: "It tends to the north..." it sounds as if it has an annoying habit of creeping northward - not very likely, of a house! :)
I would tend to agree with you, but at least one online dictionary has this definition: "go or move in a particular direction. "the road tends west around small mountains".... Different places tend to use words in different ways. That said, I do agree that to "tend" would most likely indicate a leaning or motion. :)
I agree that a road can "tend", because although it is an inanimate object, it "goes somewhere"! However, I still don't think it can be used in that way of a house, unless it's literally on a landslip or something. Due to constant coastal erosion, we have many properties in the UK that are "tending towards" the edge of a cliff! But "tend" still describes motion, habit, or inclination. It's not an alternative to just being somewhere.
I see someone has already asked whether this means that the house is in the north part of the town, or outside the town and north of it, but there doesn't seem to have been a reply yet, and I am wondering the same.
Not a native speaker, but I think it means it is outside the town and north of it. That is also what the English sentence 'My house is north of the city' means. 'My house is in the north of the city' would be 'Mijn huis is in het noorden van de stad' Native speakers, correct me if I'm wrong.