In the last few years, the demand for property in Malta has shot through the roof, thanks to the destination’s agreeable weather, beautiful landscape, friendly locals, and a stable economy. However, if you’re thinking of buying an apartment in Malta for the first time, then you might want to keep the following tips in mind.
A first-time buyer guide to purchasing an apartment in Malta
- Location: One of the most important considerations to make when shopping around for apartments in Malta is the location. Do you want an apartment that’s close to your place of work? Is being close to the ocean or natural landscape important to you? What about the proximity of the apartment to local schools and universities? You may also want to contemplate the area’s proximity to public transportation if you won’t be driving.
- Take Your Time: One of the biggest mistakes that people make when looking for property of any kind (apartments included) is to make a purchase based on the first few properties that they’re offered. However, as real estate mogul Robert Kiyosaki would say, it’s better to take your time and look through a plethora of different options first before you make your final decision. Approaching apartment buying with this mindset will ensure that you don’t settle for anything but the best, and at the end of the day you’ll find an apartment that meets your needs and preferences.
- Get a Reliable Real Estate Agent: As a first-time buyer, you need all the help you can get to find and purchase an apartment that ticks all the boxes. One of the things you should look out for in a real estate agent is their level of experience. You don’t want someone that’s still ‘green’ or inexperienced because they probably won’t have access to the best deals and their negotiation skills are probably not the best either. Experience also comes in handy when looking for an apartment in a particular area, because it means the agent probably knows the areas you’re interested in like the back of their hand, and they’ll organize viewings and follow up on everything until the sale has been completed. One of the first places you should look in order to find an agent of this caliber is at the prestigious www.maltasothebysrealty.com agency, which is known for its excellent service and having some of the best apartments on the island.
- Securing Your Apartment: Once you’ve found an apartment that you really like and have decided to make the purchase, you’ll be required to sign a document known as ‘Konvenju’, which is basically a commitment from both the buyer and the seller that the transaction will be concluded on a specific date. Now the conditions set out in a Konvenju agreement differ from scenario to scenario, but one thing’s for sure and it’s the fact that you’ll also be required to pay 1% of the sale amount upfront as part of the provisional stamp duty payment, which makes up 5% of the original price of the apartment.
The Konvenju agreement is also put in place to give the Notary Public enough time to do their due diligence on the property and find out whether or not there are any liens or outstanding debts on the apartment. Meanwhile, it gives you as the buyer an opportunity to check on building permits and secure a bank loan if necessary, and these are just some of the conditions and requirements that are set out in the Konvenju agreement for both the buyer and seller to fulfill.
- Final Signing: Once both parties have fulfilled the conditions set out in the Konvenju agreement and you’re satisfied with everything so far, you can then proceed to sign the Final Deed. This part of the process is usually done at the legal offices of the local bank where you’ll be securing the loan, at your real estate agent’s offices or at the Notary Public’s offices. You don’t have to worry about signing anything you don’t understand, as the whole document will be read aloud prior to the actual signing. Only then will you be allowed to pay any outstanding amounts, including 1% in Notary Fees to the Notary Public, the remaining stamp duty balance which will be paid to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, as well as remaining balance of the seller’s price.
Citizens of other European Union states that are looking to purchase an apartment in Malta are required by law to get an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (AIP), which is issued out by the Ministry of Finance. You’ll have to wait about 6 to 8 weeks for your application to be finalized, and only then can you proceed to purchase an apartment. Apartment prices in Malta usually start at €101,551 for a modestly sized Lm43, 596 unit.
The great news about buying real estate in Malta is that you won’t have to pay any property tax on your apartment, and the law will allow you to rent out your apartment if you like, so you can make extra cash whenever you’re on vacation or out of the country for extended periods of time.