Why buy a House with a Garden in Malta?
When one flies into Malta, it is very clear from the air that multi-storey apartment blocks make up the majority of properties to be found here. The reason for Malta’s apartment boom is that it is affordable to first-time buyers, countless families, investors and retirees that want the convenience and security of a lock-up and go home.
Due to the islands’ size, land comes at a price and homes that have extra outdoor space may be sought-after but comes at a price. This however has not stopped the increase in demand for homes with gardens, especially houses of character. A house of character is a win-win on all sides: you have a big property, it almost always comes with outdoor space and is full of charming features and history to boot! Other types of property that also include gardens will be terraced houses, some ground-floor maisonettes, bungalows and villas.
Houses of character can be found all over the islands of Malta and Gozo, but their numbers are limited and due to the unbelievable demand experienced, their prices as investments have soared. This is especially true for those that have been modernised and renovated. In some areas there are waiting lists for updated houses of character, leaving would-be owners no choice but to buy unrenovated houses of character, but this means that they can add their own stamp on the property during renovations and upgrades. Prices are also more favourable for unrenovated houses of character and one can be eligible for several incentives made available by the government. These are as per a newsbook.com.mt article from October 12, 2021:
Some of the benefits of owning a holiday home in Malta:
- First-time buyers are eligible for a grant of up to €15,000 when purchasing a property in an urban conservation area (UCA). This amount is €30,000 for Malta’s sister island of Gozo.
- This also applies to buyers of properties that have been standing vacant for longer than seven years, given that the property was built at least 20 years ago, and
- incentives are available for new properties that are built in the traditional Maltese architectural style.
- For restorers of these types of buildings that qualified for a grant, incentives are available that apply to the total amount of VAT an owner has paid up to €54,000 for the first €300,000 paid in lieu of costs pertaining to restoration and/or the refining of these properties.
The charm and characteristics of a house of character
- Houses of character were constructed to accommodate larger families and usually had anywhere from two to four or even more bedrooms, most of them on the upper levels.
- Favourable distinctions of these homes were their inner or back courtyards, many leading off to large garden areas, offering respite and shade during the hot summers.
- Many houses of character have swimming pools that may be in- or outdoors.
- Upon entering a house of character, one will usually find an entrance hall with passages leading off to other parts of the house.
- In older houses of character, access to the upper levels or bedrooms are nearly always by means of an external staircase.
- Houses of character are usually spread over several floors and many may have their own basements or even wells.
- Some examples include outbuildings and the general layout of rooms were traditionally separated and intended for specific use, such as bedrooms with separate bathrooms, a dining room, a separate kitchen and landings providing access to each floor.
- Houses of character have become national treasures and symbols of Malta’s past.
- Houses of character are perfect for large families, holiday homes or to convert into guest houses, BnB’s and country hotels.
As always in the case of historic buildings, sympathetic renovation is key and one may have to improve and upgrade essentials such as ventilation, plumbing, waterproofing and electrics when buying unrenovated. The results can be truly dazzling: the combination of classic architecture, stainless steel and glass paired with antique furniture or modern minimalism never goes out of style!