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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Property Types

9th June, 2017
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Buying a property is never an easy task, whether you are a first-time buyer or not, but by being aware of the different advantages and disadvantages of different property types, you will be able to make more informed decisions!

In this post, we are going to explore the different advantages and disadvantages of four main property types; apartment, detached house, townhouse and house of character.

Looking at the different pros and cons of these property types is the first step in understanding which property type suits your lifestyle and needs.



  • Many apartments nowadays are being sold refurbished with the latest modern design finishings and soundproof walls, double glazed windows and balcony doors. You will not need to make changes to it unless you buy an old one.
  • The community pays an annual fee for repairs and maintenance of the common parts.
  • Certain amenities, such as security and a community pool or yard may be included.
  • Great locations and fascinating views. It is less problematic to find an apartment in the area you desire than finding a house, such as St Julians and Sliema. Moreover, your apartment can have excellent views of the countryside, beach, etc…
  • Apartments are usually situated close to amenities such as stores, offices, clothes shops, if not at the centre of towns. An apartment in the centre means you’ll be just few meters away from satisfying every need you may have.
  • Effortless cleaning. Apartments are smaller and require less cleaning, which could allow you to have more time on your hands especially if you have a busy lifestyle.
  • The size of apartments also results in spending fewer resources (electricity, gas, water).
  • Security and safety. Most complexes are usually protected with a gated system and have multiple cameras across the building.


  • Although modern apartments have soundproof walls, privacy might still be an issue.
  • Parking can be a problem if the complex doesn’t have a garage.
  • Space is limited, especially personal outdoor space. You most likely will not have a backyard or garden, although you might share a communal yard.
  • Styling restrictions. Whilst finding a ready-to-move in apartment can be extremely beneficial, on the other hand, sometimes landlords will not allow you to make any changes such as painting the walls to the colour of your desire. Therefore you might be limited in how much you can personalize your space.


A townhouse is like halfway between an apartment and a house in terms of space and facilities. It is a house connected to others in a row, usually with space for a small backyard.

Currently, there is an ongoing trend in Malta of buying old townhouses and converting them into little havens.

In some cases, a townhouse might even prove to be an ideal option for first-time buyers who wish to renovate their home over time according to their personal tastes.


  • Size and location can differ. However, as a general rule townhouses are a halfway between an apartment and a house in terms of space and facilities, making it a balance of affordability and privacy.
  • A townhouse is ideal for a family or a couple who want their privacy and perhaps a yard or small garden to entertain.
  • A townhouse also defines particular Maltese rustic character.
  • A typical single family home is larger and comes with a yard.


  • Some walls are shared with neighbours, which decreases privacy.
  • Townhouses might still retain some old features which you can either like or not like.
  • Depending on the house, the way it is sectioned might not be an open-plan for your family.
  • The garden or backyard might be too small for some families.

Detached House

A detached house is a single structure with its surrounding property, though it can vary in terms of architecture, size, and location.


  • Offers great space and privacy
  • Usually has a large backyard; great for families with children and to entertain
  • Possibility of a pool, or space for a pool
  • Value usually increases over time especially if some changes are made, which makes it a great investment
  • Storage space allows for more material possessions, whether for hobbies or bulk buys.


  • Maintenance can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Cleaning is a bigger job.
  • Prices may be higher than other types of homes.

House of Character

Beautiful and authentic, house of characters have a unique personality and are a wonder in themselves.

However, on the downside, such a house can come with a steep price in upkeep and renovations to meet the needs of your family and your modern tastes.


  • It is very likely that you will pay less for an older home like this. Of course, it also depends on its condition, but generally, a modern house of more or less the same size of a house of character will cost more. Therefore, you can get great space for a great price.
  • In most cases, you will be able to move in immediately and have renovations whilst you are settled in your home. Whilst this might be inconvenient due to the chaos that refurbishing may entail, at least you won’t have to wait for the finishings of a to be concluded. When you buy in shell form, you may have to wait a year or more before you can move into the empty property. Therefore, you can personalize your home while you are living in it. Also, some buyers love the style of the previous owner and they can often strike a deal to keep furniture or accessories that they like. You can save a lot of money if you manage to buy a home with furnishings that you like.


  • Whilst an older home will cost you less for the great space it provides, at the same time, if it is in a bad state, it can cost you a lot of renovation expenses. For example: the plumbing and electricity might not conform with modern building requirements. This is why it is important to look at and consider the state of different systems in a home e.g. wiring, plumbing, air conditioning, etc. to make sure they are modern, efficient and safe. Replacing these systems can be expensive. Older windows may also need to be replaced and maybe better insulation put in place.

And there you have it – the top 4 property types in Malta assessed. We hope you have found our post helpful in finding your dream home! Contact us at Frank Salt Real Estate and we will be more than happy to find the right property for you.

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