Buying a property in Malta requires lots of planning and plenty of difficult decisions. But first things first, you will need to decide whether you will buy a property on plan, or ready to move into. Both options have different pros and cons and will be more suited to one kind of buyer over another. To figure out which is best for you, dive into Bernards Real Estate’s comprehensive guide.
What does buying on plan mean?
Buying on plan in Malta means purchasing a property that is either not built yet, or is under construction. In many countries, this is known as ‘off plan’, but here in Malta, we always like to be different. Essentially, you buy it based on the plan, without seeing it ‘in real life’. In Malta, where there are currently lots of new builds, buying on plan is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, many properties in desirable complexes or locations are snapped up instantly, sometimes before the foundations are even laid.
If you are looking for a new build in an up-and-coming area, you will be buying on plan. Therefore, you must know the benefits of on plan vs ready-to-move-into and what the process entails.
What does ready-to-move-into mean?
Ready-to-move-into is the type of purchase we are most familiar with. You see a listing you like, you go and visit, it is already built, and you buy it and move in almost instantly. This is a property that has already been built and has even potentially been lived in previously. Most of the internal fittings are likely in place, such as floors, windows, staircases, balconies, and even kitchens and bathrooms. Sometimes, you may find properties complete with furniture, AC and white goods! Essentially, a ready-to-move-into property can be moved into by the time the ink is dry on the contract, or at least very shortly afterwards. They are the most popular kind of properties in Malta at the moment.
What are the benefits of ‘on plan’?
There are many benefits to buying ‘on plan’ in Malta. Here are just a few;
Buying on plan gives you time: When you buy on plan, you also buy yourself time. When you buy a finished property, there can be a lot of competition and a short period between finding it and signing on the dotted line. But buying on plan gives you additional time to budget, save, plan as well as take advantage of discounts that come when you purchase in this way. You even have more time to get your financing or cash in order, as you don’t have to pay the balance until the property is built. This gives you time to shop around for the right loan, increase your deposit, or make sure you have more money in hand for the interior.
Buying on plan gives you creative control: Another bonus of buying on plan is that you have control over almost every aspect of the build and interior process. You can change the floor plan, and choose tiles, colour, floors, and finishes. All of these matters can be decided upon before you sign. This allows you to tailor your new home to your budget, tastes, and expectations before setting your foot in the door.
Buying on plan gives you peace of mind: When buying on plan in Malta, you can enjoy peace of mind as you liaise with the builders from day one. Rather than moving into a property without knowing who built it, you have full oversight and can meet them face-to-face. This provides greater accountability and transparency throughout the process for all buyers and investors.
Buying on plan saves you money: Last but not least, buying on plan saves you money. You can enjoy a discount for buying in advance and potentially pay less for any mortgage and interest. In addition, you have more time to furnish your home, meaning you can shop around and find the best deals. Overall, purchasing a property on plan can save you money when compared to buying an already finished unit. Additionally, because you have specified how you want the apartment to be, you won’t have to spend money making changes.
And the negatives?
However, buying on plan is not for everyone. Negatives to this approach include:
- It takes a lot of time from signing the contract to moving in;
- It consumes your time as you need to be involved in planning and decision-making;
- You need to make sure your developer is reputable;
- You are buying a property without ever seeing it.
What are the benefits of ready-to-move-into?
When buying a property that is ready-to-move-into, there are a variety of benefits you can enjoy.
Ready-to-move-into means you know what you will get: When you buy a ready-to-move-into property, you know what you are getting before you buy. This means there is nothing in the way of pleasant or unpleasant surprises. You can assess the quality, the location, and the structure before signing on the dotted line. It is advisable to bring in an architect or surveyor once you find a property you like to ensure everything is in order as well as knowing who built the house, how you can assess its current state as well as its future potential.
Ready-to-move-into is quick: Another plus point with ready-to-move-into properties is that you can move into them almost instantly. You don’t have to wait around for work to finish or even start- rather, once all paperwork is in order, you can start enjoying your property immediately. For those who have a deadline, want to avoid renting, or are moving to the country and need a base, this makes ready-to-move-into a much better option. If the property needs renovation, you can opt to do this beforehand or while you are living in it, depending on your circumstance.
Ready-to-move-into lets you try before you buy: Buying on plan is not risky, but there is always a risk you may not like the final product. Maybe it looks different when finished, or it does not meet your standards or expectations. Perhaps the finishes don’t look how you envisaged, or there are environmental issues such as light and noise that are less than desirable. There is also always the risk that the finished property just doesn’t feel right; therefore, ready-to-move-into could be a better solution. Walking around the property and seeing it at different times of day allows you to really get a feel for what it will be like to live there.
Ready-to-move-into is better for certain buyers: If you want to live in an older property such as a townhouse, old farmhouse, or another kind of older building, you will have to opt for ready- to-move-into. Some people prefer to live in older properties with a different character and style. Therefore, that is the best solution in these cases.
And the negatives?
But of course, there are some negatives to buying ready-to-move-into property in Malta too, namely;
- You don’t always know the history;
- There can be renovation and fixing costs;
- They can be pricier to heat and cool if they are older and don’t have modern equipment installed;
- It is kitted out, to someone else’s taste.
Whether you are looking for an on plan property or a ready-to-move-into property, Bernards Real Estate is here to assist. Our team of professionals can help you find the perfect property for you, while guiding you through the buying process. To find out more and start your search, contact us here, today.