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Buying an Old vs New home

Decisions Decisions : Buying a new vs an old house

When it comes to choosing your new home there are many factors that come into play such as location and the property's layout. Another major decision is to determine whether to go for a new construction or opt for an older, lived-in build. Whilst for some this is an easy choice to make, for others it may come as a very big dilemma. But fret not, once a decision is taken this can help narrow down your options and give you greater focus in the search of your new home.

There's no denying the allure of an old, traditional home. However, once the actual home search begins, many start to question whether it would be more sensible to buy a new construction.

This article addresses the several pros and cons of purchasing an old construction and a newly built property to help you make a more informed decision.

Buying an old property: The Advantages

  • History, character and charm: There is something about the grand architectural features, the whimsical patterned flooring and the high ceiling that attracts many a prospective home owner. These features which are lacking in modern builds are usually the most attractive features of a traditional building.
  • Investment value: Older properties that are renovated usually offer great returns as the value of the property increases.
  • Financial assistance: In recent years increased awareness of the importance of preserving our architectural areas especially in town centres have resulted in a number of assistance initiatives from the government. These include financial assistance to restore vacant properties, and grants on facade restoration in village cores.
  • Older properties tend to be built on larger plots, hence with larger rooms and higher ceilings.
  • Buying a property that is already built gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the place without the need to imagine how a place will look like as one has to do when buying a new build on plan. This makes it easier for prospective owneres to picture whether this house could become their home or whether it works for their lifestyle.

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Buying an old home: The Disadvantage

  • Costs: Energy bills and renovation costs are mucher higher when it comes to older builds. Apart from aesthetic renovation, there might be other issues that will be very costly such as damaged plumbing and electricity or roof damage. Make sure you are aware of these costs prior to committing to the purchase to avoid making a costly mistake.
  • Harder to find: If your heart is set on buying a traditional build, you might be in for a challenge as the current inventory of traditional homes is much smaller than that of new builds

Buying a new home: The Advantages

  • A major advantage of buying a new build is that you'd be the first to inhabit the building. It is clean, untouched, and everything is (and smells) brand new. New builds have the newest amenities, new plumbing and new electricity connections.  You can rest assured that  you'll be the first person to use the shower in your brand new bathroom and the first to sleep in your new bed. This is the number one reason why some people prefer to purchase a new home.
  • Modern homes have features that are more in tune with modern lifestyles. As the time people spend at home reduces, people lean towards home layouts that allow them to make better use of their time at home such as open floor plans, instead of enclosed and more formal rooms.
  • Apart from lower utility bills, modern builds require less maintenance since there will be little or no need for renovation for quite some time.
  • Modern homes can be more convenient and cost efficient and save you a lot of money on energy bills due to eco features such as solar panels, smart appliances and double glazing
  • It is easier to personalise a modern  build to your own taste especially if the property is purchased on plan, in shell form or unfurnished, giving the new owner the opportunity to choose the style and colours they might prefer.

Buying a new home: The Disadvantages

  • More of the same: Most modern builds tend to have similar layouts with very few characteristics setting them apart, making such buildings short of character and charm as opposed to older builds.
  • Buying a new build is not a guarantee that you will not need to renovate or maintain the building. Whilst the likelihood is much less likely, the recent property and construction boom has unfortunately given way to malpractice in the industry. Therefore you need to do your due diligence and make sure that you purchase a property from reputable suppliers

We sure hope that this article has helped you get a clearer idea of which home is the right choice for you. In reality, as long as your decision is well informed, there is no right or wrong decision.

Looking for a traditional home and ready for a good renovation project. Find a property with "good bones" and go for it. Loving the feel of an old home but dreading the renovation process? Shop around. You might be able to find a home that has been recently renovated to your tastes. Do you live a modern lifestyle and want your home to reflect this? Your options are endless.

Whatever you are looking for, our agents would love to assist you. Engel & Volkers agents are professionally trained to make sure no detail is spared when it comes to your property search. We'll make sure to keep you in the know with regards to the best properties coming in the market with insider information that you'll only get from industry experts. Get in touch with us today on +356 23470000


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Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

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Real Estate for Sale and To Let  with Engel & Völkers

Engel & Völkers Sara Grech is the luxury real estate agent that specialises in exclusive properties for sale and to let in Malta. With more than 30 years’ experience, we are one of Malta’s most successful real estate agencies

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a thriving cultural hub that has long been a popular destination amongst expatriates and tourists alike. Partnered with the real estate agency Engel & Völkers, finding a property for sale or rent in Malta is a breeze, and in no time at all, you'll have a spacious apartment with a view or a villa with numerous bedrooms to call your own.

Living and working in Malta

Home to more than 450,000 inhabitants, Malta is the smallest country to join the European Union in 2004. In 2008, it became part of the Eurozone. Though Malta is well-known as a popular tourist destination with plenty of recreational areas and historical monuments including nine UNESCO world heritage sites, it is not known for its luxury properties and real estate for sale and rent! Besides having first-class accommodation, Malta is home to numerous companies and industries ranging from banking and financing to construction, retail, and i-gaming. Working in Malta requires the proper permits, and those seeking employment are encouraged to find a suitable job before moving into their purchased or rented property.

A new residency scheme was launched in June 2013 which allows people to buy a high-value property and pay taxes in Malta to benefit from the residence permit. Under the new Global Residence Programme, the value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners has a minimum threshold of €275,000. However, when the property is in the South of Malta or on the sister island of Gozo, the minimum value is reduced to €220,000. This new scheme also allows persons eligible if they wished to rent a property and this has been lowered to €9,600 in Malta and €8750 in Gozo or the South of Malta. The minimum tax to be paid under this scheme is a minimum of €15,000 on income derived in Malta, further income arising in Malta shall be taxed at a flat rate of 35%.

Real estate and property for sale and rent in Malta

Malta has several Special Designated Areas that offer a wide variety of properties to buy or rent! Whether you are looking for a new luxury apartment with views of the Portomaso marina or an expansive villa situated in Santa Maria Estate, our team will help you find a property for rent or sale that suits your needs. From apartments with a view to villas with several, we have it all.

After you've purchased property

For such a small island, Malta is packed with amazing things to see and do. From visiting historic sites to relaxing on beautiful beaches. Visitors can take their pick of activities which will suit any mood or taste.

A selection below are the top destinations that any person should see when coming to Malta. These include Valletta; Mdina; Paceville; Blue Lagoon (Comino Island) and Gozo

Valletta recently voted the European Capital for Culture for 2018 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valletta is the hub of tourism in Malta and for good reason. It is full of historical significance, with the likes of St John’s Cathedral, forts, and museums and much more squeezed into a tiny area. As far as beautiful towns go with plenty to see, Valletta is up there with the best.

Mdina is known as the jewel in the crown of Malta and it is a fair assessment. The walled city is full of tiny alleys which you can wind your way through, stumbling across beautiful churches and museums along the way. Now effectively part of the town of Rabat, this definitely shouldn’t be left off your Maltese itinerary.

Malta has a reputation for being a destination for the older generation, but Paceville puts lie to that. This is where the youngsters come to drink and party and you can rely on having a good evening out here. It’s not just loud music for teenagers either; there are plenty of civilized bars and restaurants if you don’t want to rave into the early hours.

A beautiful area of clear blue water which is fantastic for swimming and is the perfect place for a day out at the beach. Arguably the best place for swimming in the whole Mediterranean, the Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino.

Just a 30-minute ferry trip away from Malta, Gozo is a beautiful, rural island which gives you a glimpse into what Malta looked like a few decades ago. Sleepy villages, rugged coastline, and beautiful countryside all make this a fantastic place to visit. But one of the main draws is the diving off the coast. Malta has been named as one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and Gozo is one of the best spots to do it.

No matter where your interests lie, Malta has you covered; with Engel & Völkers Sara Grech by your side, your home in this beautiful part of the world is also covered. Contact us today to find out more about our villas, apartments and other properties for sale and rent!

For more information on Malta and our Real Estate Services please click on the following: 

Malta the Perfect Location l Exclusive Properties l Buying a Property in Malta and Gozo l Expenses when Buying a Property l Energy Performance Certificate l First Time Buyers l The Malta Individual Investors Programme l Buy to Let l Special Designated Areas