Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Malta Regional Market Center > Blog > Modular homes: what are they and could they be right for you?

Modular homes: what are they and could they be right for you?

The traditional housing model of the 21st century is changing. You might consider a ‘typical’ progression for an average homeowner – although everyone’s property journey is unique – to begin with a smaller starter home, followed by ‘moving up’ the housing ladder to a larger family-sized property, with an eventual downsize or diversification of properties once any children have left home.

But have you ever wondered about a house that could grow and change with you? Architects have been playing with this idea and think that modular housing could hold the answer.

- What's the difference between a modular home and a traditional home? Would you invest?

What is a modular home?

The modular construction model means that a home is prefabricated and assembled rather than built in situ – a key difference compared with traditional Western building practices. There is usually one base module (a room or group of rooms) that can be added to or simplified at the design stage, or as needs change over time. This could involve, for instance, the addition of an extra storey above the base or an extension to the rear or side.

Modular houses are not the same as mobile homes, as they have solid foundations; it’s simply that modular construction takes place before the building arrives at the site. Once your chosen house design has been prefabricated, it is transported to the site and installed, ready for you to move in.

These structures must still be built by professional builders, carpenters and teams of architects and designers, so as usual, you should check that your chosen company has all the requisite certificates and professional experience. You should also take care to carefully estimate construction costs in order to avoid surprises later in the construction process. When considering whether to invest in a modular home, its also important to know that in most countries, taxes and mortgage conditions are the same whether your property is an on-site build or a prefabricated construction.

What are the advantages of prefabricated construction?

One major advantage cited by construction companies specialising in prefabrication is that a modular home is more customisable. Buyers can usually choose from a variety of base models and then decide if they want extra floors, extra rooms, extensions or balconies. Many companies also offer the flexibility to expand a few years down the line, meaning that you can stick with the same company for the extension. Another clear advantage is that a modular home is often much quicker to complete; some companies suggest the total construction time is reduced by 35% compared with building a traditional home.

Is there such thing as a luxury modular home?

Initially, the modular home market trend was associated with lower-cost housing, but since then many companies have seen the potential for a luxury modular construction model. Because the homes are so customisable, there is ample opportunity to add character and individuality to a house, creating your own dream home from scratch, or perhaps emulating your favourite style of housing with a chalet-style or modernist structure. Of course, with such freedom you can indulge in as much luxury as you please, from built-in saunas and steam rooms to sweeping staircases and grand architectural features. Another popular trend in modular home building is creating tech-filled smart homes or green homes with a low environmental impact from the outset.

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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