Malta might seem like an innocent little Mediterranean island, but it’s one of the world’s strongest economies with a resilient real estate market. Whether you’re trying to make the most of the country’s citizenship-by-investment program or just looking to get some government incentives for your business, it’s a great idea to buy property in Malta.
But, navigating through the Malta real estate market can feel like going through a maze. There’s a lot to consider when looking for investment property in the region, and the process can involve some bureaucracy. With an explosion of construction underway, you’re going to have to be strategic about making your purchase. This is an investment, after all.
Agent Or No Agent
How you buy your property is something that should be of great interest to you. Depending on how important service is to you, you could go with agents that charge up to 5% in commission, or you could deal with those that charge only 1 percent.
You get what you pay for, and the more experienced the agent, the smoother the process will be.
Freehold Or Leasehold
This one is not to be overlooked. You must make sure that you own the land upon which your property stands. It might sound a little weird, but there are quite a number of set-ups where someone owns a house but not the land under it.
If it turns out that somebody owns the land where you have your structure, that person can turn you into a tenant in an instant. There’s no gazette price for what a person in this situation can charge you for rent, so it’s best to avoid a leasehold agreement unless you plan on wheeling your property off in a trailer at some point.
Malta has learned to build upwards, not sideways, for the sake of saving space. Contractors in the country often build more floors in what appears to be the roof. Do yourself a favor and find out if anybody owns that space and if it turns out somebody does, consider buying it from them.
If that too is out of your reach, make it a point to buy vetoing rights for any construction that may occur in the future.
Be Clear On What You Want
Decide on the size, locality, and style of the property. If you’re going to buy this property with a partner or spouse, come to a compromise. By deciding beforehand, you will not waste your time looking at a property that you may never purchase.
Malta has a wide range of different properties to offer, from modern villas overlooking the ocean to rustic countryside homes nestled in natural landscapes and exciting new developments that offer fantastic investment potential.
Know Your Finances
Speak to the bank and get a clear indication of what you may be able to spend to purchase the property and other expenses such as refurbishments, cost of the furniture, and any duties and attorney fees. That way, you know what you can and cannot afford.
The Moment Of Truth
In addition to the property’s price, you must pay a notary when buying a property in Malta. You can get one of your own or access one through the agency that you are working with.
The process starts with a little something called ‘konjevu’ or a Promise of Sale. Within this agreement, details of the property’s purchase and specifics must be laid out in black and white. This includes the price, the extent of the property and the duration of the promise of sale, or how long the parties are bound to transfer that property under the conditions set out in the promise of sale agreement.
The Promise of Sale Agreement might include other important considerations such as the possibility for bank financing or the fact that the transfer could be subject to some kind of planning permission.
Three weeks after signing the konjac, the notary registers the agreement with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, paying the purchase price’s 1% on duty before the deal is closed. Your notary will make sure nothing is owed, there are no defects on the property, and the property being transferred is built according to the approved plan. They will then verify the legal title in the process, and finally, they will have to confirm that both parties have upheld their end of the bargain.
Closing the Deal
You and the second party will have to sign a final deed in front of one or more notaries. Know that before the deal can go through, you should have paid a 10% deposit of the price right when you sign the Promise of Sale.
The notary might keep the money, or it may be reserved until the deal finally goes through. There’s also a notary fee of 2% of the purchase price, but if you’re a first-time buyer, you don’t have to worry too much about that, considering all the government incentives available.
If everything is in order, both parties must sign the final written agreement to be notarized by your trusty notary. It is fundamental that all the owners of the property being sold are present, either in person or by proxy.
The property’s actual transfer happens at the publication of the final deed, and the price is paid at the same time. The final contract or deed has to reflect all of the terms and conditions that have been indicated in the original promise of sale. Within three to six months after that, you can expect the deal to be done.
There you have it, everything you need to know about buying an investment property in Malta. According to maltasothebysrealty.com, before you start exploring the property for sale in Malta, make sure you budget for all the little fees, do your research and keep an open mind.