What turns a property into a home of quality and how do you decide whether the property you’re considering qualifies as such?
Our experience in the Maltese property sector has taught us to look out for certain characteristics that all quality properties share.
The checklist below is meant to help our customers identify these special homes in Malta. Use it as a starting point to narrow down options to determine what your dream home looks like.
Characteristics of the property itself
Let’s start with the property itself and what you should you should look out for as you go about your property search. Don’t be afraid to ask around as the characteristics below all elevate a property into a high-quality offering.
What do you see when you look out of the windows? A real home of quality will often take your breath away and offer stunning views of the Maltese islands. Malta’s top views are all of the coastline or of historic Valletta skyline, with uninterrupted sea views. Check:
- Can the view be seen in full, or partially?
- Can you access a balcony to enjoy the view even better?
- Is there a chance the view will change over time? Are there any permits for development in the area?
Malta can be quite noisy, as remarked on by the famous Lord Byron quote about church bells and street vendor yells. Many think that this is something which adds to its charm. However, some peace and quiet is often required and homes of quality are equipped to deliver this with good sound insulation. Ask the owner or trusted property advisors:
- Is the property adequately sound-proofed?
- Which rooms are or are not soundproof?
- What soundproofing technique and material was used in the bedroom?
A home that costs very little to run in terms of energy efficiency and maintenance can justify an initially larger investment, as in the long run you will save money and the value of the property will remain higher for longer.
Look for a home that captures warmth in the winter, keeping out moisture and damp, and keeps cool in the summer. Modern penthouses and apartments are typically equipped with air-conditioning systems. However, it’s still important to check about energy efficiency, particularly if you’re eyeing houses of character which are older.
- Check the property’s Energy Performance certificate which rates the home’s performance and gives recommendations on any changes needed to improve such as air-conditioning and double glazing.
- Walk around the rooms, taking notice of any rising damp or fluctuations in temperature. A home of quality provides a consistent feeling of comfort.
- Check in which direction the main room and window are facing. Is warmth and light from the sun easily accessible throughout the year, or is the house frustratingly dark?
Architecture and Interior Design
Homes of quality make people feel comfortable, safe and can at ease. This is typically achieved by a combination of architecture and interior design. These can have an impact on health and well-being. Before you sign that sale agreement, ask a few questions to ensure your future home is up to your standards:
- Is there a balance between open-plan communal areas that encourage socializing, and private areas?
- Are there any outdoor areas such as a yard, garden, roof, terrace or balcony? Can plants be added to give the place that vibrant touch?
- Is the home protected from the weather and the harsh summer sun with awnings on balconies and terraces?
- Are the rooms big enough for your needs? Will your existing furniture fit?
- Are there enough power fixtures and what condition are they in?
- What type of lighting is in place? Do you have different lighting options to set according to mood or time of day?
- Does the plumbing work smoothly? Check water pressure by running the kitchen and bathroom taps. Also, check if the pipes are insulated, and age of the hot water tank on the roof to get an idea for how long it will be before a replacement is needed.
Consider the characteristics of the town or village
The quality of the local environment and neighborhood is key in turning a property into a home of quality, even if everything about the home itself checks out! Malta’s towns and villages can be quite different from a major city or suburb abroad, so it’s important to get intimately familiar with the area.
If a particular apartment or penthouse has caught your attention, make sure you visit the area at different times of day to get a real sense of what it’s like.
Depending on location, certain aspects (such as noise insulation) can become more or less important. For instance, a quiet semi-detached villa in Attard won’t need as much noise insulation as a penthouse in Sliema, which is far more urban.
Here are a few key aspects to keep in mind:
- Local amenities: are you within walking distance to shops or a supermarket for daily needs? Is there a pharmacy nearby? What about playing fields or sporting facilities for the physical activity?
- Schools: If you have children and don’t drive, a good school within walking distance is crucial. Ask your real estate agent about the schools in the area. Also, make sure you don’t need to drive through the school street during pick-up time, as such roads are blocked.
- Infrastructure: Are the roads and streets in the area established or still under construction? Assuming the property has quality insulation, would that be enough to block out any construction?
- Neighbours: Do they answer if you knock to ask questions? How
- Entertainment: Are you near an entertainment spot, such as a bar or pub that plays music and attracts crowds in the evenings?
- Getting around: Is it easy to get to public transport? Does the property have a drive or underground parking for residents? How difficult is it to find parking in the streets around the property?
- Future: Is there potential for property in this area to increase value?
A Note on Personal Preferences
Of course, while there are objective principles that qualify a property as a home of quality, there are also subjective factors that only you can decide for yourself. For instance, the number of bedrooms, overall square meters, etc all depend on your personal goals, preferences, and budget.
Even more importantly, consider the property’s fit with your long-term goals. Be honest and ask yourself if you can see yourself living in this home for the next 10 years before making a decision.
This is why we involve our clients at every step of the process of the property search. By working with us as a Sole Agency you know that the property has been vetted for the best quality, while we get to know your personal requirements and make sure to match you with the right home of quality.