A Guide for First Time Buyers in Malta

couple in new home

Finding your dream home on the Maltese islands can feel like an overwhelming and daunting task–after all, it is one of the most important decisions of your life. But we at Excel Homes are here to guide you through the process!

 

First Time Buyers Malta - Finding your Dream Home

The first thing you need to do as a first-time buyer in Malta is to visualise what your dream home looks like. What do you want? What do you need? A sea view? Bedrooms for your children to grow in? Plenty of sunlight and fresh air? Proximity to school or work? A large kitchen? The best thing to do is write down a list of what you are looking for and then prioritize your points. Here is a sample of items to consider:

 

  •  The areas of Malta or Gozo you would love to live in.
  •  The size of the property you need–both for now and for the future.
  •  What you need close to your home: family, school, work, public transport, nature, etc.
  • The type of home you are most comfortable in.

 

Financing Your Future Home as a First-Time Buyer

 

The next thing you will need to do is make a note of what price range you are able to purchase in and how you will finance it. When researching promising homes, take note of the following:

 

  • Your Monthly Budget
  • Price of Potential Homes
  • Required Deposit
  • Costs of Home Repairs

 

Don't forget Additional Property Expenses...

Establishing your monthly budget and what you can realistically afford on home payments and expenses is essential. Remember, in addition to the mortgage, there will be additional expenses such as utilities, homeowner’s insurance, repairs, etc.  so calculate your budget carefully! You definitely want to make sure that you have enough to meet both your expenses and contribute to your savings.

 

You may wish to consider how purchasing your home and paying off a mortgage affects your long-term finances, as well.

 

Buying Your First Home in Malta

 

After you’ve made a list of what you want and what you can afford, the next step is to look, look, look! Keep your eyes and ears open. Visit our offices and speak to our consultants. Look through our listings and visit a wide variety of potential homes in person.

 

When you visit potential first homes, pay attention to your feelings. Are you comfortable in the space? Does it “feel” like home? Is there enough room and light for your needs? Is there room for you and your family to grow?

 

Also, don’t forget your tape measure when you visit! It is very helpful to take measurements of large pieces of furniture that you own: beds, wardrobes, piano, etc. and make sure that they will fit within the dimensions of the space of your potential new home.

 

If you feel positive on all accounts and are certain you have located your first dream home, then it is time to acquire financing .

 

Acquiring a Bank Loan

 

One common route to financing one’s home is to qualify for a bank loan. For this, you will need to put down at least 10% of the purchase price for the deposit. (Monthly payments with an interest rate will be calculated by the bank.)

 

Different banks may offer different interest rates, so it is good to shop around and compare them! Bank of Valletta, APS, HSBC, and BNF all provide homeowner loans and will be happy to assist you. They usually grant 90% of the property’s purchasing price. A typical loan period is 40 years, or up to retirement age (whatever happens first).

 

If you have qualifying credit, you may also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate. Don’t be afraid to ask! 

 

Malta’s First Time Buyer Scheme

 

The Maltese government offers a helpful First Time Buyers’  Scheme to first time home buyers:

 

  • Buyers purchasing their property for the first time will be exempt from paying the 3.5%  “stamp duty” for the first 200,000 of the property value. (Everything above that receives a 5% rate.)
  •  If you are lucky enough to purchase in Gozo, the stamp duty is only 2% over €200,000.
  •  No stamp duty is charged for movable property (such as furniture).

 

This can save you a maximum of  €5,250 upon contract!

 

Who Qualifies as a First Home Buyer in Malta? 

 

  • Maltese Residents
  • People acquiring their first property intended solely for residence (no other property should have been previously purchased).

 

How to Apply for First Time Home Buyer Grant 

 

  • To apply for Malta’s First Time Home Buyer Grant, go to this website for more information.
  • Call 153 or +356 2125 5153 from abroad for further assistance.
  • You can also email [email protected]

 

Note: you will need to contact a notary to draw up the expenses, but the notary will not charge you the exempt duty.

 

Home Loan Calculator Malta

 

Many banks provide free online loan calculaters that allow you to estimate your monthly repayments and see if they fall into your budget.  APS’s Home Loan Calculator is one example that can help. You will need to input the following information:

 

  • Personal Information
  • Your annual gross income
  • Your partner’s  (if you have) annual gross income
  • Your combined expenses

 

Other home loan calculators are also available through different institutions.

 

Mistakes First Home Buyers Make

 

Be careful with your first home purchase decision–there are many mistakes one wants to avoid!. Research carefully and take your time to find the perfect place–and try to avoid these common errors:

 

  • Not saving enough money for the deposit
  • Using up all of one’s savings for the home purchase
  • Overestimating monthly income and underestimating monthly expenses
  • Not comparing home loan mortgage rates from different banks
  • Purchasing a home that is too expensive
  • Not working with a qualified real estate agent
  • Not inspecting prospective homes carefully
  • Not investigating the neighbourhood
  • Rushing too fast or waiting too long
  • Not equally involving one’s partner in the decision
  • Making an emotional decision without weighing other options first

 

Make sure you talk with our representatives at Excel so that we help you to avoid these common errors!

 

Excel Homes Can Help First Time Buyers Find Their Dream Home!

 

We at Excel Homes aim to make your first home or property purchase a smooth and fulfilling process.  Feel free to stop in our office, talk to our agents, and peruse our listings. Our database is  filled with possibilities to help you build your future. Have a look on our website to see what is available! Remember: purchasing property is a long-term stable investment in your future, and it is the key to fulfilling your future dreams. 

 

Need more help? Want to know more? Get in touch!