Looking for your first own home? Want to get on the property wagon? The property market is certainly ripe and there’s no better time to invest in your first property! Because, remember, “the only bad time to buy property is later.”
If you are buying a property for the first time, you should know you must save up some money for the expenses that go beyond the actual building. Have you thought about the notary and the architect? Insuring your home? Interiors?
The first cost to consider is the architect, who will be one of the first people needed when considering purchasing a house. An architect is usually asked in as early as the viewing process, but will become necessary when you set your heart on a property. The architect can assess the property and guide you through what needs to be done—repairs, alterations, state of certain features, etc.
Another important thing that your architect is needed for is to fill in the bank loan application and mark the land registry site plan for the notary. The fees for these requirements vary between €150- €250.
Possibly, your biggest expense—the notary is also a critical part of the property purchasing process. The notary conducts historical research about your property—how it was passed on to different owners, and so on. This research is required by the bank for the loan application.
The notary will normally charge up to 2% of property value if a bank loan is involved, and approximately 1.5% if no bank loan required.
A requirement of the bank loan is for you to have insurance. Most banks will ask for a life insurance to be in place before the bank loan application is submitted, and for a subsequent home insurance to be in place.
An obscure expense is the Stamp Duty that has to be paid to the government on big purchases like a house. Regular stamp duty is paid at 3.5% on the first €150,000 and 5% on the rest. So, for example, if you buy a house at €200,000, you would have to pay 3.5% on the first €150,000 and 5% on the remainder €50,000.
But there’s good news—the government offers a scheme under which first-time buyers pay 0% stamp duty on the first €150,000, and 5% stamp duty on any amount above. In other words, you don’t pay stamp duty on the first €150,000!
This scheme is not only valid for the Maltese citizens, but also for any EU resident as long as no property has ever been purchased by the client, both locally or anywhere in the EU.
Additional but not necessary expenses
Furniture and Interiors
If you’re lucky and the previous owner left brand new furniture at the house you’ve just bought, you won’t need to worry about this. If you’re like everyone else, you have to buy some, if not all your furniture. While you can survive on hand me downs or cheap second-hand furniture and upgrade slowly, purchasing everything at one go will set you back some €€€. Have you considered the possibility of including furniture costs in your loan?
Hate that aluminium balcony? Always dreamed of having a big bathroom? Some of these aesthetic but structural changes need a PA permit and an architect to carry out.