With the huge demand of rental properties from several locals and ex-pats that are employed by local and foreign companies, the simplest reply to someone’s question ‘How do I invest my money to get an almost guaranteed return?’ is…..Buy to Let. Purchasing a property is a timely thing to do in the here and now, especially since there is minimum supply of modern décor apartments for rent in the Malta real estate Market.
Purchasing a second or even third Malta property and preparing to let it out is also timely since the current social situation presents so many people eyeing the Maltese letting market with interest. Consider single professionals, single parents, retired couples, University students, foreign students not to mention the ex-patriots which accounts for around 5% of the Maltese work force… In today’s market there is a wide, varied and growing clientele for that apartment you are eyeing with some interest…..but is it the right one to take on?
- Well-priced apartments are several but choosing the best deal takes time and attention. Unless you have the experience ask for help from your Malta real estate agency. An experienced and reputable estate agency will find you the best deal only if you are specific about what you want. Provide them with your goals and they will recommend to you accordingly.
- Location is MOST important – Choose convenience by viewing property in areas where ex-patriots live such as Sliema and St. Julian’s, choose areas where shops are easy to reach, where bus routes are present, where restaurants are in abundance.
- Select an apartment that is located in a block enjoying well-maintained common areas. Your would-be rental client won’t want to step over the neighbour’s litter bags and dog crate on the way up to his flat. Nor will your rental client want to walk up seven flights of steps because the escalator is, more often than not, not working.
- When buying to let, there is really no need for too many bedrooms. One and two bedrooms are known to yield more rent than a three or four bedroom apartment.
- The key to maximising the rental income is furnishing with simplicity but with a good dose of style. Don’t assume that just because you are not going to live in it, it can settle for mediocrity. You won’t attract rentals by shoving your grandmother’s ramshackle 1970s wardrobe which you are trying to con yourself as being suitably Retro, whilst propping up its broken hind legs with two borrowed bricks. And no, that lousy worse-for wear dresser cannot be considered shabby chic just because its seventh coat of gloss paint is peeling. If on the other hand, you’ve just inherited all your grandmother’s fine furniture, think again before stuffing it into your newly purchased rental apartment. Old mahogany bedroom suites might look exquisite in a 19th Century town house – in apartments they are less likely to impress. Therefore, sell the old furniture at auction, and use the monies gained to purchase contemporary furniture instead. The option of shopping from one store means you can get a good deal on rigging out an entire apartment. Don’t go cheap on the television. A television can make or break a deal.
- Aim for comfort with little homely touches – cushions and throws on sofas, plush carpets in bathrooms, colourful crockery in kitchens and curtains that liven up rooms. Ultimately you should create spaces that you would want to live in yourself and be happy paying to do so.
This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.