PORTOMASO – LIFESTYLE LIVING… AS GOOD AS IT GETS !

Written by Darryn Portelli.

 

Portomaso is by far the most sought-after location for residential, business and leisure developments on the island. Located in the heart of St Julians on the east coast of the Mediterranean, the area was conceived and developed by one of Malta’s leading developers and has since won a string of accolades since its completion in 1999, most notably the Best Marina Development and also Best Luxury Development amongst others.

 

 

Portomaso’s 420 apartments are some of the most luxurious homes in Malta and these include apartments ranging from circa 50sqm to circa 300sqm across the various blocks overlooking the marina and open sea, as well as others on the back of the project, overlooking the gardens or service road. These include exceptionally spacious duplex apartments with sea views and garden terraces, magnificent  penthouses with private pools offering high-quality finishes and the breath-taking views of the marina and the open sea. The Portomaso development is ever popular with local buyers, as well as foreign investors and has proven to be among the most exceptional investment opportunity in Malta’s property market.

This iconic development strikes a perfect balance between tranquil leisure and exciting city life becoming a unique destination in Malta, home to some of the most important leisure and catering outlets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am lucky to have been personally involved in this project from the beginning, when at the time I helped run the sales office on site and was responsible for the sales and marketing of the project. Throughout the years, I ended up dealing with top business executives, as well as families from all over the world, who decided to settle down at Portomaso – a base from which they work and play  and when I occasionally bump into some of these people, the feedback I get from them (in many cases) is still as positive as it was back in the day.

Home to one of the most exclusive hotels in Malta – the Hilton – together with the Business Tower, which welcomes top operators in the gaming and financial services sectors, amongst others. Portomaso also houses one of the leading Yacht Marinas in the Mediterranean, a Casino, as well as ‘Club 22’, one of Malta’s most fashionable nightspots, enjoying exceptional 360 degree views from the 22nd floor of the Portomaso Business Tower!

Those who have chosen Portomaso as their home, including the many local clients that would have sold their villas to move into this magnificent development, have all commented on how comfortable and peaceful living in Portomaso actually is. With everything at your finger-tips, a supermarket that can deliver to your door or even push your own trolley from the supermarket to your apartment, being close to everything you need without having to commute anywhere is priceless.

The development is also very well kept, with maintenance and cleanliness being a top priority. Landscaping is also a big part of this and having a five star hotel on site makes sure everything is kept in tip top condition, whereas another important aspect, being security, is present on site 24/7, ensuring residents’ peace of mind at all times.

 

 

Last but not least, having the five star Hilton Hotel on site, is definitely a huge advantage, whereby residents can use the facilities of the hotel be it the indoor pool, gym, spa and mostly during the summer the residents also have exclusive access to their own beach club – The Merkanti.

 

 

 

To conclude, 15 years later, I still honestly feel that this project has managed to fulfil the aspirations of the world‘s most discerning seekers of property, as well as the yachting community, who can enjoy the pleasure, comfort and convenience of stepping out of their homes and straight onto their boats.

Portomaso ticks all the boxes when it comes to comfort, style, secure investment as also a prestigious address, as when it comes to property it is always about location, location, location…….

 

FIRST TIME BUYERS: THINGS TO DO AND CONSIDER

 

“Being in the pool of first time buyers is one of life’s experiences which you’re unlikely to forget quickly. It’s an important and long-term decision that will affect your future.  Whatever the reason for purchase, you should be aware of what is in store for you before making any commitment.” – Steven Borg, Head of Sales

 

In a nutshell:

  1. Commitment needed.
  2. Find the best bank for the best home loan to your budget.
  3. Find the right agent, find the right property. 
  4. Find the right Notary to seal the deal. 
  5. 5% Stamp Duty.
  6. Move into your new home.

 

COMMITMENT

As first time buyers, in many cases, you’ll be entering into a long financial commitment which may affect your future lifestyle choices, together with any long term career plans, so it’s imperative that you first understand this and are prepared for what lies ahead. Ensuring your mid to long term career, allows you to make this important decision with more confidence. If you’re partnering up to purchase a property, it’s also important to ensure that both of you are on the same commitment page and that any worst case scenarios are discussed in the case of default or life changing events.

 

WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD

Mortgages are a common facility that most first time buyers need. There are a few leading banks who offer varying interest rates and fees. Enquiring with a few leading banks to see which offers the best deal should be one of your first steps. As you would with any major purchase, it’s imperative that you determine what your realistic budget is before you begin looking for your property. It would be disheartening to fall in love with a property only to find out down the road , that it is way outside your achievable budget. It will become a disappointing search and possibly set an imaginary standard that will potentially derail your expectations and ultimately make your search an unpleasant and frustrating one .

 

PROPERTY SEARCH

Searching for the Ideal Property does not have to be a  stressful or tedious venture and professional assistance from a trusted estate agent will be key.  It’s important to utilise the services of an agent you feel comfortable with and trust.  There are many properties available , and your agent should explain the differences between what’s on the market.  Location, apartment versus house, it’s size, current condition and ‘added value’ are essential components to be discussed and evaluated. Once properly informed, deciding on your ideal property should come naturally.

‘Hard sell’ sales techniques should be avoided at all costs, as this may  lead you down a slippery slope of decision making which could be regrettable and not easily reversible without loss of investment. Developing a trusting relationship with your agent is in your best interests, as this will be more financially beneficial and give you peace of mind that your agent is not working solely for their own short-term financial gain.

Establishing and shortlisting property preferences is a task that is best tackled with an organisation that will allow you (and your partner) to discuss and assess each potential choice, ultimately helping you make informed decisions and comparisons that could also serve for future negotiation when the time comes to conclude.  

Your estate agent (intermediary) is the ideal person to place an offer. Usually the agent will have the knowledge of what an owner will or will not accept, and if negotiation is impossible, your agent will be trained to obtain such information that will guide you to the best possible terms. Owner/sellers generally vary in the way they like to be approached. Some prefer face to face interaction with the purchaser, whilst others prefer discussions to be conducted through the agent. This is the most crucial part of securing the best possible deal. Reputable agencies have trained agents who are always backed by management with years of experience in the field, thus will be instrumental in finding a ‘win win’ outcome for both parties.

 

SECURING THE DEAL

Once you have decided and agreed on the price and terms and conditions, the services of a Notary Public is called upon to draw up a promise of sale agreement (POSA). The Notary is entrusted with ordering and vetting searches to ensure that you are obtaining the property with a clean title and free of any debt and encumbrances. The notary is often appointed by and paid for by the purchaser. Fees in relation to these services can be determined prior to the drawing up of the POSA. (Link to: Notary Bill Calculator).

The Notary will also assume the task of liaising with banks and providing the relative legal safeguards for the involved parties, whether there are any current loans on the property being purchased, as well as any  bank loan required to purchase the property. It’s important that all parties are clear on the terms and conditions set out in the POSA, as this is legally binding on both parties. It is also imperative to raise any points that you may not be sure of with your agent and/or notary wherever necessary. Currently, the Government of Malta has extended the law which covers first time buyers NOT to pay any Stamp Duty on the first €175,000. If the property costs more than €175,000, then 5% on the balance would be payable as stamp duty on contract.

Architects should be appointed by the purchaser to confirm that the property has been constructed in line with building regulations and  Planning Authority permits have been approved. Architects are also required to fill in Land Registry Site Plans (where applicable) and complete the necessary ‘Schedule 8’ form. It’s important to note that notaries will not be held responsible for any building irregularities and you should ensure that all is in order prior to signing the final contract.

Fun Fact: 100% of first time buyers have a median age of 32 when it comes to purchasing a Home.

 

Should you require more information on any of the above, Belair Property agents are available to provide professional advice.

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5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING A PROPERTY IN MALTA

There are 5 main things to know about buying a Property in Malta.

Every Country has these key factors which vary, some slightly and some a bit more. Here it’s pretty straight forward… if you listen to the right advice.

Purchasing a home is exciting as much as it is frustrating, after all it is a big commitment. If you are prepared and have the right assistance, the procedure can be fun! These are a few tips that might help you in the process.

  1. Savings – Make sure you have at least 10% of the price of the property on hand, as this is usually required as down payment.                                                                                                                                                                                            
  2. Finances – It is ideal that if you are getting financed by the bank you are aware of how much the bank will give you before starting your search. Too many times clients see a property that they like but the bank then refuses to give them the amount they request. To buy a property in Malta, finding the right Bank is crucial.                      This link can be helpful: Home Loan Calculator                                                                                                                                                         
  3. Expert Advise – As soon as you announce that you’re looking to buy property in Malta, you can expect friends and family to come out of the woodwork with all their well-intentioned advice. Remember that principles that may have been true in the past don’t necessarily continue to be so in the ever changing property market.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  4. Key Features – It’s always a good idea to make a list of key features you want in your new home. Talk to friends and family members who own a home and ask them what features they wish they had or didn’t have. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, or, do you want an office?  Open or closed floor plan. Most likely you will not find a house that has everything on your list so you should prioritise it, which features are a must and which are preferred. Be ready to compromise.                                                                                                                                            
  5. Hire the right real estate agent – You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so it’s essential that you find someone you get along well with. The right buyer’s agent should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area.  

 

We at Belair do our best to provide the best customer experience and professional assistance to clients looking to purchase a property. Our agents go through thorough training to make sure they are prepared to service our clients in the best way possible. Our aim is to make this journey as smooth as possible. If you are looking for your first home or perhaps looking at buying as an investment, give us a call.

Buying a property in Malta has never been made easier.