World Earth Day 2021

 

What is World Earth Day?

EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first World Earth Day in 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet.

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Let’s take a look at the last half-century of mobilization for action.

Click here and take action.

What is Malta doing to bring itself up to speed with Green initiatives?

Open on the 15th February 2021; Minister Aaron Farrugia explained that this initiative is here to having better air quality, water management and biodiversity protection. Having greener streetscapes supports mental health and encourages people to walk more.

PLANTING MORE GREEN INITIATIVES ON BUILDINGS CAN HELP TO CONSERVE BEES = THEY HELP OUR ECOSYSTEM AND PLANET ALIVE

Encouraging bees to pollinate
Honeybees visit only one type of flower in any one foraging trip, says Sarah Wyndham Lewis, author of Planting For Honeybees: The Grower’s Guide To Creating A Buzz. “This is called ‘flower fidelity’ and is what makes them such effective pollinators. So plant large clumps or ‘drifts’ of single species and optimise each of the bees’ trips.” Think swathes of catmint, field scabious and hyssop. “March to September are the key months for honeybees – they will fly whenever the temperature is above 10C, even in winter, so early- and late-flowering plants are especially valuable,” she says.

 

We also caught up with local Architect Nicky Psaila-Savona, this is what he had to say on the scheme:

The Green your Building Scheme was launched earlier this year by the Planning Authority with the intention of reducing the amount of hard landscaping; areas occupied by concrete, tiles etc in our residential areas and replacing them with permanent ‘green’ walls, facades or front gardens. 

It is relatively easy to apply, if you are in fact eligible. All you need to do is speak to an architect or a landscape designed and submit an application with a design which the PA will review.

It needs to be said that many front gardens or facades remain void of any natural greenery well after their construction, so having a scheme that helps out in financing such a set up is a good starting point. However it is in fact just that, a starting point.

Educating the public about the benefits of urban gardens and green roofs is an important part of the process and I think much more needs to be done in this regard.

There is good potential for this scheme to be extended to allow undeveloped plots of land to be given back to the community in the form of urban gardens. Looking at this holistically, the transportation issues can’t be ignored either, as so much of our land mass is taken up by roads and carparks, to the detriment of further green spaces.

“On the other hand it is important to be vigilant about ‘greenwashing’ and some may argue that there are elements of this in the scheme. Especially with the promotion of green walls, which don’t necessarily offer the same benefits to the environment as say mature trees do.”

So although green walls can look good, no amount of them can absorb the amounts of CO2 from our atmosphere, as that of which was being absorbed by the trees which we’re cutting down almost daily.

Audience Poll

If you wish to find out more about the Green Scheme and if you are applicable, kindly contact Nicky on nicky@sapienzasullivan.com

 

Iggy Zammit, Director of Belair Mellieħa had this to say about what he reckons Malta can act on imminently:

” My thoughts on how Malta can get in on helping the environment are :

1)  Step up our recycling projects. We need more on recycling batteries , old mobile phones, and broken appliances.
2)  Switch off StandBy. Enemalta estimates that €80 a year is wasted in the average home because of appliances left on StandBy . That’s a lot of electricity and money wasted .
3)  Buy Local. Supermarket produce can travel thousands of kilometers to get to us here in Malta. We need to start promoting and buying MALTESE. Local Farmers also need better incentives to help them farm the land better and more sustainable. We are what we eat. 
4). If we all picked up litter whenever we see it, imagine what a massive difference this would make to Malta and Gozo. #WaveOfChange

Contact Iggy Zammit on iggy@belair.com.mt to find out more about investing in sustainable homes in the North of Malta.

Gayle Kimberley from Green Deal Malta had this to say about implementing the European Green Deal to Malta:

” Sustainability is not just the latest buzzword. It is the only concrete solution to get us out of this mess we’ve created and give our planet Earth the respect it deserves.

We need to bring about real change to our climate and in my opinion we need to start by making the EU’s economy sustainable. To do that Europe needs a new growth strategy – a total green economic revolution – that will transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, one where:

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
  • economic growth is decoupled from resource use
  • no person and no place is left behind

We therefore need to begin from the European Green Deal and implement this in Malta. Put simply, the European Green Deal is the EU’s commitment to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. I like to think of it as a green economic revolution – a total transformation of our economy as we know it today, into a green economy. “

Click here to find out more about Green Deal Malta on their newly launched Facebook Page.

Walk With Belair: Dar eċċezzjonali fil-qalba tan – Naxxar

Parti mis-sensiela ta’ filmati Property of the Month imħejjija minn Belair Property u Newsbook.com.mt

Jekk qed tfittex proprjetà tassew speċjali, din id-dar fin-Naxxar hija perfetta għalik.

Din it-townhouse f’wieħed mill-iktar irħula mfittxija ta’ Malta, ġiet mibdula f’dar tal-familja sabiħa u prattika.

Id-dar għandha numru kbir ta’ karatteristiċi oriġinali li jinkludu gallarija tradizzjonali Maltija, twieqi stil tradizzjonali li jingħalqu, u aperturi tipiċi kkundizzjonati mill-ġdid.

Fil-proprjetà nsibu kuritur imdaqqas, salott/kamra tal-ikel kbir, salott ieħor ta’ daqs żgħir, kċina/breakfast, kamra tal-banju u ġnien ta’ 70 metru kwadru bi spazju għal pixxina. L-ewwel sular bħalissa jospita tliet kmamar tas-sodda u kamra tal-banju, iżda jista’ faċilment jakkomoda wkoll kamra tal-banju ensuite. L-aħħar sular jinkludi kamra tal-ħasil u s-saqaf tiegħu stess.

Din hija tassew dar eċċezzjonali, bil-potenzjal li tagħmel bidliet kożmetiċi biex tkompli toħroġ il-karatteristiċi sbieħ tagħha. Garaxx għall-kera huwa disponibbli wkoll.

Aktar informazzjoni dwar l-appartament tista’ ssibha hawn. Click to view this Naxxar Property.

It-tim ta’ Belair huwa eqreb lejk minn qatt qabel – issa tista’ tkellem lill-aġenti ta’ Belair wiċċ imb wiċċ, mill-kumdità u s-sigurtà tad-dar tiegħek stess permezz ta’ Talk with Belair.

Dan l-episodju huwa parti minn sensiela tal-filmati Property of the Month, imħejjija minn Belair Property u Newsbook.com.mt, u saret possibbli permezz ta’ għotja minn Belair Property.

 

More Episodes:

Walk with Belair: Super spacious St.Julians Apartment

Located a stone’s throw away from the luscious waters of Spinola Bay, this luxury fifth floor, designer-finished apartment forming part of this smart block is just the ticket if you have always wanted to live in the very heart of St Julian’s.

Within walking distance to all sorts of entertainment and amenities, whether its retail shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, pubs, night clubs or enjoying the day at the beach side, this property has it all and is surrounded by hustling and bustling city life.

The property comprises a large open plan fully-equipped combined kitchen/dining area which leads onto a spacious terrace with a view of the sea… ideal for dining al fresco – perfect for those special Maltese balmy summer nights.

The super-spacious apartment also boasts a very large separate living/sitting area in the centre of the property which breaks off the corridor to the sleeping quarters.

The property – which originally had three double bedrooms – has been transformed into an extremely spacious two double bedroom (both with ensuite bathrooms) with the master suite enjoying a stunning large custom-made walk-in wardrobe.

A car space with storage cabinet is also included – a must for this locality!

More information about the apartment may be found here.

Bringing the Belair team closer to you than ever before – now you can speak to Belair agents face to face, from the comfort and safety of your own home with Talk with Belair.

 

Walk With Belair – Sliema Seafront Apartment

 

Watch: A perfect Sliema seafront home of your very own ( Filming and editing by Sara Salfia - Newsbook )

Sliema is the ideal place to be if you want to be close to all amenities… and if you love the sea. And this superbly and tastefully finished, and fully furnished 260sqm seafront apartment not only enjoys a superb layout, but also boasts of a gorgeous sea view.

When you walk into this highly-finished elevated ground floor apartment you cannot help but be impressed with the spacious combined living room and dining room, with walkout onto a large front terrace ideal for dining al fresco.

The airy apartment also comprises a separate fully equipped kitchen with island, study area, three large double bedrooms (the main enjoying ensuite facilities and a walk-in-wardrobe) and an extra living space / reading area, as well as an extremely spacious back yard of approximately 50sqm ideal for entertaining and which can easily accommodate a splash pool.

The property has been recently refurbished from top to bottom with high-end products and furnishings from top quality brands and includes, concealed, energy efficient air-conditioning throughout, two bathrooms, solid internal doors and heavy-duty apertures.

It also boasts a fully-refurbished washroom at roof level and an optional street level two-car lock up garage (at an extra cost) with 13-course high ceilings just around the corner, with potential for commercial use.

According to Director at Belair Sliema Ltd Gavin Salomone Reynaud, this super property is suitable for an elderly couple downsizing and wanting the Sliema lifestyle with walks on the promenade and all facilities found at walking distance.

Walk With Belair’s Property of the Month is made possible by our collaboration with www.newsbook.com.mt

More info about the apartment may be found here

Online stores that deliver Furniture in Malta

12 Maltese Online stores that deliver furniture in Malta, furnishings & home decor

 

Online shopping in Malta is skyrocketing in popularity, and it’s no longer just limited to takeaways and small goods; today you can from the comfort of your phone or laptop easily order a wall-unit or wardrobe, have it delivered to your doorstep, and in many cases, assembled. Of course, it doesn’t need to be said: the emergence (and re-emergence) of Covid-19 has also accelerated our shift towards online shopping.

In this article, we go over 11 Maltese furniture and furnishings stores which now allow you to not only explore their catalogue online, but will also give you the option to pay for products electronically and then have them delivered to the address you choose. The process of ordering furniture online and getting it delivered is fairly straightforward: Browse, customise, add the items you want in your shopping cart, register an account (which usually only takes a couple of minutes), and order away or ‘check-out’.

There’s a number of non-local online stores that will deliver furniture to Malta, but for this article, we’re focusing on stores and companies that operate in Malta.

There’s a number of advantages to staying local, such as assembly, easy communication, and guaranteed after-sales service.

1. Megastore

Megastore is a dedicated concierge service for furniture in Malta – in other words, you select the products you want and they’ll arrange the purchase for you from the brands they’ve partnered with. 

Thanks to their partnership with global brands such as IKEA, Neiden and Annons, Megastore have a seriously extensive range of products for the home, encompassing everything from interior and exterior furniture to health and beauty products, toys, electronics, car accessories to gardening equipment.

If you’re a do-it-yourself fan, Megastore also offers a large range of individual furniture components.

They have a 4.9 out of 5 rating based on the opinion of 417 people on Facebook. Check their Facebook page here.

2. JYSK

JYSK is a Scandinavian international retail chain that sells ‘everything for the home’, from furniture, homeware to furnishings.

JYSK is owned by the original founder, Lars Larsen, who is known throughout Denmark as the country’s leading merchant who always has ‘a great offer’. And true to this, you’ll find that they frequently run great discounts on products in their catalogue. JYSK also has a physical store in Triq Il-Mosta, Ħal Lija.

To keep an eye out on their offers, you can follow their Facebook page here. They have a 4.9 out of 5 star rating based on the opinion of 91 people on Facebook, and a star rating of 4.4 based on google reviews.

3. Maltashopper

Maltashopperis an 8 year old family business that makes available products from IKEA, Maison du Monde (a top favourite amongst designers) and Bricoman. To ensure you make the right order, you can get their professionals to measure your space and help you make the purchase. Moreover, they’ll not only deliver but also assemble furniture right at your home upon request

Another noteworthy service for furniture in Malta, Maltashopper provides is the possibility of delivering any furniture you buy from Catania. In other words, you can go to Catania, buy the furniture, and then have Maltashopper deliver the items to you. They have a 4.8 out of 5 star rating based on the opinion of 194 people on Facebook.

4. Homemate

Malta’s largest Home Improvement Centre is now online!

At Homemate, you can find a wide range of products spread across categories that are related to home improvement, from bathroom accessories to bathrooms, paints to coving, curtains and accessories to textiles, bedding, power tools to hand tools, household appliances to a wide range of dining ware, plastic ware, kitchen and cleaning, toys to children’s products amongst others.

Homemate is especially ideal for DIY lovers, making available a vast range of furniture components, tools, timber, metals and more. With over 64000 followers, they are the most popular online store on this list on Facebook.

They have a star rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on the opinion of 2567 reviewers on google.

5. The Atrium

The team at the Atrium shops worldwide to source out a vast range to bring furniture in Malta and accessories for all tastes and budgets.

Bedroom suites, kitchens, outdoor furniture, living & dining rooms, domestic appliances, lighting, flooring, cookware, linen, wardrobes, office desks and chairs, – you name it, the Atrium’s either got it – or can get it for you. 

You can find The Atrium at Giovanni Felice Street in Birkirkara. The Atrium has a 4.3 star rating based on the opinion of 1011 google reviews. Click here to go to their Facebook page.

6. Form

If you’re looking for a store with a more defined focus, thenFormis definitely worth a look.. Their range is not as broad in scope as some of the other stores in this list (you’re not going to find car accessories); instead Form focuses on curating a catalogue of high-quality furniture, and has been doing so since its inception in 1947. Form sources most of its products from internationally recognized brands such as Natuzzi ItaliaRimadesioJesseEuromobilDunlopillo.

You can find Form in Valley Road, Msida. They have a star rating of 4.3 based on 48 google reviews, and a 5 star rating onFacebookbased on the opinion of 7 people.

7. MaltaFurniture Ltd

MaltaFurniture‘s online range includes products from IKEA, CASA (renowned for their homeware) and Keller (highly regarded for their kitchens across Europe). Malta Furniture Ltd also operates its own brand, 2nd Life. All 2nd Life furniture is made from recycled materials, and handmade in their workshop. 2nd Life creates custom-made furniture and furnishings, from bar tables, dining tables, desks, coffee tables, bathroom vanities, or any other piece of furniture.Check out their Facebook page here.

You can visit their showroom in Ħaż-Żebbuġ. Malta Furniture Ltd has a store rating of 4.2 based on 5 google reviews. We concede that’s not a lot of reviews, but on the flip side, Malta Furniture Ltd’s posts get more engagement and positive comments than most other stores, which we believe is just as good as an indicator of great quality.

 

8. Orienta

Established in 1992,Orientaquickly became Malta’s go-to place for exclusively oriental furniture and giftware. Since then, Orienta has expanded its range, adding classical, contemporary and modern furniture as well as customized and stylish Italian Kitchens by Spagnol Cucine. Orienta’s collection is eclectic and unique, bold and beautiful, so if you’re looking to add something a little different for your space, Orienta is definitely worth checking out.

Orienta showrooms are situated in Lija, Ta Qali, and Victoria Gozo.

Orienta has a star rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on the opinion of 14 people on Facebook and a rating of 4.1 out of 5 based on 92 Google reviews.

9. Low Cost Furniture

As one might conclude from their name, LowCostFurniture is dedicated to making available furniture that’s good quality but won’t break the bank.

Their catalogue is supplied by Fairdeal furniture, a well-recognised brand in Malta, and their range includes – but is not limited to – bedrooms, sofas, kitchens, wall units, tables, and chairs.

Low Cost Furniture’s team are available to assemble furniture at an extra charge. They have a 3.4 star rating based on the opinion of 33 Google reviews.

10. Ferracasa

Ferracasa has a diverse range of outdoor and leisure furniture, furnishings, houseware, kitchenware, small electrical appliances and giftware.

They also have a showroom in Lija, Hamrun and Mriehel.

Check out their Facebook page here. Ferracasa got a star rating of 4.8 based on 25 Google reviews.

11. Hometrends

Hometrend‘s online shop offers a diverse range of fireplaces and heating appliances, outdoor, Spa and BBQ furniture, as well as everything you could want for your dining, kitchen and living spaces. They also have a selection of more decorate elements for the home.

Hometrends – babyandkids is another online store operated by Hometrends that’s dedicated entirely to products for kids, babies and new parents. If you want a closer look, this shop is located in San Gwann.

On Facebook, they have a star rating of 4.6 out of 5 Based on the opinion of 20 people. They also have a star rating of 4.2 based on 136 Google reviews.

12. Malta Design

Malta-Design is a Maltese leader for distribution and installation of indoor and outdoor high-end furnitures. Malta Design has contacts with all the manufacturing plants to bring you the solutions you need. Specialists in the distribution and installation of furniture direct from the best brands/industries. 

Their online store operates through a cart system and they promise to deliver within 24hrs from payment. 

Malta Design distributes European premium furniture brands to meet and satisfy all your projects.
To contact their sales force and build a customized project, here is their e-mail:sales@malta-design.com

Covid-19 Maltese Property Market Reaction

 

How has the Maltese property market been reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic?

by Ian Casolani

 

2020 has obviously been a surreal and challenging year for everyone, no matter what sector one works in, or walk of life they come from. Yet, when considering what Malta, as well as the rest of the world is passing through, the Maltese property market has surprisingly still fared relatively well, although buyers’ attitude and the overall trend has changed and is more reflective of what we have been going through. 

Whereas until mid-2019, buyers in general were picking up pretty much any property they could get their hands onto, often rushing into a purchase just to feel that they are playing the property game, this year that has changed significantly. The Maltese property market has been witnessing increased activity from end users and “real” home buyers. Those looking for a residence, have been taking advantage of the price corrections taking place, as well as the incentives and measures put in place by government earlier this year. Houses with outdoor space, as well as penthouses due to their large terraces, have probably witnessed more demand and activity than the rest of the market and this is primarily down to the fact that many have come to appreciate the value of outdoor space, after having lived through recent Covid restrictions and restricted lifestyle. 

Furthermore, buyers are now thankfully more attentive and diligent in their property search and purchase, which is unfortunately something you see much less of, when the market is booming. This indicates that buyers are monitoring the market more, they are aware of price corrections on property that fit within their search criteria and ensuring that they buy at the right price. The more experienced buyers will not rush into a decision if they are not convinced of the property value, while on the contrary they will typically be quicker to react, if they sense they have found the right buy.

The recent fiscal measures introduced by government, whereby one pays a lower stamp duty when purchasing and a lower tax rate when selling (on the first €400k), have seemed to achieve the desired effect. Those buyers waiting around or procrastinating on their property move, have now been encouraged to make things happen faster and likewise sellers who might have been sticking to their price or waiting for better times, have in some cases been encouraged to bite the bullet and take advantage of the lower tax rate on their sale. 

This pandemic has put many things into perspective and has opened people’s eyes to many realities that might have been taken for granted before. No matter what though, property will always remain the solid investment it is known to be, more so in Malta than anywhere else. Saying that, in an ideal world buyers will continue to be diligent and do their homework properly before buying, rather than rush into a deal simply to feel that they are also playing the game…..as sometimes happens!

Likewise, keen vendors need to acknowledge and often accept the reality of the market and more importantly the real value of their property, if they are really serious about selling. Those who do so and who price their property correctly, are the ones who ultimately sell their property within an acceptable time frame. On the other hand, those vendors who keep living in denial of this reality, are those that waste time and energy hoping for a sale, while anyway having to eventually succumb to the real value of their property.

The year or two ahead will be challenging across the board and this will ultimately also end up affecting the property market in one way or another. This does not simply boil down to Covid-19, but also down to other socio, political and economic issues. Like in anything else, this will differentiate the serious/professional players from those overnight, pop-up developers or agents. Unfortunately, those who possibly over-extended themselves in one way or other over recent years, are likely to be the worst hit, which in turn, however, will possibly provide opportunity to those who have forecasted this scenario a while back. That’s the way the world spins, it won’t be the first time and definitely not the last!

Click here to view this article in Oh My Malta!

 

Belair and The Real Estate course

 

– Written by Jean Camilleri

Covid-19 is imposing a number of unexpected challenges to our industry but has also provided opportunities for Belair management and associates to unite, recalibrate and direct our energies and focus to a Covid-conscious market.

At long last, the estate agency industry is finally on track to being regulated and licensed. Belair Property have welcomed and embraced this, seeing the industry will have a better-defined structure, complimented by good practice will ensure more peace of mind to clients.

As a consequence, all directors, management, as well as all agents will have to be qualified to operate in the field. The industry yearns to regain well-earned respect that over the years has diminished due to poor choices of representatives who have tarnished a reputation that is so crucial to have when dealing in life-changing transactions.

IDEA Academy was appointed by Belair Property to conduct the courses that will serve as an accredited qualification to obtain the Real Estate License which is due to come into force in December 2021.

The course comprised of 4 modules that included Communications, Legislation, Finances, and Processes & Procedures. Each module required 15 hour lectures spread over a period of 5 lessons and capped off with an open book exam. Approximately 50 hours of study time was recommended to prepare for each exam.  

The lessons were hosted on ZOOM which worked remarkably well. Many had reservations about online lessons but once set up, everyone quickly adapted and found the platform served its purpose well.

The lecturers appointed by IDEA Academy were professional and even inspirational. All agents looked forward to the lessons and open dialogue, industry knowledge, motivation and a team spirit was crucial at times when we could barely operate and go about our usual work.

We are confident to say, that the courses instigated much needed change to mentalities whilst educating us on essential information that should be known and well-practised by all who operate in this industry.

The course is most definitely not a walk in the park. One needs to be focused and dedicated to giving the time and attention that it requires. Thankfully all our agents succeeded in passing with remarkably high results, which we at Belair are all proud of.

We trust and hope that each institute that provides such courses for this qualification keeps the excellent standard that IDEA Academy had done with us. Belair Property continues to invest heavily in training our staff, which most definitely serves to provide clients with an optimum and professional service that Belair has always been known for.

 

 

Real Estate in this Covid world

An interesting interview on ‘ Real Estate in this Covid world ’, organised by NEWSBOOK and featuring three established leaders on the local real estate scene, which also includes our MD, Ian Casolani.

 

What changes have local companies made to cope with these unusual times? How is the economy going to survive? And what are the things that local businesses can do to stay ahead of the curve?

In the Newsbook.com.mt series ‘Business Talks’, Coryse Borg speaks to a number of movers and shakers in various spheres, such as banking, retail, real estate, events co-ordinators and more.

According to data by the Malta Developers Association, July was the best month in the past years when it comes to the number of promises of sales made on property. Preliminary data shows that more than 1,600 promises of sale were registered last month, with a total value exceeding €330 million. This puts July 2020 as one of the best months since 2017.

In this edition, Borg speaks to Frank Salt Director Douglas Salt, Remax CEO/Managing Director Kevin Buttigieg and Belair Managing Director Ian Casolani about whether they have seen a difference between business pre- and during-COVID and what they think will happen if this current situation goes on for more than the next few months.

“It is quite upsetting… after having thrown hundreds of thousands of euros to sustain our operations, that certain sectors were allowed to act in an irresponsible manner”

“Our biggest challenge was keeping the team focused, motivated and positive,” Casolani said, “because contrary to what many might think, not everyone in property makes millions every day. You get agents who are earning an average wage, they have their bills to pay… there were even psychological struggles that people had to deal with.”

“We got no aid at the height of the pandemic, and we were told to use our own resources, which we did,” Salt said, “and it is quite upsetting at this stage, after having thrown hundreds of thousands of euros to sustain our operations, that certain sectors were allowed to act in an irresponsible manner.”

“I think everybody is in a confused situation. As a Maltese public, I think we can do without parties for another six months and see if this thing can clear itself out,” said Buttigieg, “Everyone likes a party; I’m one of them! But unfortunately… when you’re a small island like us, it’s easy to win with our numbers, but is even easier to lose with our numbers.

 

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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