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Tips for Second-Time Buyers in Malta and Gozo

7th February, 2024
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Second-time buyers, read this!

Navigating the Property Market: Tips for Second-Time Buyers in Malta and Gozo

If you are about to become a second-time buyer, you’ve successfully taken the first step onto the property ladder with your initial home purchase. Do not make the mistake as a second-time buyer to think that you have it all under the belt, as you’re likely to encounter a completely different set of considerations and challenges! Whether you’re upgrading for a growing family, seeking an investment property, or simply desire a change, here are some valuable tips from our experts to guide you through the process this time around.

1. Assess Your Financial Readiness

One of the best things you can do before you dive into the property market again, is to conduct a thorough financial assessment of where you stand with your money:

  • Consider factors such as the equity from your first home: if you’ve paid off a significant portion of your mortgage, you might have built up equity that can be used towards or for the next purchase.
  • See whether you’ve saved enough to cover the costs associated with buying a new property, including fees and potential renovations.
  • If you still have an existing mortgage, evaluate your current repayment status and whether you can afford additional borrowing. Never overextend yourself.
second time buyer

2. Understand the Motivation for Wanting a New Home

Take time to identify the driving force behind your decision to purchase your second property. Common motivations include:

  • A growing family which often necessitates a larger living space and different amenities.
  • Second-time buyers usually have a more realistic view to see property as a long-term investment and seek to build either a property portfolio or to generate some rental income:
    • If you are retaining your current home but want to invest in your first rental property, speak to our agents for the best advice on where to buy and what to buy.
  • Life changing events like marriage, divorce, or a new job may prompt the need for a home in a different location or simply a different type of property.

 

3. Explore Your Mortgage Options

Investigate the mortgage options available to you as a second-time buyer as this could include:

  • Transferring your existing mortgage, as some mortgage conditions or arrangement could allow you to transfer your mortgage to a new property, which can be a convenient option. This may also just save you some time and money.
  • Get a completely new mortgage if your lender is not open to transferring the current one to another property, or if it won’t save you money. Given that you are now a proven, existing and responsible client with your lending institution for some time, negotiate on the terms of the new mortgage deal to ensure you get the most favourable interest rates and conditions.

 

4. Work with a Trustworthy, Reputable Estate Agent

Engaging the services of a reliable estate agent is crucial, especially if you’re looking at selling your current property to buy a new one. A skilled agent will simplify the process, as having one point of contact streamlines communication and reduces potential situations that may lead to confusion.

A good estate agent will negotiate on your behalf, working tirelessly to secure the best deal for both the sale of your current property and the purchase of the new one. One important aspect to always keep in mind is that a successful, experienced agent will be able to share invaluable market insights and provide you with superb advice. Agents deal with everything property 24/7 and have access to an incredible network that includes notaries, banks and other real estate professionals. Make use of it!

second time buyer

5. Always Consider a Property’s Long-Term Potential

Never get emotionally attached to a property, think only of it in monetary terms. You always have to think beyond the immediate future and assess the long-term potential of the property. Factors to consider include the property’s future resale value and its potential for appreciation over time.

6. Find out Everything about the Neighbourhood Dynamics

Research the local area thoroughly to ensure it meets your lifestyle needs and has the potential for positive future development. Your agent will be the best person to speak to in this regard, as they will know about any plans that are in the pipeline for the area such as infrastructure, schools, medical facilities, shopping centers and more.

7. Be Mindful of All Legalities

Try your best to stay informed about any legal aspects that apply to the country’s property transactions. Once again, your agent will be the best person to speak to in this regard, as they are constantly updated about any new legislation, rules and regulations. This also applies to current stamp duty rates and how they may impact your budget, as stamp duty amounts and percentages change over time. Lastly budget for legal fees associated with both the sale of your current property and the purchase of the new one.

8. Prepare Your Current Home for Selling

In case you are selling your existing property, ensure it’s in optimal condition for prospective buyers. Considers staging it in order to present your home in the best light possible or hire a professional to do it for you if you are unsure on how to go about it yourself. Never forget about attending to minor repairs or improvements to enhance its appeal.

9. Set Realistic Deadlines

Establish achievable timelines for each stage of the process. Consult with your estate agent, notary and all other professionals involved to ensure a smooth and realistic timeline. Expect to have some delays along the way as this is simply part of the journey.

As we said earlier, as a second-time buyer, things may seem familiar this time around, but each property transaction comes with its unique set of considerations. By properly evaluating your financial readiness, your motivations and engaging with experienced professionals, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and secure the right property for this next exciting chapter of home ownership. Frank Salt Real Estate is Malta’s market leader when it comes to buying and selling, rentals and commercial property and we have been at the forefront of the country’s real estate market for more than 50 years. We are a family-run and owned company with Malta’s largest database of properties offered as for sale and to rent. Be sure to contact any of our 16 branches on Malta and Gozo and our property professionals will be happy to assist you obligation-free! Happy house hunting!

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