Learn all about the types of issues that buyers may face when buying an older property in Malta like farmhouses or houses of character for sale.
Malta and Gozo boast a considerable number of older types of properties for sale or rent which find themselves consistently on the Malta real estate market and top the popularity lists. There are several benefits in buying property for sale in Malta that is older, not least being the prestige, which comes with owning a home which possesses a long and possibly coloured history.
Older residential real estate, like houses of character and farmhouses, are usually blessed with several unique and identifiable features. However, one needs to keep a watchful eye for certain typical sore points that such older properties usually include. Here’s a list of some of the types of issues to notice, observe and ask for advice about when you are purchasing older properties on the islands which may lead to mistakes or hidden costs.
One of the most common problems with buying property in Malta, especially older types of properties is humidity. The problem of humidity in older types of residential real estate in Malta and Gozo can be found in the ground floor and basement areas.
This is because, in the past, it was not customary to insulate the foundations from rising damp. The way most old buildings were built was not generally conducive to any permanent damage from humidity, however, modern living does not co-exist happily with humid walls.
Therefore, when viewing an older Malta property like a house of character for sale, look at the lower part of the walls in the ground floor areas and see if you notice any signs of rising dampness or any signs of mould. This will manifest through flaking paint, uneven wall surfaces, and blotchy marks. Where walls have been covered with panelling or wallpaper, that were hidden by furniture or have been recently whitewashed, make sure you have access to a revealed part of the wall so as to assess if humidity exists or not.
Another common problem also linked to humidity found in older residential Malta property types is that caused by water seepage. This time instead of looking downwards you have to look upwards at the ceilings which are exposed to the elements from the exterior.
Any ground floor rooms which have a roof and any upper floors which have a roof must be observed for signs of seepage in ceilings. Again, one of the clearest indications of water seepage is a soiled whitewash, stains in corners, signs of water seepage trickling down walls or rusted metal beams where beams exist.
Water seepage is a severe problem in any type of home in Malta or Gozo which may or may not be resolved easily and it is always best to request the assistance and advice of an experienced architect. Therefore, we suggest that prior to deciding to buy the hot property for sale in Malta, you should go and ask for assistance from an architect.
Water systems in older buildings usually need to be completely re-fitted especially if such buildings have been closed and unoccupied for a number of months or years. Disuse or abuse over the years would have caused the old system of metal pipes to rust and become irretrievably clogged and damaged.
Old drainage systems in traditional Malta real estate types also have a reputation of becoming badly blocked and if these need to be replaced, one has to estimate the repercussions of such an overhaul to the entire house.
Old electricity systems in any type of old building are, generally speaking, considered rather unsafe. Again, expert advice is essential in determining whether the electricity system needs to be changed, entirely or in part.
These hints are not meant to scare prospective buyers from purchasing older properties for sale in Malta and Gozo. However, not all types of traditional residential real estate for sale are in such a bad state. Some old properties are genuinely in good shape and only need minor interventions and regular maintenance.
Whichever the case, remember that professional Malta real estate agents, like RE/MAX Malta estate agents, can always recommend reputable experts to help you decide what needs changing or altering and what can live happily the way it has done for so many years. Read more about how our real estate agents can help you simplify the buying process and aid you in purchasing the traditional home of your dreams.