Many people prefer to purchase real estate in Malta in a finished state rather than one which is still in shell form and requiring quite a fair bit of work. The difference in price between a shell and finished property caters for the works carried out by the previous owner, including labour, installation and the actual purchase of several goods (kitchen, bathrooms etc).
It also allows the new owner the added advantage of being able to move in almost immediately. However, for those who are not in any rush to settle into their new property in Malta, the purchase of a shell property maybe ideal. The difference in price allows them use those funds (and possibly less) towards customising the property to their exact requirements.
The only problem they foresee is the fact that they’re not quite sure how to finish the property, what works they need to look into, where they can source the labour and so on. One may choose a designer to assist them in planning out the process of finishing their real estate in Malta, however the should you have the time to DIY it, the job is not as daunting as it seems. First, make sure you have a detailed plan of the property, with current electrical sockets (if not plan them out on the plan), door and window openings etc clearly marked. Then plan your property as it would suit you. Nowadays you may even find an application that will assist you. You may decide to knock down a wall or two to create the effect of an open plan property, or perhaps you’d like to include another window or door in certain rooms. Start off with these jobs – they will certainly entail a bit of ‘damage’ to the real estate so make sure you’re 100% happy with your plan before you start knocking down walls. Then you can move on to plumbing and electricity.
By now, you should have already decided where your kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms will be located. You’ll need to pass this information on to your plumber and electrician. Again, these jobs include more drilling, but will not entail any permanent damage. There’s no need to actually have the bathroom or kitchen installed at this stage, but just ensure that all the plumbing and electrical sockets are in place for when you do get to that stage. For example, you’ll want to include more plugs nears the beds in the bedrooms, and quite a few in the kitchen for the small appliances (microwaves, toasters, kettles and anything else you may use from time to time).
Next to be tackled are the floors and walls, but it is suggested you start off with the walls first. Plaster where needed and make sure the surface is completely flat and problem-free before you proceed with painting. The reason the wall is tackled first is because you don’t want any paint drops to land on your new floor. If this happens, removing them could damage the tiling/parquet. Bring in a tiler when the walls are completely ready. If you’d like to speed things up a bit, you can have the walls done room by room, and then have a tiler lay the flooring as soon as a room is ready. By this point, the internal doors would already be ordered and, once all the walls and floors are ready, you can have them installed, along with the external windows.
Next – you can get your bathrooms and kitchen installed. Make sure they’re ordered well in advance and, when you’re shopping for kitchen and bathrooms, have the room dimensions ready at hand. Remember that if the internal doors haven’t yet been installed, you’ll need to leave about 10cm for the door frame. Several people choose to have the bathrooms installed first as they feel they’re more urgent. If you’re finishing an apartment, you may need to bring in a high-up crane, which would involve getting permits from the local council and, in the case where the high-up blocks part of a main road or closes off a road completely, you’ll also need a traffic warden. As a last item on the to-do list, some have opted to have the lock to the main door changed, especially when copies have been made or passed on to several different workers.
Finally, your piece of real estate in Malta is really starting to take shape. Once you have your bedroom setup, you can practically move in whilst the main live-in items start becoming available on for the property. You may decide to furnish the property slowly, dependant on budgets, or perhaps opt for a complete all-at-once furnishing. Either way, the work you put in to a shell property certainly may instil a greater sense of pride then purchasing a ready-finished property in Malta.