If you’re looking to buy a property in Malta, the word ‘maisonette’ must have come up a few times on your house-hunt. Scattered as they are all over the island, they account for 11% of our property database at RE/MAX.
For anyone not quite sure how a maisonette is different from any other property they’ve seen so far, here’s a handy guide outlining the ins and outs of a maisonette, and the pros and cons of each.
A better understanding of a maisonette’s main features will help you determine whether or not this type of property is worth your investment as a homeowner.
Literally translating from French as ‘little house’, a maisonette is a compact home typically spread across a single floor and making up part of a larger structure, meaning more affordable real estate for the buyer.
You can choose between the ground floor or the elevated first floor, which sits over another residence, shop or garage. In blocks with more than two units, there may also be a floor sandwiched between two others.
What’s more, maisonettes don’t have to be small. Just like its poorer cousin, the apartment, and its richer one, the bungalow, a maisonette comes in various shapes and sizes. Needless to say, larger maisonettes with more rooms, and duplex setups taking up two floors, come at a higher price point.
Enjoying direct off-street access through a private door is the defining feature of a maisonette and what sets it apart from a flat. Since this gives the property its hefty price tag, the first thing to get clear about is whether having your own front door is a priority.
Independent property access could mean better control over the post, the freedom to set up customised security systems, and more privacy when it comes to deliveries. All of which bring a maisonette closer to a house, making the property really feel like it’s all yours.
On the flip side, like an apartment, a maisonette is part of a shared block. A maisonette set-up differs from a block of flats in that it is usually limited to just two or three other units.
Ultimately, a private front door and fewer neighbours living above or below you are what give maisonettes next-level privacy.
Anyone longing for a property with outdoor space on a budget may find the answer in a maisonette. While apartments in some complexes may give residents access to shared communal facilities, like a pool or garden, the outdoor space you get in a maisonette is not shared – it’s all yours!
Not to mention that you’re not tied down by rules for keeping pets or hanging laundry outside. If having a furry friend at home is a dealbreaker, you’re definitely safer with a maisonette than an apartment where it might not even be allowed.
Outdoor space in maisonettes comes in the form of a private backyard or garden on the ground floor, or roof access and private airspace on the top floor. This is not always guaranteed, so think about whether either one is a must for you as that will help narrow your search down going forward.
Not having to share stairs, an entryway, a corridor, a lift or a landing with your neighbours (as you would if you owned an apartment), also means that no one will come knocking on your door every few months collecting maintenance fees for the upkeep of the common parts.
You may have to pay a little more up front if you pick a maisonette over a flat, but not needing to contribute towards regular upkeep will save you big-time in the long run. This is definitely something to consider if you’re still on the fence between a maisonette and an apartment.
Sharing a space with a negligent neighbour and putting up with potential damages caused by others is always a risk with a block of flats. And one less thing to think about with a maisonette.
As a result, you are more likely to find a maisonette on offer in your preferred area, be it up north in towns like St Paul’s Bay and Mellieha, further south somewhere like Luqa or Mqabba, or in the central region in Balzan and Birkirkara, to name a few. A quick search on our database, filtering by region, will give you an idea.
Not forgetting that maisonettes take up much less vertical space than a towering multi-storey block of flats. For some, this can be an advantage as a maisonette area poses a lower skyline, also allowing more natural light indoors.
Want an outdoor space for entertaining? Take that barbecue out, get some comfy outdoor furniture and start hosting. Always longed for a garden you could tend to and find refuge in? Start growing that roof garden. Wish your kids had more room to play? Turn that yard into a fun zone with water balloons and an inflatable pool that will keep them occupied for hours!
This is what a maisonette can do for you. Whether you are a first-time buyer ready to be king or queen of your castle, a young family upgrading from their first apartment to a more spacious ‘forever home’, a buyer looking for a second home somewhere different, or someone wishing to move out of a larger house to something simpler and easier to manage, a maisonette might just be for you.
Ready to get one step closer to a practical and convenient home? Get in touch with our team at https://remax-malta.com and we’ll help you explore some maisonettes in Malta today!