In our previous blog post, we spoke about The Beauty of Buying a House of Character, that’s why 77 Great Estates wanted to show its appreciation towards such beautiful types of properties and why they should be considered when shopping around for an ideal home.
1. It has an inimitable quality
Built from large stones, with high slabbed ceilings and wooden beams complemented by custom-made window fittings, wide-plank wooden flooring, hard wood craftsman doors, wrap around front porches – the list of reasons to love such a home is endless. Upon entering any House of Character, you'll instantly witness the appealing affect they have on you.
What’s more, they’re considered to be rather large and spacious for today’s standards. Many of these houses also come with a central court yard and/or a garden. Houses of characters are mainly found in a village, usually very close to the main church in a narrow street or alley which just further accentuates to their charm, giving off a warm homely feeling, perfect for bringing up a family.
2. Converted vs Unconverted
You’ll need to decide if you want to buy a property that’s already been converted or whether you prefer to go for the cheaper option of an unconverted property and finish it off to your own tastes and standards.
When buying a converted property, you’ll benefit from being able to see the property finished and having the option to move in the moment the contract is ready. The work involved in converting any House of Character is as demanding as it is rewarding. The majority of houses will require new flooring, water and electricity fittings throughout, membrane waterproofing, solar panels and air-conditioning. You'll also have to adhere to strict MEPA regulations who’ll ensure that all the necessary works are being carried out according to their guidelines.
3. Maintenance Expenses
Even when purchasing a converted House of Character, when factoring in costs, you’ll still have to give some leeway for maintenance expenses which are a lot higher than a modern apartment. To keep the home in good shape, giving a regular coat of paint to the outdoor windows and door fittings is a good idea, it’s also essential to cure the walls for dampness and maintain the façade.
Anyone who appreciates a good old-fashioned place can understand the nostalgic charm of an antique home whose walls are bursting with history. Buying a ‘fixer-upper’ for a house seems like a romantic proposition, probably because older homes have amazing character traits and historical features that most new homes might lack.
4. Older technologies and building materials is not always a bad thing
Think of custom, hand-crafted traits of an older home, usually implying long-lasting value and a sturdy structure that’s hard to find nowadays. There’s a reason that older homes are still standing – they were built to last: a quality that makes youfall in love with such historic properties. That being said, hiring a plethora of contractors, engineers, foundation experts and inspectors is mandatory before making any life-altering decisions, because technologically speaking, an older home is usually filled with ancient methods of plumbing, wiring, heating, windows, roofing and insulating properties. This translates into a considerable amount of costly repairs. Yes, it is life-altering if you buy a centurion home, but remember that all potential costs must be factored in the purchase of an older home.
5. An amalgamation of Old and New can actually work
While on your house hunt for the perfect relic of a home, you may not as easily fall in love with the old bathrooms or other room features, you shouldn’t be turned off just because the modern amenities aren’t there. So why not mix the old with new?
One of the biggest remodelling and decorating faux pas people make with older homes is getting stuck in the rut of having to stick to the theme of the old look or traditional era. Remember, rules were meant to be broken when it comes to decorating. Just because you have an antique home, it doesn’t mean it only needs to be filled with antiques. The extensive fusion of traditional and modern has a very alluring and inimitable aesthetic.
The importance of getting expert advice
Hastily buying one of these gems before doing a bit of research isn’t highly recommended, since expert advice from professionals will always point you in the right direction. A thorough, somewhat forensic investigation is necessary before purchasing an older home.
It’s important that now you have found your dream property, you should contact an experienced architect who’ll be able to tell you what condition the building is in and give you an approximate idea of expenses and a timeframe if any work needs to be done. Your architect will also advise you on building permits so you can see the full potential of the property.
As with buying any other property in Malta or Gozo, you’ll also need a notary to confirm the status of the land and complete searches on the property. Lastly, but most certainly not least, commissioning a highly skilled and experienced real estate agent is also important. Our agents at 77 Great Estates have years of experience under their belts, thus know what it entails when choosing the right place before signing those important dotted lines.
For more information on purchasing a House of Character in Malta or Gozo, contact us today.