Investing in a property with the aim of eventually turning it into a prolific rental, is something pretty enticing. Around the Maltese Islands rental investment is popular namely because of the increasing demands for such accomodation from locals, foreign students, workers and ex-pats who decide to retire here. For all of these, unless they want to own their own property, the first, most immediate housing solution is a rental.
The notion of buying to let is extremely titillating but before embarking on the purchase, one has to be aware of certain characteristics which tenants typically like to look out for. It would be wise to keep in mind important things that are a must for a tenant. As you view potential properties, you can check all the pluses and decide which ticks most or all of the required boxes. You can do this by placing yourself in the shoes of a tenant. What would he or she require? And then return back to base and ask yourself - what kind of property would make life simpler for myself as a lessor?
Remember that a modern property is always a better deal in these cases, possibly requiring less maintenance and upkeep both for the tenant and for yourself from the onset. If the property comes with furnishings, furniture and other amenities and is well finished, you are heading towards maximising your rental income.
An apartment is generally the first best rental option to invest in, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
Tenants will want and be ready to pay for all the latest gadgets and technological gizmos. Start with the staples such as an LCD monitor, air-conditioning units in the bedrooms and living area, dishwasher and electric kitchen appliances. An intercom comes in handy too. Make sure lighting is consumer-friendly with LED lamps where possible and dimmers to help the tenants maintain a lower consumption.
Maximise your rental income by choosing a property with a new or relatively new bathroom. Old, decrepit bathrooms should be changed and modernized to ones including non-slip bath/shower facilities, heated towel rails and easy to clean bathroom tiling.
Another price maker is size. Larger rooms in a one-bedroom apartment will call for a higher rent that a poky roomed place. And of course a duplex apartment or penthouse will surely tip the scales in letting your property out at a huge profit.
Yet, in many cases it may turn out to be a better investment if you purchase one and two bedroom apartments since you may achieve a higher percentage of rental income where at present rental income for residential properties fluctuates between 4 - 8%. There is a higher demand from younger ex-pats who seem to prefer to rent alone and independently rather than sharing their property with someone else. This is especially true of couples who like having a small apartment with an extra bedroom for visitors. If the apartment is small, and if you are aiming for long-term rentals, ensure there is plenty of storage space in the right kind of furniture you select.
Location is key where letting your property is involved, since this considerably determines the rental price you set on the property you are about to purchase. Top priced properties are located in and around Sliema and St. Julian’s, especially if the property is found in one of the the Special Designated Areas The further away you move, the lower the rental income may be, unless you find an apartment in a key location in the Three Cities for instance.
If you aim to buy to let, be aware that RE/MAX Malta boasts one of the largest professional teams of letting agents on the islands. All letting agents are trained specifically to provide you rental valuation, and assist you to eventually to rent the property as well as manage the property if need be. Consulting with a RE/MAX Malta letting agent will help you better decide what is the best way to invest in this sector of real estate.