Now that you have gone through the initial think process and have budgeted , you can pat yourself on the back. You're now well on the way to finding your first property. Exciting times are ahead and there are a wide variety of properties available and most definitely one that will suit you.
There are so many choices and so many different properties out there where do you begin? well by having gone through the thought process outlined in article one, and following the practical advice set out in article two you have really made your life so much easier. Try to keep some element of flexibility with your costs, location and wish list because if you are too specific this will create constraints, always try to keep a happy medium.
Furthermore you have really narrowed the search of the ideal property. This helps you stick to what you WANT and what you can AFFORD. You have a higher chance of obtaining your goal, finding the property that best suits you with the additional benefit of enjoying the whole experience.
When property is discussed or talked about amongst friends many words and phrases are thrown into the conversation. It's quite possible that you have heard the following terminology casually or that you've read them somewhere;
2, Semi - Finished
Have you ever wondered what do they mean ? what are the differences ? and which one should you go for?
Without being too exhaustive shell, semi-finished and finished are the most common different kinds of conditions you can find a property in . The levels of finishing can range from standard to luxury and this will be reflective in the property type, location and price (the budget you have set yourself).
To help you we have provided you with some general guidelines for the main three typical conditions that you can find a property in:
A property in shell form is literally the bricks and mortar no more , no less. You will not find any utility connections , tiles, windows nor any rooms completed. These properties best suit those individuals who;
a, have a specific taste and style and want to finish it themselves,
b, are in no rush to complete the property so they can spread their costs over a long period of time,
c, family members are electricians, plumbers, tile layers etc... and can save themselves money in finishing the property and possibly buy a larger property due to the savings made,
d, buying for an investment and hold the property for sometime before completing it
The finishing can vary between properties and owners of those properties. You could possibly find properties being offered with the plumbing and electricity connections ready but no windows or internal doors. The type of people who would most likely buy these properties are individuals who ;
a, would like to get a separate quotation from another contractor and complete the property as and when they want,
b, love the property and will buy it as it satisfies their requirements,
c, family members can complete the property but have a time constraint so if the plumbing and electricity connections are in place they can begin work immediately
d, buying for an investment
With finished properties all you need to do is literally install a kitchen with its appliances and you can move in ! You will generally find the following ready in finished properties;
Water & Electricity
Plumbing & Connections ready
Tiling throughout the property
The Bathroom and or En suite completed
Common area completed
The type of people who tend to buy finished properties are those who;
a, want no hassle and to move in immediately once the kitchen has been installed,
b, too busy to look around for the tiles ,doors,windows etc.... and complete the property themselves,
c, have a set budget and don't want to exceed it or prefer to know all the costs upfront
d, investment for rental purposes - you can begin to make a rental income as soon as the kitchen is installed
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With shell and semi-finished properties you may also find the common parts ready . This again depends on the contractor so it's important to clear this with the Estate Agent and have them listed in the contract of sale (convenue).
Besides giving you a detailed summary of conditions of properties and what to expect it's always recommendable that you view the properties. The condition can vary slightly even between the same level i.e. shell. You may find that some contractor has actually provided you with the water and electricity connection.
Take that extra bit of time in the beginning it could save you valuable time later.
Following are general questions that we are often asked we welcome you to take a look.
SOME COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED
How long does it take to finish a property from shell form to finished ?
This depends on how you are going to go about it. Are you going to get an external contracting company who will take care of everything or are you depending on friends/family or individual tradesmen.
What's the difference ?
With a contractor you go to them with your requirements - this is right down to how many electric points you want in each room, they will come back with a quotation that will include the price and time frame in which the job has to be completed. With individual tradesmen it can become very tiresome to get them all working in sequence. With friends or family it's quite difficult to be so particular because you have emotional connections.
Why does it make any difference?
You are much likelier to have the place finished faster with a contractor. More often than not they also have a full team of people employed with them and it's not down to one person doing all the work. Individual tradesmen , if one person is running behind schedule everything falls behind. With friends and family there's very rarely a written contract . Basically - you get what you pay for.
How much will it cost to finish my place?
This is the million dollar question and will depend allot on you and how far you have set your sights. Have a budget and add at least another 30% for unexpected costs. Also stay realistic! For example when choosing things such as tiles, kitchens, appliances, bathroom suites. There are many bargains to be found and it's worth shopping around to get the best deal.
If I buy a semi-finished place do I have to pay for what's already there?
If there are things like plumbing,electricity, windows etc.. they would be included in the price. However, if there's a semi-finished place and the previous owners installed a kitchen they would have included this price in the sale price as part of the fixtures and fittings. This could be to your advantage as you find the kitchen ready and you may be able to negotiate the price a little bit.
In the next article we will discuss 'COMMON TYPES OF PROPERTIES'.
Article exclusively prepared for BrideMalta.com by CNWPropertyMalta