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RETIRING TO MALTA

My wife and I are considering g retiring to Malta in the next 2 to 3 years. We'll buy a property, preferably a house, and will have a retirement income of around €25,000 p.a. Is that enough to live on? Also,is there enough to do on Malta for a retired, active, couple?

Broomie :

My wife and I are considering g retiring to Malta in the next 2 to 3 years. We'll buy a property, preferably a house, and will have a retirement income of around €25,000 p.a. Is that enough to live on? Also,is there enough to do on Malta for a retired, active, couple?

First, the vast majority of expats do not buy, they rent as property prices are stupidly high for, mostly, low build quality property. It is not easy to resell if you don't like where you are or your circumstances change unless you are very luck or prepared to take a big loss!

Rent is very cheap by UK standards and if you do not like where you are you can at least move at the end of your lease with no major hassle.
Rental is cheaper in Gozo but there is not so much to do or places to go and going to Malta is a days outing! Also we travel to Germany or the UK 2 or 3 a year and it is a bit of a pain getting to the airport.

We live on a similar retirement income and it is fine to live on for us in Gozo but maybe not so easy in Malta. We do not bother with a car because the buses are very good where we are, but may not always be so convenient or on time in Malta.
Not so much spare cash as there was, at the moment, as the exchange rate has dipped by around 10% because of the jitters about the possibility of the UK exiting the EU.

Ray

We plan to move early next year and would agree with F0xgl0ve.
We are  planning a move early next year on less than 20K Euro and we believe we can do this, renting on Gozo. We are both 60+.  As to things to do, walking being the obvious, but given the size of all the islands, may be repetitive after a short while. I plan to try scuba diving, and I can't swim. We will be seeking the laid back lifestyle that Gozo offers and can't wait till next year.
Ray

I've had looked property to buy and it looks OK to me from what I could see on Rightmove. I am thinking of buying because I then won't have to find monthly rental. Also, we would be looking for something big enough for our families to visit and stay. Also, it's something that we could leave to our children in the future.

One of the problems with purchasing property is if you find out you do not like living there its
not easy to get a buyer for your house especially in Gozo where the same houses have been
up for sale since we have been here for three years, majority are well over priced and not built
very well.

Broomie :

I've had looked property to buy and it looks OK to me from what I could see on Rightmove. I am thinking of buying because I then won't have to find monthly rental. Also, we would be looking for something big enough for our families to visit and stay. Also, it's something that we could leave to our children in the future.

Even if you really feel you must by a property, I would come and rent for a year first to have plenty of time to find the area you are sure you like, as often the ideal spot turns out to have continually barking dogs, a noisy holiday let next door or some other problem which is not initially apparent.

Even in Gozo a decent 3 or 4 bed 'Farmhouse' with a pool is likely to cost €300-400,000 upwards so the return on invested capital, not used to purchase, could cover some or all of the cost of renting. Our first rented house was 4 beds (all en suite) with small pool and only cost €650 a month.

Ray

Please do not rush into buying - the market is nothing like the uk one and as you can't sell the property in the first five years your here to anyone other than the Maltese - you will end up regretting it - besides living in Malta is a lot different than a one weeks holiday here

Broomie :

I've had looked property to buy and it looks OK to me from what I could see on Rightmove. I am thinking of buying because I then won't have to find monthly rental. Also, we would be looking for something big enough for our families to visit and stay. Also, it's something that we could leave to our children in the future.

Hi Broomie

First, I wouldn't use RightMove as a 'yardstick' for property on sale in Malta. I would say that even the local Estate Agents web-sites in Malta are normally out-of-date.

The advice about rent-before-you-buy is a solid one, and one quite a few expats who are already there will have done.  Malta is a very difficult place to gauge when it comes to putting some roots down and, as has been alluded to already, can change from month to month with the holiday letting period almost upon us.  The point about barking dogs, also, is very valid. Although the majority of locals are animal lovers, there are just as many who think that having a dog is just that...having it. It will rarely see any exercise, be kept at the back of the property and will want to 'talk' to his/her fellow dogs at all hours of the day - there will be no chastisement from its owners. Secondly, what you or I see as a lovely view from the balcony may be the site of a future construction site as the locals try to quench their thirst for putting up yet more blocks of flats. I'm not saying this is bad, but it is a consideration. 

You say that you will have an 'income' of €25K, (I'm going out on a limb here) but I think that as a retired couple you will be fairly well off there with that, even if you are renting. I knew of a family who lived quite well in Mellieha for less than that and one of them smoked and they both enjoyed a 'wee tipple' and meal out every now and then.

Finally, I'm wondering if you have a property in the UK and whether this will be rented or sold to use as collateral for your Malta purchase. If you do, consider this: the rental you would receive from that would compensate you for the rental of a property in Malta, also you would be able to leave a UK property to your kids and not lumber them with something they would then have to try and sell themselves and lastly - Heavens forbid that you find, after a couple of years living in Malta, something happens that you find a need to return to the UK, then you can, and at very short notice.

For me, I would take the idea of renting for 6 months at a time in different area part of the excitement of moving to Malta. You may hit on the right place on the first go, but if you don't, and you have rented a furnished property then a move to another is not as stressful as you would think.

It's a big decision, listen to what the others have offered before making that move to buy, and please don't look on RightMove again - it really is so misleading.

Good Luck

MickyJoe

Rent first, we've been here not 6 months and had to move already as the first place turned into a building site so bad with earth shaking digging the lifts kept breaking all the time - and there's no care at all for laws like noise early early in the morning.

I wouldn't buy here, buy in the UK or any other actual got-it-together EU country, rent out and rent here - UK is a better investment certainly one that isnt hedging its best on being an attractive tax destinations, something that will not be a long term viable plan.

Thanks to you all for your advice, it's much appreciated and the reason why I came onto the forum.
We would have to sell our house because we still have mortgage remaining on it and can't afford to pay that and retire. Whether we buy another house, rent it out and rent abroad isn't something I'd considered. We still have a couple of years so can do our hework.

Thanks again.

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