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November 23, 2022
6 min read

Step ON or Step UP to the property ladder: top tips and advice for first-time buyers

It’s no secret that a home is one of the largest and most important investments you’ll ever make,  so feeling overwhelmed as a first-time buyer is only natural. But when you’re scrolling through the endless possibilities of property, how do you know which home is right for you and when is the right time to act?  

Our Sara Grech agents weigh in and share their top tips for stepping onto the property ladder for the very first time.  

Is location the most important factor?  

When you’re thinking about where to buy, it’s worth taking the time to research different areas  around Malta and Gozo. Even on a small island, considering the basics like “How long will it  take me to get to work?”, or “What’s the local community like?”, will pay-off later down the line.  

Picking a location for your first property is an extremely personal and important choice but  before jumping into anything, you should take a good look at your current lifestyle. What are the  non-negotiables you can’t live without? Good transport links? Decent outdoor space? Proximity  to a gym or beach? When you purchase a home, remember you’re also purchasing a lifestyle,  so spend time going through what you consider “essential” versus “nice-to-haves”. 

Having conversations with family and friends about the locations you’re considering, can also be  a good starting point. But sometimes, you just need to step into a home or community to see if  you can imagine yourself living there or not. A place can just feel right for you, and you shouldn’t  ignore that - even if the neighborhood wasn’t initially top of your list. However, it’s worth  speaking to someone who knows the local area well before signing on the dotted line.  

At Sara Grech, all our agents are individually skilled and knowledgeable about the areas they  live and work in. Given your first home is likely to be your base for the foreseeable future,  finding a property in an area that’s on the rise, can pay dividends down the line. If your heart is  set on a particular location, but you’re still hesitant about taking that first step, then reach out to  one of our local community experts who can offer you more guidance. 

I experienced comments related to my gender and ability from the very moment I started my career, such as: “You won’t be taken seriously” or “You’ll get bored and soon give up to get married and have children”. This made me push harder to prove myself. I needed to be great at what I did, because average was never an option."

How to get the most from a viewing 

When you turn up to the property, take your time and look around. Note the details such as the  number and location of power sockets or turn on the taps to check water pressure. Try to look  past the surface level things like décor and furniture, as this can all be changed later.  

If everything adds up to the property being right for you, arrange another viewing perhaps at a different time of day, so you can get a feel for how the rooms, area or overall experience of the property differs between day and night. 

It’s worth asking for how long the property has been on the market, as well as any possibilities for future extensions. We always encourage you to come to the viewing with a good list of questions and the Sara Grech team will answer them there and then or get back to you with any information you've requested.  

"When our clients ask us questions, it’s actually beneficial for us as well as them, because it tells us a lot about what they consider as top priorities,” says Sales Manager Alexis Cachia, "this makes the whole process of finding “the one” a lot smoother because we’re already matching up your property needs with our curated portfolio".

What should I consider before putting in an offer? 

You’ve explored the area, found your dream home and your finance is ready to go; now you just  need to make sure that your offer gets accepted.  

We always recommend talking to the agent you’ve been in contact with first, as they will have a  better idea of what the seller is looking for and what offer will be taken seriously. The decision to go in high, low or simply agree to the terms of the offer is ultimately your decision, but keep your initial affordability range in mind to avoid overstepping the mark. 

Agent Hannah Grech says, "As a first-time buyer, you’re actually in a really strong position because you don’t need to wait for a current property sale to go through. Acting quickly is one of the best ways to make your offer more attractive, so you avoid missing out on your dream home". 

Looking for some inspiration? 

We have an impressive, soon-to-be renovated selection of one, two and three bedroom flats  available in Birkirkara, starting from €245,000. Centrally located and will be finished to a  spectacular standard throughout to cater for all the comforts of modern living. 

We are working with trusted developers to bring these properties to completion and market on time, so it’s a perfect choice for first-time buyers who are in a position to act quickly on this opportunity. As part of the agreement, all properties are being exclusively sold through Sara  Grech and are available on a 'Buy Now, Pay Later' finance initiative to support first-time buyers.  

Get in touch with us about the properties above or check out our full property portfolio here.

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