Maltese villages have a certain appeal and charm to them that makes them very attractive to those property buyers who have previously lived in larger cities or towns, or people who are interested in old architecture, restoration and longed-for quiet.
While buying property in Maltese villages does tend to offer the above-mentioned criteria, it’s not always bougainvillea and cicadas on a balmy summer evening.
Let’s get the ‘bad stuff’ out of the way first.
- Lack of Privacy
In a village, your business is most people’s business, so you better not be involved in any shady business. While the idea of having people wanting to know about you can make you feel cared for and important, it can also mean that your personal affairs will become public knowledge and fodder for the grocery store grapevine.
- Old Houses require (more) Maintenance
The truly best properties in villages are the gorgeous houses of character (referred to as HOCs among real estate agents due to their particular category within the housing market) with their limestone walls and wooden shutters providing a dash of colour to the façade – they are uniquely special, and, as with all special things, require maintenance and upkeep. Most HOCs often have features like cellars or stone spiral staircases which aren’t typically found in other properties, so unless you’re prepared to invest financially in maintaining your house, you might want to consider a flat, or a more modern property.
- Traditional Maltese Village Festas aka Noisy Nights
While the majority of towns and villages celebrate an annual festa dedicated to their parish saint, the festa atmosphere in a village can be more intense than others. For one week a year be prepared for some intense festa activity which can be good fun if you decide to immerse yourself in the local village lore. As everyone gathers in the village square, you may have to put up with - or savour - blocked streets as the procession winds its way towards the church, crowds as the locals gather around to see the ground fireworks, and noise coming from the air fireworks display, the brass band belting out their well-rehearsed tunes, and the revellers enjoying a make-shift street party.
There are obviously many good things about village life, so here’s a succinct look at what buying property in a Maltese village can offer.
- Beautiful and Unique Houses
Most of the houses found in villages are traditional in appearance falling into the categories of houses of character, town houses, bungalows and villas – all very appealing in appearance and somewhat unique in their style. Maltese architecture is particular and houses are built out of limestone giving them that lovely sunny-coloured glow.
- Peace and Quiet
With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, returning home to peace and quiet is a perfect ending to the day, and village life will typically afford you that luxury.
- Sense of Community
Once people find a house that they like they tend to settle and form roots, and those roots often extend to their neighbours as a community is formed. Village life offers a sense of security and comfort as polite greetings are exchanged in the streets and at the grocer – a characteristic that isn’t found in larger towns and cities. You will find that local neighbours rally around if you ask for help at any stage, offering you a sense of community and security that you might not find in a more modern environment.
Buying property in a Maltese village can be very rewarding in terms of quality of life, but ensure that you want the quiet time that can accompany it before parting with your hard-earned money.