There are many ways to make a fortune with property: Here’s the main ones:
Investing in property is always incredibly flexible. No matter what your financial goals are, you should easily be able to choose a strategy that is right for you. The most common strategies are:
Asset appreciation over time.
Whether you’re looking to put aside an asset for your waning years, or looking to leave a significant investment for your heirs, long-term increase in market value is most definitely the most effective way to do this.
Malta is extremely limited in space given it’s size. Since Malta joined the EU, many Europeans exercised the option to make Malta their home, resulting in Malta’s major property boom in Q3 2004 resulting in an increase of property prices by over 35%. With an ever increasing demand, and limited supply, the value of property in Malta is bound to deliver a healthy capital gain, provided you choose the right area.
Positive cash flow
Do you need to increase your cash flow? Just choose properties where the rental income outweighs your expenses. With loan interest rates at their lowest in the last 15 years, renting a property for more than you are repaying is no daunting task, as long as you choose the right areas.
“Properties in Sliema, St Julians, Gzira and Swieqi offer exceptional cashflow. This extra income will definitely assist in all areas of your life and at the same time, as stated above, will increase in value over time.
Have you found an old place which needs work but has massive potential? You can easily renovate, develop or divide a property and also increase it’s value out of thin air, by just painting the walls or removing a wall to make the property look bigger and brighter. There are no other asset classes which can increase their permanent value with such little effort.
You can change the use or your property, or affect the value of your investment with little work, however there is nothing you can do to change the share market, or currency values. As the old adage goes “You can polish your wedding ring, but the value of gold may still drop.”
Investing in the share market is not easy. Most importantly you need to acquire the services of a broker to handle your trades for you (at a cost) and also the value of your stock relies on many market factors and on actions of individuals running the company you’re investing in, which brings in an element of uncertainty. This is not the case in property;
If you invest in the sharemarket, you typically need to hire a broker to handle your trades for you, and the value of any shareholding is reliant on market conditions and the actions of the people running that company –introducing an element of uncertainty.
In property this is an entirely different story. Once you’ve purchased the property, you have complete control of the asset as long as you keep up your loan repayments. The power lies with you, meaning that you can add value (by increasing the asset worth) and also the cash flow (by increasing the rent) directly – Something that you clearly can’t do with shares you own in a company.
You can enhance cosmetically
There are quite a few strategies you can employ. One of the easiest and most common is aesthetic renovation – buying a tired property and renovating the interior and exterior. This can range from simple putting in a laminate parquet to simply giving the walls a fresh coating of paint to fitting in a new bathroom or kitchen and or changing your light fittings to a more modern looking style.
It’s a tried and tested way of increasing the value of your property. With a minimum spend of a couple of thousand euros you can easily add twice as much value to the right property.
The next rung on the cosmetic enhancement ladder is structural renovation. Adding a bedroom, turning boring roof into a roof garden, or adding a small ensuite bathroom to the main bedroom are just a few ideas. This is slightly more complex than a simple paint job or carpet fitting – with more things potentially going wrong and with the costs spiraling out of control – but obviously can be significantly more lucrative.
Subdividing your property
Older properties in Malta tend to offer larger space and sit on a bigger footprint. If you find a property big enough, in an area which allows smaller properties like the three golden S’s (Sliema, St Julians, and Swieqi) then you can apply with the Maltese Planning Authority to cut the property in two, while selling or renting both halves for a nice profit. Whilst not physically challenging, locating the appropriate property can prove to be difficult, and MEPA permits can take months to be issued.
The highest risk and highest reward is buying an existing old property or vacant top floor apartment with airspace, subdividing the property and building upon it. Usually if the property was built a while ago, that means that it is likely that the Maltese Planning Authority has allowed a further few stories to be built since then, thus allowing you the option of adding an extra floor or two with a penthouse above them. The profits in this case can be considerable, if you get it right.
Lastly, buying a property with potential that can be developed in the future can also yield a massive profit. According to the Malta National Statistics Office, the value of apartments in Malta increased by an unusually high climb of 15.5% in 2012, resulting in a stabilising dip of 8.1% in 2013, followed by another considerable increase of 8.9% in 2014 and a further 4.5% in the first quarter in 2015. Therefore buying a property with a promise of sale of 2 years can result in you getting an significant added increase in value over this time, without having to fork out any investment allowing you to benefit from a positive equity from the start.