After 8 years in Malta I felt like it was time to stop wasting money on rent and finally buy my own place. I’m only just taking the first steps on buying my own property in Malta but thought it’d be helpful to bring you all along on the journey. Right now I’m not sure if I’m buying something I want to live in, or something to rent, but I was told that being a foreigner (shudder!) I’d find it much harder to get decent terms on a loan, so I figured I’d first go and see what kind of home loan I can get before deciding what kind of property I want.
So far I have approached BOV (👎🏽), Banif (👎🏽) and APS (👍🏽) to try and get a first time mortgage in Malta.
Applying for a home loan in Malta as a British expat comes with some difficulties. Here’s what you need to know about me:
- 30 years old
- in Malta for almost 8 years
- first time buyer
- not married
- no kids
- full time employment (3 years at current company)
Home Loan Calculator Malta
You should absolutely book an appointment at each bank to see exactly what terms you’re eligible for, as so many factors will affect how much you can borrow, the deposit amount and the interest amount, however, get a rough idea using home loan calculators. I found these really helpful before the appointments to at least get a rough idea of monthly repayments for my desired loan amount. The terms I was actually offered were quite a bit better than what the home loan calculator shot out, but it was so great to be prepared!
Banks offering Mortgages to Expats in Malta
I’ve banked with Bank of Valletta for a number of years so when it came to getting a home loan in Malta, even as an expat, I thought they’d be the best bet. They have seen my salary go in steadily, they see I have no mandatory outgoings, no debt. They know me. But BOV is a real pain as it’s only open part-time during the day, so appointments are limited. The guy I met with also double booked me so I wasted my lunch hour on waiting. The guy himself wasn’t outright rude but he didn’t smile once during the discussion, and barely looked me in the eyes.
BOV asked me extensive questions about
- my salary,
- my job,
- my marital status,
- whether I have kids at school in Malta,
- whether I have blood relatives here in Malta,
- how often do I travel and much more.
Finally he told me that they would give me a loan.
Home Loan Terms:
- 30% deposit (the maximum amount) regardless if I borrowed 100k or 400k 👎🏽
- around 5 – 6% interest 👎🏽
- 34 year term only 👎🏽
This put me in the ‘highest risk’ bracket, so I asked him what factors made me high risk, to see if I could maybe do something about them, but he refused to tell me what factors affect the rating.
I will not be getting a first time buyers home loan from Bank of Valletta, Malta.
APS is a church bank, which was initially very off-putting, but with the terms from BOV making it completely useless for me, I figured APS was worth a shot. APS have a new evening policy where they open for personal appointments until 8PM on certain days, which already makes them so much more convenient. I headed over after work and was met by smiling, friendly faces.
APS asked me a few questions before letting me know if I was eligible for a mortgage in Malta, much fewer than BOV:
- how long have I lived here
- what is my salary
- is my job indefinite or do I have a definite contract.
Then after a few minutes were able to confirm a loan. This was of a lower figure than BOV, but still a lot more than I’d be needing and they said more was possible but the terms would be slightly different.
- 10% deposit (the minimum amount) 👍🏽
- 2.5% interest for 2 years, increasing to 3% afterwards 👍🏽
- flexible, up to 33 year term 👍🏽
So, aside from the general service being heads and shoulders above BOV, the terms are absolutely perfect for me. They also offer a number of different packages, including APS Plus whereby you keep your savings with APS and don’t earn any interest on them, however, each day they calculate your loan amount, minus your savings amount in order to calculate the interest. If you are an expat in Malta looking to buy property, I’d recommend a conversation with APS.
I did a home loan calculator at Banif Bank in Malta and was emailed almost immediately asking if I’d like to set up an appointment. This was over a month ago and so far they’ve not been able to fit me in. They ask me for a date and time, then they don’t reply for 7 days. They then do reply saying ‘no’ and asking me for another time and date. Again, I reply and they ignore me for 7 days. I asked if there was someone else I could speak to and have still not received a reply.
Next Steps for Buying Property in Malta
Now I have a quote from APS I will begin looking around for the place I want, get a better idea of the amount I’ll need then set up another appointment with them to see how to proceed. I’ll keep you posted!