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Where to live in Malta or Gozo?

Need help choosing where to live in Malta

Can't decide where on the islands to live? Find out more about the best and worst places here!

Need help choosing where to live in Malta

Postby genicon » Sat 5 Apr 2014 17:09 GMT

Hello everybody,

First message here and there will surely be a lot more. I am planning to move with my family (my wife, 1 yo son and myself) to Malta for a couple of months first and see if it's really the place we'd like to move to completely. 2 months should be enough for us to decide, but I need some extra opinions from people who are already there. I did read a ton of topics on this forum (and many others), but I still have some questions.

Before we start, it's worth noting that we would not be looking for any jobs, but I will continue to run my network of blogs while my wife takes care of the kids. We're used with not eating out a lot (once per week is enough) and we are financially responsible and always looking into keeping costs low. We wouldn't move there as tourists, but as people who want to live there, in a warmer and hopefully better place. These being said, here are my questions:

1. I am budgeting right now 2,000 EUR per month for all costs for my entire family (rent, food, entertainment, utilities and anything else - having in mind what I said above). Would this be enough or should I increase the numbers here?

2. Out of the 2,000 I am budgeting 400-450 EUR for rent (but would go as high as 500 EUR for something really good). Would this be enough for a two bedroom apartment situated close to the beach (not necessarily with sea view)? I mean fully furnished (it doesn't have to be luxury, regular furniture and appliances are OK) and with air con and, A MUST, wi-fi connection because otherwise I can't do my job :) Would it be possible to get something really nice for this money (like sea view or shared pool?) or we should only expect crappier places?

3. Which village to choose?
This is really tricky for us, as we'd like a building that's quiet and not over a noisy pub so that the baby can get his night's sleep without problems. However, we'd prefer not to be too isolated (like I consider Mellieha to be, the place I saw recommended most of the times for families). I'd like us to be close to supermarket(s), but also have other things around, like shops and maybe a few restaurants to choose from. If there would be parks nearby, that would be perfect. So, to sum it up: not noisy is a must, within walking distance to shops, restaurants and beach/sea.

I know that most expats prefer the Sliema region and I would have nothing against going there. But could we find a silent area? I am sure that you guys can help.

4. Agent or no agent?
I've read a lot about getting an apartment with the help of an agency and many people complained. Plus, we'd save some money. However, I believe it's safer to go with an agency and also we'd have access to more apartments compared to what we'd get if we started looking on our own. Am I right about this or could we try finding something on our own (we plan to stay about 5 nights in a hotel while we search for a place to live in).

These would be the questions I have for now and I really hope that I can get some answers from you! Thanks and... see you there!
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Postby gozomark » Sat 5 Apr 2014 17:42 GMT

welcome to the forum :-)

thats a decent budget by Maltese standards, and a good budget for housing in most of Malta, and Gozo.

"I know that most expats prefer the Sliema region" - I doubt thats true - I guess less than 5% of expats live in Sliema

Much of Malta and Gozo would fit your criterion - personally I believe for a new expat that going through an agent is worth the € 200-250 commission you will pay them in terms of the advice and backup they will give you (if you use a good one), plus spending a day driving round with an agent will give you a very good idea of what you can get for your money.

Dont exclude Gozo from your considerations - it has a lot going for it, but isnt isolated despite what some might tell you, and the quality of life is excellent
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Postby genicon » Sun 6 Apr 2014 04:23 GMT

Thank you for the answer! I heard that finding a good agent is more difficult than it sounds, though :)) I guess that I'll have to take my chances and hope for the best.

I'll look more into Gozo - indeed, I've been considering it more isolated and mostly ignored it :))

Another question, more of a curiosity: would English be enough to get by or I would need to start practicing my Maltese? I know that English is the second official language, but do people speak it?
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Postby gozomark » Sun 6 Apr 2014 04:42 GMT

No need to speak Maltese, although a few words learnt are appreciated.

There are good agents out there - several recommended in the recommended suppliers section on this forum (£ 25 pa to join, with 50% going to support Gozo SPCA).
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Postby bnet » Sun 6 Apr 2014 10:03 GMT

Hey,

I've been here (in Gozo) for some time now and I also work online (used to run a blog network but that died off a while ago...). Do you have an email address that I could reach you on? (and is that not against the rules here? not sure).
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Postby genicon » Sun 6 Apr 2014 11:36 GMT

Thanks for the quick answer, Mark. I will make sure to unlock the premium features closer to the date of leaving towards Malta.

I have also heard that I might have some real trouble finding a place with an internet connection and that I will have to personally sign a 24 months contract (which would make little sense since I only plan to stay there 2-3 months). Is this really so or people were trying to scare me away not to get the island overcrowded? :))
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Postby gozomark » Sun 6 Apr 2014 11:46 GMT

Most rental places dont have internet connection already in place, but its v quick to arrange (24-48 hours often) - the internet providers have many different plans, and yes, the cheapest plans are typically tied for 24 months, but other plans have no minimum - the plans vary constantly, so its a matter of going into each website and seeing whats on offer.
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Postby bnet » Sun 6 Apr 2014 12:05 GMT

It was super easy to get connected (at least here in Gozo).

1. Walk into Melita with your rental contract and passport.
2. Choose the cheapest plan - I think it's about 19.95/month right now. No phone, no TV.
3. They will give you a date (normally within 24-48 hours).
4. Technician comes and installs everything within 20-60 minutes.

It's best if you choose a place that has previously had Melita broadband installed. Otherwise it'll take the technician a bit longer to get all of the cable-stuff sorted out.

There's no need to sign a contract. I'm on a "no contract" basis with Melita. We paid a deposit (about £50) and pay +10/month for broadband (as a special no-contract fee). 30 days notice to cancel service.

So all in all it cost us around 60 euros (deposit) plus 29.95/month (19.95 regular rate + 10 euro extra for not having a long-term contract).

No need for bank details either - walk into their office once a month to pay the bill, that's it.
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Postby genicon » Mon 7 Apr 2014 04:57 GMT

That sounds really great, I really was worried about it! Will make sure to check out Melita ASAP! Thanks, guys!
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Postby fatmanfilms » Sun 6 Jul 2014 10:27 GMT

Internet from 3G is really flexible, PAYG vodaphone 10 meg a month for 25 euro, or 1 meg a week for 5 euro. Speeds are quite good 14Mbps.
If you don't want to sign a 24 month contract with melita you pay an extra 10 a month.
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