Apartments are often the first property young adults inhabit after moving out from their parents’ house in 21st century Malta, particularly because buying or renting one is the most affordable way to gain independence. Apartments are one of the most maligned property types, which is unfortunate when you consider all the facts.
Most of the time apartments come fully furnished and equipped with all the major hardware you need. Although you won’t typically find high tech gizmos like a coffee machine, you will have a relatively well equipped kitchen, a washing machine and a television. That might not seem like a lot, but you could move into a property the next day and be able to cook, clean and relax- and when it boils down to it, it turns out that those things are plenty! Also, typically, (although this depends on your contract), your landlord is responsible for maintenance and any repairs. So when that washing machine gives out mid load, you can skip the elbow grease if you are adventurous or the phonebook scrolling if not and just phone your landlord directly- he’ll pick, send and pay a guy to do it!
Although the area in square metres is a useful metric, it isn’t everything. There are plenty of small properties that use space in exceptionally clever ways. Sometimes, 50 square metres at the hand of an ingenious architect might feel like double that, so never count a property out until you have at least paid it a visit in person.
Having a roommate isn’t synonymous with living in an apartment. There is typically enough variation in offerings to get a one bedroom or studio apartment all to yourself. However, it’s typically cheaper to rent larger two to three bedroom apartments with other people. Whether you enjoy living with other people is something you’ll never be quite sure of until you try it. And often, it depends on your roommates whether living together is one of the most fun things you ever did or not. But more than often, demographics being what they are, you’ll end up living with people the same age as you who have lived through some of the same things, so you’ll always have something in common.
Living in close proximity to other people might seem discouraging at first. You might fear a noisy or intrusive neighbour. Modern apartment complexes are becoming increasingly well insulated. The main reason is practical: to save energy on heating and cooling, but sound dampening is an added benefit of this. This though still is a technical problem to a technical solution. Your neighbours are actually people just like you, and if something is bothering you, more often than not just simply talking to them politely will go a long way. Being friendly with your neighbours can also have its benefits: you make more friends, get invited to more home cooked meals and have loads of people close by to turn to if you need help. Communal living is also the way of the future. Think about it. The world population is currently around 7.3 billion, and expected to rise to 10.9 billion by 2050. If all those people bought houses for themselves, there wouldn’t be much land left over to do anything. It’s no coincidence that densely populated cities have sprouted skyscrapers.
But what about those with concrete Jungles for a view and Dollhouse sized rooms?
Say you got a cake from a really bad baker, and it was horrible. Do you give up on cake forever or do you choose a different baker? Most of the misconceptions people have about apartments come from extremely entrepreneurial landlords who just want to make a profit and more entrepreneurial architects who don’t care what they build as long as they paid for it. Just as there are some horrible houses, there are some horrible apartments, but this isn’t generally a feature of apartments. All in all, most apartments are actually quite cute in their own way. Sometimes they are exceptionally great, especially luxury apartments.
Buying vs. Renting
If you intend to live in an apartment for a long period of time, you might want to consider buying one versus renting. Apartments, like all properties, tend to appreciate in value; however they do so at a significantly slower rate than houses because in a complex you don’t technically own the land, just the living space. If you are willing to move in slowly, and don’t need 100% functionality straight away, perhaps a highly finished but unfurnished property would be the best bet, since these tend to be relatively affordable and you can furnish and decorate slowly over time according to your tastes.