For many people in Malta, living in an apartment is just a step in a ladder that leads to owning your very own house, preferably much larger than you need it to be and with a garden at the back. Apartment life is often pictured as dreary, cramped and generally unpleasant. As we discussed in our section about apartments, there are many advantages to living in an apartment when compared to a house, as well as some disadvantages. This is understandable, since the market isn’t either one thing or another, but a continuum where what you want lies, and it often lies somewhere in between. But if you want to compare a relatively nice house to an apartment, perhaps it would be fair to compare it to a luxury apartment. Otherwise it would be a tad like racing an old and battered Fiat against a Ferrari and acting surprised when the Ferrari won. So what makes a luxury apartment versus say a ‘normal’ apartment?
Location and amenities
Many luxury apartments tend to be located in upper end areas that are closer to the seafront, in a quieter spots, recently renovated or rebuilt. Luxury apartments are also located in a whole block of other upper end properties. This has a lot of advantages. The common areas tend to be more luxurious, better maintained and cleaned. Security is higher with more secure doors, locks and security cameras. Garages are often better built, rather than being an afterthought, with larger individually lockable spaces. There are also better common facilities, like a BBQ area or even a pool, and all without the hassle of having to clean and maintain it.
Luxury apartments have larger rooms and windows, and often have main rooms that open onto terraces, letting in both fresh air and ample natural light. With larger kitchens and bathrooms, living in one if you have a family is easier. They are also expected to be furnished and equipped to a higher standard with builders and architects making sure no details are overlooked. Although one can say the same for many apartments these days, luxury apartments are expected to be air conditioned, among other things.
Although not universally true, the best luxury apartments invariably end up having great views because of their great locations. In fact the only things that beat them are penthouses. Now, whether that view is of the Mediterranean, some greenery or the urban landscape, having something to look at when drinking your coffee will make the morning that much better.
Although much more expensive than apartments or studio apartments, luxury apartments still hold many of the advantages apartments do against houses that are their direct competitors. So for instance, your landlord is still responsible for any repairs and they are as a general rule much cheaper to rent or buy. However, the caveat is a lower appreciation rate when compared to a house. Living in an apartment block is also more energy efficient and greener. This boils down to lower heating and cooling costs, since a single unit is insulated from the outside by other units on other sides. Although luxury apartments typically have larger windows, which are where most of the energy is lost, these can be easily upgraded to double paned windows, helping with insulation and sound.With all that being said, luxury apartment still is just a broad category. In Malta you’ll stumble across one bedroom luxury apartments to something as large as three bedrooms. What works best for you is something only you can answer, and there is no better way to answer it than to get browsing and visit some properties!