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A focus on ‘Houses of Character’ in Malta
If you are looking for a place to purchase or rent in Malta you are certain to come across the term “House of Character.” These delightful properties are usually found lining the narrow winding streets in the core of our charming villages rich in traditions and restoration respecting past rural architecture. If you opt for ‘house of character’ accommodation you are sure to enjoy the charm and beauty of these traditional properties coupled with modern amenities and facilities to make your stay here just perfect.
These unique honeycomb coloured buildings constructed from our distinctive Maltese limestone where built over a hundred years ago with a deep respect for time, space, nature and the seasons to which the layout adapts and many have been artistically converted to their pristine splendour in an intelligent manner that is sympathetic to their surroundings maintaining the charm and character of the traditional building style.
There are certain features which give these sought-after dwellings their true identity as houses of character. Everything about the home’s design appears to be carefully thought out. Typical of such houses are their functional layout with cubical rooms cleverly constructed with doubled thick walls which serve as very good insulation against the winter cold and long summer heat. Surrounding the rooms, a courtyard (bitha) is quite typical to provide shelter from the wind and make the best of the cool sea breezes. Within these lovely courtyards, one will also find a stone well (bir) which was the main source for providing water to the household. Plentiful windows with the larger ones appearing on the first floor and high ceilings aid circulation of the air inside. It is thus easy to see why such homes are so popular in a climate which is pleasantly warm. Many have retained the original wooden beams, stone arches, flagstone (cangatura) floors, authentic thick wooden doors between rooms and spiral staircases or (garigor) of their original construction giving the buildings a real rustic charm. The spiral staircase is usually a secondary staircase at the back of the house starting from the lowest level of the house with an exit on each floor and going right up to the roof.
Rental rates vary widely. For a comfortable 3-bedroom place you can find properties starting from €800 monthly. However for a larger 3-4 bedroomed character home with some guest space, a garden and a pool you can find properties starting at €1,500 monthly. Prospective purchasers may come across a good sized unconverted or semi converted character house in a good area starting from as little as €200,000 and a fully restored character home in a good area starting at €300,000 depending on the size and location.
For Sale – Search our Houses of Character portfolio
To Let – Search our Houses of Character portfolio
Robert Spiteri Paris B.A, LLD is the Managing Director at Perry Estate Agents Malta
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