Living in Cyprus\Malta - PRO\CONS

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Silvio

Entrepreneur
After @Konstanz's very interesting thread about UAE I figured to open a similar thread about Cyprus and Malta, and maybe later we can do the same for other tax-free\low-tax countries.
I don't mean just the tax stuff which is kinda similar, I mean how is it to physically live there.
 

AlexB

New member
I live in Cyprus for the past 11 years and to be honest is nothing wow and not so bad either...

Taxwise is all good if you know your game or if you pay the right people.

Living wise is a different story. If you are rich enough to afford buying your own property is ok. Otherwise, a 2 bed apartment in a decent condition will cost you minimum 1000 EUR/month, while a more luxury home (house or apartment) can go anywhere from 2000 EUR to 15000 EUR monthly. I`m talking about Limassol which is the business core on the island.

Transportation - Since the Braxit, car prices went a little bit up. Normally, used cars will cost a bit more that on the continent and will be quite beat up as locals love spending everything on a Mercedes but nothing on maintenance. Fuel cost is similar with the rest of the continent. Speed limits - up to 100kmh on the motorway and bad roads in general. Also, locals are not the most skilled drivers :)

Grocery and utilities: Nothing to worry here either... Your local supermarkets will have everything you are looking for...not cheap, not expensive. On utilities, a family of 2 will average 300eur/2months electricity and 100-150 EUR/4months water.

Overall, for the people looking to relocate here, make sure you have at least 2000 eur monthly income is you are not looking for a luxury life.
 

BlueMist

Entrepreneur
It's funny that you have dumped both into one bag. I think they differ a lot, not only language wise but size wise as well.

I lived in Malta for a few years and left 6 years ago. I was living there when there was still Maltese Lira and when they shifted overnight from MTL to EUR. I don't have to say that Malta was not that popular at that time, especially that with all the tax optimisations solutions worldwide, nobody has seen a need to physically move. It has quickly gained popularity and made a lot of betting related companies and people moving there.

Malta has become really congested, especially in the prime living areas (which are also touristic areas...) such as Sliema, St Julians or Portomaso. I would personally not live anywhere else in Malta but that's me. All the top restaurants, nightlife, shopping revolves around these three locations. There is no way to get the citizenship, unless through marriage or investment. It's english speaking island (in majority and officially) but you will not find a single local english speaking radio station or TV channel. Believe it or not but despite the good weather, there is not much to do if you have kids. It lacks greenery, parks, attractions. I went to the cinema in St Julians once and they made a break in a middle of the movie - I thought something broke, no - that's normal. I have never went again.

If you see the way things are handled in Malta, you really need to relax as nobody rush with anything and the quality of everything is questionable. Flight network is good, you are in the EU, internet is very fast and reasonably priced. Lack of proper British schools with British teachers. There are maybe 2 good schools and the teachers come from different parts of the world with the majority what seem to be or sound - Maltese/Italian.

I used to pay €2.500 per month for 3BR apartment in a prime location in Tigne Seafront - Sliema, with a very big terrace and great sea views overlooking Valletta, without utilities. This was 6 years back so I guess it is more expensive now. A nice modern building with the lift of the size preventing any social distancing measures. My neighbour downstairs had kids and stroller and she was never able to fit it inside the lift. So just think of cheaper or older buildings. I once was in a super tiny lift where you had to hold a button to go up or down :)

The weather is nice majority of the year, but for me the sea is not swimmable until June and it is already cold in November. It gets very cold inside the buildings in the winter - really cold, there is no proper insulation or heating. My €2.500 apartment had all the modern AC but it seems someone did not calculate properly the external AC units power, because it was impossible to cool or heat all the rooms altogether - speaking of quality you have a perfect example here, modern prestigious apartment with screwed AC.

The technician from local telco came to fix the internet and he removed the RJ45 sockets to leave the cables hanging. When I asked him what he is doing, he said they do it like that to prevent any leakage... Sometimes I didn't know if I should cry or laugh. I used to laugh and take it for a funny experience but you should get my point by now. I have a lot of great memories and friends from Malta but now with kids I would probably never choose to live there.
 

celizo

Active Member
When you hear "winter is coming": run away from Malta! Best months are june and september (cooler than july-august and less tourists)
 

Silvio

Entrepreneur
It's funny that you have dumped both into one bag. I think they differ a lot, not only language wise but size wise as well.

I lived in Malta for a few years and left 6 years ago. I was living there when there was still Maltese Lira and when they shifted overnight from MTL to EUR. I don't have to say that Malta was not that popular at that time, especially that with all the tax optimisations solutions worldwide, nobody has seen a need to physically move. It has quickly gained popularity and made a lot of betting related companies and people moving there.

Malta has become really congested, especially in the prime living areas (which are also touristic areas...) such as Sliema, St Julians or Portomaso. I would personally not live anywhere else in Malta but that's me. All the top restaurants, nightlife, shopping revolves around these three locations. There is no way to get the citizenship, unless through marriage or investment. It's english speaking island (in majority and officially) but you will not find a single local english speaking radio station or TV channel. Believe it or not but despite the good weather, there is not much to do if you have kids. It lacks greenery, parks, attractions. I went to the cinema in St Julians once and they made a break in a middle of the movie - I thought something broke, no - that's normal. I have never went again.

If you see the way things are handled in Malta, you really need to relax as nobody rush with anything and the quality of everything is questionable. Flight network is good, you are in the EU, internet is very fast and reasonably priced. Lack of proper British schools with British teachers. There are maybe 2 good schools and the teachers come from different parts of the world with the majority what seem to be or sound - Maltese/Italian.

I used to pay €2.500 per month for 3BR apartment in a prime location in Tigne Seafront - Sliema, with a very big terrace and great sea views overlooking Valletta, without utilities. This was 6 years back so I guess it is more expensive now. A nice modern building with the lift of the size preventing any social distancing measures. My neighbour downstairs had kids and stroller and she was never able to fit it inside the lift. So just think of cheaper or older buildings. I once was in a super tiny lift where you had to hold a button to go up or down :)

The weather is nice majority of the year, but for me the sea is not swimmable until June and it is already cold in November. It gets very cold inside the buildings in the winter - really cold, there is no proper insulation or heating. My €2.500 apartment had all the modern AC but it seems someone did not calculate properly the external AC units power, because it was impossible to cool or heat all the rooms altogether - speaking of quality you have a perfect example here, modern prestigious apartment with screwed AC.

The technician from local telco came to fix the internet and he removed the RJ45 sockets to leave the cables hanging. When I asked him what he is doing, he said they do it like that to prevent any leakage... Sometimes I didn't know if I should cry or laugh. I used to laugh and take it for a funny experience but you should get my point by now. I have a lot of great memories and friends from Malta but now with kids I would probably never choose to live there.
Very interesting stuff! What is so bad about Maltese schools?
Have you lived in Cyprus as well, and it is better\worse?
 

Pembroke

New member
I lived in Cyprus from 2003 to 2008 and planning to move to Malta this summer. Guess we will find out but feedback we got from people living in Malta is quite positive. It looks like it's a bit more advanced than Cyprus in terms of economy and with English an official language it's easier to integrate. I expect it to be quite similar to Cyprus in many aspects. Yes Cyprus is much bigger but don't forget people tend to live in either Limassol or Nicosia or Paphos and it's quite a distance between them so you only hang out with those in your city. And there's mainly empty land in between. Troodos mountains is a big plus in Cyprus, there are (short) ski slopes imagine that. But disadvantage with Cyprus is a lack of flights and the cost of it. It's more remote than Malta for business in Western Europe. And if you want to go to Spain from Cyprus it's almost impossible for example. But friendly people and easy going.There were not many expats at the time. Maybe that has changed; many Russians though, especially in Limassol.
 

BlueMist

Entrepreneur
Very interesting stuff! What is so bad about Maltese schools?
Have you lived in Cyprus as well, and it is better\worse?
There is a lack of good schools. The two I had in mind are Verdala and QSI. Neither is a British curriculum school but both are considered the best on the island. You can send kids to local state schools as well, in fact I know European expats doing that. Simply put they are cheaper. The two mentioned before always seem to be full, you often have to wait 2 years for a slot.

I have never lived in Cyprus so I can’t compare unfortunately.
 

Pembroke

New member
There is a lack of good schools. The two I had in mind are Verdala and QSI. Neither is a British curriculum school but both are considered the best on the island.
We were offered a place at Verdala for 11th grade for next school year for our daughter. It's an IB school, you cannot compare an international school to a British curriculum school. Unless you're planning on studying in the UK later (which has now kind of disappeared as an option for EU citizens given the fees have doubled as a result of Brexit), I would say that IB is for non English nationals probably a better choice anyway.
 

BlueMist

Entrepreneur
We were offered a place at Verdala for 11th grade for next school year for our daughter. It's an IB school, you cannot compare an international school to a British curriculum school. Unless you're planning on studying in the UK later (which has now kind of disappeared as an option for EU citizens given the fees have doubled as a result of Brexit), I would say that IB is for non English nationals probably a better choice anyway.
Verdala is probably the best choice on the island. I am not a fan of the IB though and majority European expats in Dubai for instance opt for British curriculum. But as I mentioned before there is lack of choices in Malta so you obviously have to like and choose what’s best available. Early years are the most occupied at Verdala, you have to put your child’s name at birth basically. I have checked the school in person and ultimately decided against it. I wasn’t impressed with the school offering for early years compared to schools in Dubai. I am sure at later stages like you’ve mentioned 11th grade it’s a good choice.
 

ilpablo

Active Member
When you hear "winter is coming": run away from Malta! Best months are june and september (cooler than july-august and less tourists)

I've spent 2 months there in February and March till they declared the lockdown as well.

I was ******* freezing at night till the middle of March. Also there are many things I like about Malta, as much as things I don't.

The problem is that Malta is small and you can't hide from these things you don't like.

For example after 3 days I was there, one morning I woke up at 7:30 with my head vibrating because of the drilling in the neighbour block.

I moved in another place and after a week I had the same experience.

In summer it's really hot and winter too cold. I guess best months to be there are April to July and September/October.
 

fc70

New member
I live in Cyprus for the past 11 years and to be honest is nothing wow and not so bad either...

Taxwise is all good if you know your game or if you pay the right people.

Living wise is a different story. If you are rich enough to afford buying your own property is ok. Otherwise, a 2 bed apartment in a decent condition will cost you minimum 1000 EUR/month, while a more luxury home (house or apartment) can go anywhere from 2000 EUR to 15000 EUR monthly. I`m talking about Limassol which is the business core on the island.

Transportation - Since the Braxit, car prices went a little bit up. Normally, used cars will cost a bit more that on the continent and will be quite beat up as locals love spending everything on a Mercedes but nothing on maintenance. Fuel cost is similar with the rest of the continent. Speed limits - up to 100kmh on the motorway and bad roads in general. Also, locals are not the most skilled drivers :)

Grocery and utilities: Nothing to worry here either... Your local supermarkets will have everything you are looking for...not cheap, not expensive. On utilities, a family of 2 will average 300eur/2months electricity and 100-150 EUR/4months water.

Overall, for the people looking to relocate here, make sure you have at least 2000 eur monthly income is you are not looking for a luxury life.
What's the current situation with inflation and energy costs in Cyprus?

Is renting/buying in Larnaca cheaper than Limassol?
 

CyprusLaw

Mentor Group Gold
What's the current situation with inflation and energy costs in Cyprus?

Is renting/buying in Larnaca cheaper than Limassol?
Limassol is by far the most expensive city to buy or rent in Cyprus. Larnaca and Paphos are cheaper generally.
 

CyprusLawyer101

Mentor Group Gold
Thanks. What's likely to happen in 2023 with house prices? Any chance they will fall?
A lot of chances I would say, but all these are assumptions. If you wish to enter tje real estate to make above average gains youshould look carefully in order to spot a good opportunity and this can be at any time.
 
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