Friday, May 4, 2012

House Hunters International in Malta: The Big Reveal

(Spoiler alert! If you missed the first two instalments in this series - filming in Halifax and Malta - go back and read them here and here.)

Our wish list was simple: minimum of two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a home office space, pet-friendly, and fully equipped with all appliances. A third bedroom, a sea view, extra amenities [e.g. pool], parking and outdoor space would be considered a bonus. And location - proximity to the university, swimming amenities, shops and restaurants - was key.








And the house we chose was...














The spacious flat in Tigne Point, Sliema!

taken the day we moved in - those are genuine ecstatic smiles
We were thrilled beyond thrilled to be renting a flat in Tigne Point, Sliema where we are enjoying some of the best amenities the island has to offer! We absolutely love it here. The sleek lines and geometric buildings, the quiet zen feeling of the gardens, the chirping birds and bubbling fountains, the pedestrianized complex, the walking paths, the pool, the restaurants, the proximity to the mall, supermarket, and shops. It is perfect for us (for now, at least) in every way.

It has been so hard to not post photos or talk about our new flat publicly. We've had to be careful about everything we write and photograph these past few months so as to preserve the surprise. Not easy!

Our rental flat came fully furnished and decorated, so it is lacking some of those personalized touches (it's quite beige), but the size and layout are fantastic. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a separate laundry room, seven (small) terraces, and underground parking. After negotiation, we pay $1,500 per month, plus utilities. 

There are perks to living in Tigne Point too - a 10% resident's discount card to the Fortina Hotel & Spa and its restaurants, The Point shopping mall, and The Chophouse and La Cucina del Sole restaurants. Plus the development will one day include an indoor pool and gym, expanded walking paths, a restored 18th century fort, and expanded public parks. And we live next to a supermarket - whose shopping carts we can take straight up to our kitchen to unload (weird, but true).

The view of Valletta from the Tigne Point complex is by far one of our favourites in the whole world. Sitting in our kitchen, eating breakfast, and staring at the Mediterranean sea, we pinch ourselves literally almost everyday. We are so lucky to live here. We thank our lucky stars that we took a risk, said 'Yes' when many would have said no, and signed up to film a reality TV show. It's true what they say - when you say 'Yes' good things can start happening more often than not.

We sacrificed the view, and bumped up our budget, to rent this property. On House Hunters International the properties we didn't chose were a flat in Madliena, just outside of the major urban area in Malta, with lovely sea views. It was beautifully decorated, but too far out of the city for us. We also decided against the penthouse in Gzira, which was also lovely and had great outdoor space, but again, wasn't quite in the right location for us. Then our agent told us she had a property in Tigne Point, but it wasn't available in May and June since it was normally a short let flat. No problem! We would be abroad in Halifax for May and June anyway - it was meant to be. It was big, allowed dogs, had unbeatable amenities, and the perfect location. We couldn't be more happy.

Yes, we chose an ├╝ber modern place to live. And at first glance it may lack the historical charm that so many people think of as characteristically Mediterranean. But nowhere in Malta is without history, and that's why we love this little island. The Tigne Point development sits on the site of Fort Tigne, built in 1793 by Stephen de Tousard for the Knights of St. John. This fort was the last of the Order's architectural legacy on the island, and represented bold innovation in military engineering (read more about it in this stunning book - one of Jess' favourites). Of all of the harbour defences in Malta, Fort Tigne was the only one to put up a brave, but futile, resistance to French invaders, led by Napoleon, in 1798.

For us, the site's historical significance is the cherry on top. We never want to leave.

Thank you again to the crews we worked with in Halifax and Malta, to the staff behind House Hunters International, and our families and friends for cheering us on. And of course, a big thank you to our fantastic agent Lorraine Bonnici at Remax Malta for scoring us this fabulous flat. If we ever purchase property in Tigne Point (our dream and ultimate goal) we would be delighted to work with them again.

By this time you might have seen our episode of House Hunters, which aired May 3rd in the United States on HGTV (Home and Garden Television). What did you think? As you read this we are currently in the air somewhere over the Atlantic - heading back to Halifax for a short two month stint - and we won't get to see our episode until June! We are really nervous about how it all turned out, and if we looked silly on TV. Let us know!

If you missed our episode but still want to see, U.S. residents (or anyone with a US IP address) can watch full episodes of the show for free on HGTV.com here.

- Mike & Jess

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta


tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
literally jumping for joy.

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
our favourite view!

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
the public park and walkway from sliema's strand through the tigne point development

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
having a pinch-me moment

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
the restaurants at tigne point - la cucina del sole and the chophouse (our favourites!)

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
home.

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
flowers for filming

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta

tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
happy to be home.
pool by day, with a stunning view of valletta


tigne point sliema house hunters international malta
pool by night

12 comments :

  1. GORGEOUS home Mike & Jess.

    I cannot believe you have to wait until June to see the episode - I was feeling sorry for myself because I'm missing it and here you are having to wait!

    Congratulations on your television debut.

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    1. Haha and we aren't very patient people...Thank you!

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  2. Congratulations! We watched last night and couldn't get over how beautiful Malta is. #1 and #2 were our favorites. Loved the episode and love your new place! It looks amazing!

    PS. Your pups are adorable. The black and tan looks similar to my little dachshund.

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  3. Wow. What a great spot! Congratulations.

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  4. Tigne Point! Really? Wow, I never would have thought there, but the place looks amazing!! Congrats again

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  5. How far is your flat from the U.S. Embassy, do you know? Do you think the newer flat will eliminate the problem with mold that older/other homes experience? Thanks, Rhonda

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rhonda,

      Our flat is in Sliema and the US Embassy is in Ta Qali. Ta Qali is 15 minutes away from Sliema by car on a good day, but if there's traffic it can be up to half an hour.

      We don't experience nearly as much mould here as we did in our other flat in Malta (which was also modern) but we do still get some. It's only been a problem for us in the winter, and we tend to catch it early as we are both allergic to mould.

      You have to stay on top of it by dusting and washing things in the flat regularly and ventilating rooms. Ventilation is especially important when we use heating in the winter and the humidity in the flat rises as we keep our windows and doors shut against the cold. A hot, humid environment = perfect for mould.

      I find mould grows most on walls and around windows, doors, and in washrooms. You'll spot it easily as it's normally a light dusting of dark coloured mould.

      I hope this answers your questions! If you have any others, do comment again or drop us an email at mikejessblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

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