• About Gozo
  • Population
  • Mythology
  • Culture
  • Countryside
  • Why Gozo?
  • eco-Gozo
  • A Glimpse of Gozo

About Gozo

gozo-mgarr

Gozo, which in Maltese is called Ghawdex (pronounced: Awdesh), is a derivation of other older names such as Gaulos. It has an area of 67 square kms, is 14 kms long and 7 kms wide. With a coastline of 43 km, it is the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago that, together with the smaller isle of Comino and the main island of Malta form the Republic of Malta.

The Maltese Islands are situated in the centre of the Mediterranean - 93 km south of Italy and 290 km north of North Africa. Gozo lies about 5 km in the North West of Malta and the distance between Cirkewwa in Malta and Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, involves a 25 minute ferry crossing. It therefore enjoys warm summers and mild winters and this makes it the ideal holiday destination at any time of the year.

The climate is typically Mediterranean.  It is generally mild in winter save for the first four to six weeks of the year when it is normally a bit cool, wet and sometimes unpredictable.  The average temperature for winter is 16 degrees Celsius and it covers the period between December and March.  Summer is rather long, dry and sunny, with August being the typically warmest month.  The average temperature for summer is 25 degrees Celsius and it covers the period between April and November.

Being a small Island, and with 13 villages dotted around the island, there is diversity in terms of village cores, restaurants, beaches and coves, and yet nothing is too far away to require planning a trip.

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Population

Gozo TaPinu1ip-400

The population of Gozo stands at about 28,000, about one-twelfth of the overall population of Malta.  When compared to the overall area of the Maltese Islands, Gozo covers approximately one-third of that area. This means that the island of Gozo is not overpopulated, and therefore greener and quite more peaceful.

The official language is Maltese, which is spoken, in distinguished dialect that amazingly differs slightly from one village to another.  As applies for the whole Maltese islands, the language has Semitic origins and Romance influences, while the English language stands as the second official language.

Traditionally the main sources of income have been from Tourism, Agriculture, Fishing together with a number of small and medium-sized enterprises in manufacturing and other activities.  Gozo is increasingly attracting IT related activities, including Research and Development.  High standards of IT Education, training, and the provision of e-services is a key Government objective. Examples of activities in this area can be found at ICT Gozo Malta 

Malta is now served by an increasing number of low-cost operators making it cheaper and more accessible than ever before, allowing people to organise cost-effective short-trips and visits, particularly useful for property owners who wish to visit regularly throught the year.

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Mythology

Gozo is popularly called The Island of Calypso, that is a nickname originating from the Greek mythological location of Ogygia referred to in Homer's Odyssey. In this epic poem, the fabled island was controlled by the nymph Calypso, who had detained the Greek hero Odysseus for seven long years as prisoner of love.

Dwejra Fungus RockCalypso's cave overlooks Ramla beach which is Gozo's largest beach. The typical crystal-clear Mediterranean sea makes Gozo a top diving destination.

Ramla il-hamra beach

The natural harbours, bays, creeks reefs, caves and wrecks offer a great variety of dives suitable for both the amateur and experienced divers. Marine life flourishes in abundance and include groupers, octopus, flying fish, coral and eels.

 

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Culture

 

citadel 450 1

Throughout the years Gozo has been vastly influenced by the cultures and history of a series of dominators including the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, the Knights of St. John, the French and the British, who all left their mark on the cultural and the folkloristic heritage of the population.

 
The capital Victoria, lies in the centre of the island.  It boasts the dominant fortified old town and Citadel, two splendid churches, namely St George's Basilica and the Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, several small churches and monasteries, two opera houses and various urban commercial outlets.

The Citadel is one of the most beautiful architectural complexes on the Islands.  Behind its austere bastions the Citadel hides a number of fine buildings, museums and the Cathedral.

ggantija mta wm600

Villages in Gozo reflect a way of life simultaneously rural and refined with superbly proportioned squares and carved balconies.  From the old traditional farmhouses with their typical archways to the most contemporary houses, the incredible amount of architectural detail is surprising in its creativity.  Balconies are embellished with balustrades, flowerpots, Georgian style facades, roof gardens and bougainvillea.

 The citadel features a very old cathedral which is surrounded by the remains of old buildings, museums and the impressive defensive bastion walls where one can enjoy a wonderful panorama of Gozo.

Down from the Citadel one will find one of the main squares of Victoria which has the daily market place and numerous bars and cafes which serve traditional Gozitan food among others under the shade of the trees.

 

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Countryside

Dwejra Bay Azure Window

In comparison with mainland Malta, one finds a more varied geology and larger relief contrasts, with typical flat-topped hills.

The countryside is recognized by its traditional rubble walls and the prickly pear hedges peeping over or bordering terraced fields.  Green hills and fertile valleys separate one village from the other.  Wherever you look, the sea is always within the reach of the eye.  In fact, Gozo has an amazing coastline with its tiny creeks, sand beaches, blue sea, majestic rock formations and protruding watchtowers.  Low lying coastal stretches of limestone, are chequered with saltpans while high and dramatic cliffs trigger awesome emotions with their native blend of salty air and wild herbs.


At the foot of the cliffs at Dwejra, the Azure Window is the superb companion to another interesting landmark Fungus Rock upon which, recorded since the times of the Knights of St. John, grows a very unique type of fungus with alleged therapeutic properties.  Close by, the Inland Sea provides a wonderful opportunity for a boat trip with a difference.

On the opposite side of the Island, look out for the unforgettable view from Calypso Cave overlooking the beautiful and distinguished red sands of Ramla Bay. Also for those who would not miss a chance for a swim, a short stroll, or just to relax, the crystal clear waters of Marsalforn and Xlendi bays beckon the visitor's appeal. Furthermore, Marsalforn and Xlendi together with Mgarr Harbor are Gozo's main fishing villages. Being an island, the fishing industry has been cared for since generations.  No wonder that there is no bay, which does not shelter a variety of fishing boats and with several boathouses for their maintenance.

The national fishing boat is the colourful luzzu (pronounced 'lutsu') with its normally blue bulwark and with the eye of Osiris on white, red or brownish background on the prow.  Especially when its calm, the reflection left by berthed fishing boats on the water inspires a lot of artists' imagination.  Most nostalgic is also the scene of vessels leaving harbour at early dawn, or while returning at sunset.  The image of luzzijiet with their bows skimming through the calm blue water, leaving behind streams of silver ripples is simply unforgettable.  The day's catch is, apart from any romanticism, obviously the toiling fisherman's most important aspect of his trade.

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Why Gozo?

CLIMATE

Hot summers and mild winters –average temperature 12-15C in winter. Blue sea all year round. Mercifully few grey days to depress the spirits

TRANSPORT

Good transport links via Luqa airport (BA, Air Malta, Ryanair, etc..). Catamaran link to Sicily (1.5hrs) and cruise ships to Genoa and Salerno.  there are regular ferry links (20 mins) between Malta & Gozo, plus a Sea Plane service.

HEALTH

Medical care is of a good standard and there are many excellent doctors on the Maltese islands plus a new state-of-the-art hospital which was recently opened in summer 2007.

LANGUAGE

Most people speak English which enables you to socialise with Gozitan and Maltese people as well as other ex-pats. It is also very convenient to speak to a doctor who speaks English

I.T.

Sound IT infrastructure - broadband connectivity via ADSL, Cable and also wideband wireless across the islands. Convenient for Internet connected people who can work remotely while enjoying the mediterranean island life.  See also ICT Gozo Malta.

POLITICAL STABILITY

Malta has a stable democracy and is a member of the E.U adopted the euro in 2008.

TAXATION

Lower rates than the U.K. A double taxation treaty ensures that you only pay tax in one country.

HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING

However, a relaxing haven in which to live and work is not the only benefit Malta has to offer.  Residents enjoy an exceptional standard of living with an average living cost substantially lower than that of Italy, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Ireland and Cyprus. At the same time, the island's very low crime rate means that Malta is a safe country to live in and is an ideal place to base families if one is engaged in commercial activities within the region.  As a business destination Malta has much to offer, and as a home, there can be few places more idyllic.

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What is eco-Gozo?

eco logos-02 300eco-Gozo is the Government of Malta's vision to make Gozo an eco-island by 2020, supported by a keen and committed sustainable community. This vision encompasses four major areas: The Environment, Society, Economy, and Culture & Identity. 

The objective is to see quality of life in Gozo improving further through education, economic development and social progress.  Gozo will strive to reduce its carbon and water footprints. Element Selection

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We want to protect the Gozitan lifestyle, the island’s environment, resources, culture and identity, and see that all these play a significant part in attracting more visitors and investors to the island.

The eco-island vision foresees a sustainable, and therefore, a secure future for the island of Gozo. It is a vision rooted in the island’s potential and the capabilities of its people.  

EcoGozo is a vision for an island to become ever more beautiful, inspiring, welcoming, thriving, inclusive and successful. A healthy and successful place to live in, in equilibrium with the environment. This is essentially what eco-island will strive to achieve.

For more information on the eco Gozoinitiative, visit their website at www.eco-gozo.com .  You can also download a copy of the Eco Gozo action plan.

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An excellent video on Gozo provided by eco-Gozo. Enjoy the trip!

Video: courtesy of Visit Gozo

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  • Selling your Property
  • What we offer
  • Service Commission rates
  • Multiple Listings Service
  • Additional Services
  • Property Preparation Tips

Selling your Property

persons meeting_250Selling procedures are extremely simple and safe. Once you have found a buyer for your property and sale price, terms and conditions have been agreed upon, you sign a Promise of Sale Agreement with the buyer. This agreement, which is drawn up by the Notary, binds both parties until the signing of the final deed of sale.

On signing the Preliminary Agreement a 10% deposit, on account of the price, is normally lodged with the Notary or the Estate Agent by the buyers. This deposit will be forfeited in your favour should the buyer fail to sign the final deed for no valid reason at law.

The term of validity of the agreement is agreed between the parties, however, usually agreements are valid for three months. During this period, the Notary will register the Preliminary Agreement in terms of law, carry out searches into the title and apply for any permits if necessary.

There are no restrictions on owners to sell their property at any price. Mainly in the case of foreign nationals, the entire sale price including sale proceeds of movables may be repatriated abroad, in which case, the Notary would apply for clearance from the local tax authorities, prior to signing the final deed of sale.

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What we offer

GHA1001 01_250wListing with move2Gozo will ensure we advertise your property in the best manner, including

  • Professionally designed property listing pages including detailed description, features, amenities, pricing etc.
  • Up to 24 photos per property with captions
  • Automatic translation of website into a range of popular languages
  • Online marketing through a variety of means including online adverts, social networks, direct mailshots,etc.
  • We discuss client buyer requirements in detail to understand our brief.
  • Where possible we give you maximum notice of a pending visit to allow you to present the property and so as not to impinge on your privacy. For planned client visits from abroad this is usually a week, but may be shorter if the brief or circumstances change.  TWe cannot guarantee sufficient advance notice should a potntial buyer cold call us wishing to view in a limited timeframe. 
  • GHA1001 03_250wAll visits are accompanied without exception and we make regular buyer follow ups. 
  • Client feedback reports are provided by email and/or phone.
  • Seller assistance and support from initial Offer to Contract Completion.  

We help guide you all the way from valuing and marketing your property online, through to a successful completion including assistance with any forms, notaries, and utilities termination and transfer. 

What we don't do

  • Bring along clients whose brief (to us) does not sufficiently match the property on offer.  Client briefings due however change, and/or may not be so specific.  If this is the case then we will inform you and discusss a potential viewing.
  • Turn up un-announced, unless it is only to view the exterior of the property prior to a planned viewing.
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Service Commission rates

sold signageTypically Open Agency marketing rates charged by the largest agencies in Malta and Gozo are 5% plus VAT, and typical Sole Agency rates are usually 3-3.5% plus VAT.

For private/individual  residences/immovable property we charge significantly lower rates than the main Malta agencies for Open Agency marketing of your property.  We do not usually offer Sole Agency terms, unless specifically requested by sellers.  We charge the same lower fee for this.  But do see our alternative approach to Sole Agency further on.

For larger Development projects we charge the standard Malta Open Agency rate.  In all cases we do not charge any fees if a preliminary contract has not been signed,  or where a final contract does not proceed due to specific conditions in the contract not being met. 

In Malta Property owner/sellers either contract exclusively with ONE agent for a set period of time, or they have an Open agency agreement (most common), meaning the Owner/Seller can contract separately with as many other agents as they wish.  There are disadvantages to this mode of working for the Sellers, which also indirectly impacts the Buyers. 

Each agency is responsible for producing its own marketing materials, sending in photographers and/or agents to the property to photograph it, writing up descriptions, and preparing and uploading/printing them.  For Open agencies this means that the seller has to accommodate many sets of photographers, typically from 3-5 agencies, taking up their precious time and invading their privacy.  The results are inherently inconsistent, and different agents may end up displaying differeing prices, information and vary quality or standards of photographic representation of your property.  

move2Gozo's Multiple Listing Service

Our alternative progressive approach to Sole Agency marketing.  With this exclusive service we turn this traditional Malta marketing approach totally on its head by also offering  sellers a multiple listings service, more akin to the USA Realty Agency approach to property marketing.  

By contracting exclusively with us, we actually increase your marketing reach, rather than limiting your reach and marketing to just one agent, as the standard Sole Agency system in Malta currently operates.  

However the benefits of this service to both you as the seller, and also to the buyer is unique and significant.   How does this work? See the next TAB section.  

Why are Estate Agency rates higher than in other countries?

It depends on which country you are referring to. In the UK rates are lower. In the USA and France, for example, the rates are similar and often higher.  In some european countries, Agencies charge both the Seller and also the Buyer a commission fee.  In Malta it is the seller who contracts with the Agency and pays the resultant commission fees due following a successful completion.

In Malta, anyone (off the street) who introduces a buyer to a seller has a legal right to 1% of the final sale transaction value from each party (the buyer and the seller), i.e. 2%.  They do not need to do anything over and above the introduction to the relevant property for this commission entitlement, which can also leave both the seller and the purchaser exposed. These persons are referred to locally as "Sensar's", a role which existed prior ot the advent of estate agencies in Malta. The vast majority (over 99%) in this category do not advertise or carry out any marketing or have other related expenses, as their relationship with clients is either through referral (e.g via friends or neighbours) or coincidental. In the vast majoirty of cases buyers are often unaware of any commission that may be 'legally' due from them when shown properties by a Sensar.   

Estate Agents on the other hand spend significant time and effort preparing marketing materials, photography, back-office work and have associated marketing, travel and office expenses on top to cover, leading to them needing to charge higher rates that.  Unlike the situation with Sensars, agency rates are only charged to the Sellers on a successful sale.  Registered Estate Agencies typically offer a much more detailed and comprehensive service as well as helping with many other aspects of a sale or purchase.    

With move2Gozo we provide full support and advice to sellers and buyers throughout the entire process (and often beyond) and adhere to high standards and conduct guidelines befitting our professional position and status.   

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Multiple Listings Service

group of estate agents How does this work?

First of all, we prepare all the online marketing materials, write ups, and professional photography.  We ensure all selected agencies who work with us portray exactly the same information that we have prepared.   The Marketing message is CONSISTENT. Also the Price is CONSISTENT

By managing and accompanying all viewings ourselves, in tandem with any other agents marketing the property through us, we totally eliminate de-ja-vue experiences by buyers, and equally ensure that owners do not get repeat viewings by the same buyers from multiple agencies.  This means we do not waste your time or that of the buyers unnecessarily. It also means that owners can have several agents marketing their property without having to cut and provide keys for each and every agent, often not knowing who has been in and when.  Equally owners do not need to remember to contact each agency if a price changes, if their property is sold, or if indeed they wish to withdraw the property from the market. We handle all that.     

Why would other agents work with us? 

Any agreed commission rates are shared equally between he selling agent and ourselves, should one of the agents introduce a buyer which subsequently leads to a sale.  If we sell the property directly ourselves , then we still charge our lower commission rate.  Although sharing a sale commission means we will earn a lower rate of commission ourselves, we believe this approach will eventually lead to better collaboration and a far better and more consistent service to both buyers and sellers, leading to a more efficient, more active and transparent market.   

This is totally contrary to the way commissions usually work in Malta, but the sellers and buyers both benefit through consistent property information and pricing, maximised marketing, minimal time wasting, a consistent message, and increased security of the property.  The seller only needs to deal with ONE point of contact at any time, i.e. us.  It is our responsibility to then ensure that all other participating agents are kept up-to-date, whether due to a price change, changed circumstances, any offers, or whether an offer has been accepted or a contract exchanged, or indeed if the property has been withdrawn or taken off the market. 

Well, for starters, our collaborating agencies do not need to do any of the preparatory work with regards preparing all the marketing materials to a professional standard.  This includes all the photography, property descriptions and related information necessary for uploading onto their websites.  Typically this work may involve 2, 3 or more people from each agency.  They will obviously view the property (in fact we insist on this) to familiarise themselves with the property and meet the owner(s) if they are in Gozo or Malta at the time.   We do all the work necessary from offer to sale on behalf of the owners and liase with the other agents with their buyers,or directly to the buyers if through us to ensure a smooth transaction through to completion.  

We have build good relations with a range of selected agencies, including at least one major agency both in Gozo AND in Malta, who can see the benefits to this mode of working in a collaborative way.   We look to encourage more and more agencies to consider this model and mode of working for themselves, the betterment of the Real Estate market, owners and potential buyers.

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Additional Services

Photo Service 

We put ag reat deal of focus and effort on this area as photos sell a property. A clients first impression is a lasting one.   Display your property in an attractive manner from the start.  We can take additional photos of your property and optimise them for web viewing.  Photos taken for our standard listings are not charged for.   Should a client wish to have larger format images or separate advertising materials prepared then this will be priced accordingly. 

Virtual Tours 

We offer online virtual tours. This is a separately chargeable service.

euro-currency 250Currency Transfers

We do not offer this service ourselves but have very good relationships with the local banks. We have also partnered up with Currency Specialists who can provide you with free advice as well as spot rates should you be in a position to make a transfer. 

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Property Preparation Tips

Stop trying to sell your property: make it buyable
 

Properly preparing your property for potential buyers can make the difference between a quick sale at a good price and a difficult sale with price reductions.

Be objective. Buyers go by what they see, so look at your property through a buyer's eyes.  Understand its strengths and weaknesses.  A clean, orderly house inspires confidence and sells more easily. If needed, invite a few of your friends over, take them through your home and ask them to make comments on the condition of your property.

Understand, too, that many potential buyers take a look at your property from the outside, without even contacting you. It's your home's ''curb appeal'' that attracts visitors first.

Here is a list of things to consider to ensure that your house makes a "buy me" impression.

Exterior

A well-maintained garden and/or courtyard

  • Clear the paths
  • Trim the shrubs and trees, if any.
  • Weed the flower beds.
  • Remove anything cluttering up the yard.
  • Clean the pool, garden furniture, BBQ, garbage can, etc

 

The interior

  • Clean the house thoroughly, particularly the kitchen, the bathrooms, the windows and the blinds.
  • Get rid of any useless items cluttering up storage space.  
  • Ideally remove personal items and also any items of value (for security)
  • Give the walls a fresh coat of paint (if painted). A coat of white matte makes rooms look larger and brighter, and eliminates smoke and pet odours.
  • Light the rooms to enhance their appearance.
  • Make sure that everything is in working order in the house (toilets, doorbell, heating, air conditioner, etc.).
  • Don't forget: the smell of cigarettes can turn even other smokers off. 

Making sure the property and any amenities are in good shape doesn't increase the value, but it does consolidate it. After all, a buyer expects a working water heater and a watertight roof.

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About Gozo

Additional Info

Read 10795 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:22
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