It can be tempting, in the excitement, to immediately start viewing homes you initially like the look of. A lot of people do this, but it makes the search a lot longer. Why? They find that each home they view is not their ideal and they end up refining their criteria that bit more, so the goalposts are always on the move.
That’s why, before you buy a home in Ireland, you need to come up with a specification for what exactly you want in your property so you can narrow the search and judge each option objectively. And, you can do this by asking yourself these five questions.
Set out in words what you’re looking for and you’ll have greater clarity. This will give you more direction in your search. Take the time to sit down and write out what the reasons behind your move are. This could range from wanting a larger home that you couldn’t afford in the UK, to having a new adventure now that the kids have left. You might find that your pension goes further in Ireland, or you just don’t want to regret never having moved.
Decide what you want out of your home and you’ll know what to look for. Do you want it for long weekends? You’ll probably want to be close to an airport. Will it be a permanent home? You won’t need to worry about buying somewhere with rental potential. Be honest. If you like the idea of nipping down on weekends, but it’s unlikely to happen, you could save money by buying further away from transport.
Make sure that you know approximately what your budget is right from the start, as, not only will this allow your estate agent to suggest affordable properties, but it will help you plan financially as you edge closer to moving day. Make sure that you include an extra 10% for buying costs.
Remember that if you buy a home in Ireland, you’ll be buying in euros. You won’t get the interbank rate — the exchange rate you see on the news. It’s not available to the general public, so you’ll get a few percent points different. Speaking to a currency specialist is your best option for getting as much value from the transaction as possible.
When you start looking to buy a home in Ireland, you’ll need to decide what the property should have. What does your dream house look like? Would you like a large outdoor space or a swimming pool? Do you need to be by the sea, in the countryside, or in a city centre? Is it essential to be able to walk to the local pub or café? What would make it absolutely perfect for you?
Decide also what you really don’t want — this will help estate agents avoid showing unsuitable homes. Would you find a period cottage a bit too draughty for the Irish climate? If you buy somewhere with land, or spare rooms, would you worry about being saddled with maintenance and cooking? Now’s the time to say it loud and clear!