Buying a Property in Dublin
Buying property in Ireland has been a viable alternative for expats who plan to stay for an extended period. Though prices are still high, they’ve decreased tremendously from what they were, and are currently situated around the levels that existed in 2004.
Locals will tell you that this is a great time to buy, but depending on the terms and duration of your contract, expats may still prefer to rent property.
Buying property in commuter towns
During the boom many Dublin workers moved way out into towns in surrounding counties like Navan, Maynooth, or as far as Leitrim. While this often meant travel times of up to two hours each way, the financial savings were considerable. If you’re looking for somewhere rural, quiet, and with a good sense of community, bargains can be had in these areas. Just check the estate very carefully as some are not completed and lack basic facilities.
How to buy property in Ireland
The basic steps to buying property in Ireland are similar to those in many other European countries.
- Start looking with real estate agents, newspapers and online sources
- Find a good solicitor to help you with these stages.
- Arrange financing. This can be difficult in Ireland at the moment as the banks are wary of being left with further debt, but it's not impossible.
- Draw up a clear offer; you need to stipulate if you want to buy furniture etc as this is not automatically included.
- Make an offer; this initial offer is dependent on the contract and survey. It is usual to amend the offer if your surveyor finds hidden problems. Damp, for example, is a constant problem thanks to the climate.
- A Property Survey usually costs about €150 for a general survey. If you want a more detailed Homebuyer’s Survey, discuss this with the surveyor for an extra cost.
- Some vendors will ask for refundable deposit at this stage.
- Be aware that Gazumping, when another buyer offers more and sweeps the property from under you, is quite common.
- Finalising the mortgage with a lender involves quite a bit of paperwork which is where the solicitor comes in handy. You will need to submit the Direct Debit order, Buildings Insurance and Life Insurance.
- At this stage buyers would usually pay the full deposit; usually about 10 percent of the final cost, but this is negotiable.
Ultimately, buying property in Dublin is completely dependent on personal choice and situation. Though property prices have decreased, so have rental prices, so for a short contract leasing may still be a better option. The Irish Property Watch site is a good starting point if you're planning a move here; watch prices move and decide what you can afford.