As when buying property anywhere, you should never be in too much of a hurry. It’s a wise or lucky person who gets his choice absolutely right first time, which is why most experts recommend that you rent before buying unless you’re absolutely certain what you want, how much you wish to pay and where you want to live.
Have a good look around in your chosen area(s) and obtain an accurate picture of the kind of properties available, their relative prices and what you can expect to get for your money. However, before doing this, you should make a comprehensive list of what you want (and don’t want) from a home, so that you can narrow the field and save time on wild goose chases. Alternatively, can buy a plot of land and have a house built to your own specifications. If, however, after discussing it at length with your partner, one of you insists on a new luxury apartment in Dublin and the other an 18th century farmhouse in the Connemara, the easiest solution may be to get a divorce!
To reduce the risk of making an expensive error when buying in an unfamiliar region, it’s often prudent to rent a house for a period, taking in the worst part of the year (weather-wise). This allows you to become familiar with the region and the weather, and gives you time to look around for a home at your leisure.
There’s no shortage of properties for sale in Ireland and, whatever you’re looking for, you should have plenty to choose from. Wait until you find something you fall head over heels in love with and then think about it for another week or two before rushing to the altar!
One of the advantages of buying property in Ireland is that there’s usually another ‘dream’ home around the next corner – and the second or third dream home is often even better than the first. Better to miss the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ than end up with an expensive pile of stones around your neck. However, don’t dally too long, as good properties at the right price don’t remain on the market for ever!
If you’re looking for a holiday home, you may wish to investigate mobile homes or a scheme that limits your occupancy of a property to a number of weeks each year. These include shared ownership, leaseback, time-sharing and a holiday property bond. Don’t rush into any of these schemes without fully researching the market and before you’re absolutely clear about what you want and what you can realistically expect to get for your money.
The more research you do before buying a property in Ireland the better, which should (if possible) include advice from those who already own a home there, from whom you can usually obtain invaluable information (often based on their own mistakes).
Many people set themselves impossible deadlines for choosing a property or business (e.g. a few days or a week) and often end up bitterly regretting their impulsive decision. Although it’s a common practice, mixing a holiday with property purchase isn’t a good idea, as most people are inclined to make poor decisions when their mind is set on play, rather than business.
Publications & Exhibitions
Outbound Publishing (1 Commercial Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3XQ, UK (Tel. 01323-726040) publish World of Property, a quarterly publication containing properties for sale in Ireland (and other countries) and organise property exhibitions in the south and north of England.
Property is also advertised for sale in most newspapers and many magazines in Ireland and abroad and on the Internet.