On the move
FIONA REDDANon the hunt for a family home
SO IT’S now almost two months into the house search and maybe it’s time to sit back and reflect on our progress – or lack thereof. Over the past eight weeks or so we have: viewed 15-plus houses; bid on one house; got one mortgage approved; and bought zero houses.
Looking for a new home is undoubtedly exciting but it’s also a bit of a head-wreck.
Weekdays are spent checking alerts from Myhome.ieor Daft.ie, eyeing up potential propositions, checking the price of similar homes in the area on the price register, and running the property by friends who already live nearby.
You see something that might be a possibility and before you can help yourself, you’ve pictured yourself living there.
You’ve seen yourself having a drink in the garden on a summer evening, your curtains on that window, your dining table in that kitchen, even the kids next door playing with your kids (lucky escape for those kids so far).
Saturday mornings are spent in a whirl of house viewings, or flash viewings, because with estate agent staff numbers slashed, they only run for half an hour and frequently start late as agents are running in from previous appointments.
But by Saturday evening much of this anticipation will have dissipated into a sense of despondency. The garden was too small, it was north facing, there were cracks in the ceiling, the neighbour’s house was a tip, it was too noisy, too close to the main road and decrepit.
Too fussy, you say? Quite possibly, but when you’re looking for a home for your children to grow up in, and when you’ve borne the brunt of buying at the peak of the market, you don’t want to make the same mistakes again.
But time to deliberate might not be on our side. With mortgage interest relief set to expire at the end of the year, there is a palpable sense of expediency in the air.
On the plus side, this means that there has been a little surge in the number of houses coming onto the market, as vendors see an opportunity to sell.
On the downside, it seems that people are now more inclined to come off the fence and start bidding.
So if it’s time to get moving, at least we have learned the following about house-hunting:
At some point in the process, you will wish you were looking for a house somewhere other than in Dublin. Like Longford. Every alert I get seems to contain a newly built detached four-bed in its own grounds in that county: for less than €200,000.
Your dream house is out there – if you could just manage to come up with another €100,000. I often wonder whether people with more to spend feel the same as I do – if you have a budget of €1 million is it the house on at €1.2 million that you crave?