Moving back to the family home to save for a deposit: ‘It’s a short-term pain, long-term gain situation’

Isaac Nolan and his girlfriend, Kes, hope that moving back to his family home in Wexford will enable them to add to existing savings and buy their own place within two years

Just over a third of 18-29 year-olds who live with their parents have never moved out, according to research from the National Youth Council of Ireland.

The challenge of trying to save money for a deposit while rents remain high means a significant number of people who feel they are doing well in the early stage of their careers see returning home as the only practical way of amassing the money required to buy.

Barring a brief spell during the Covid-19 pandemic, Isaac Nolan had been living in Dublin since graduating from University College Dublin in 2017. He works in financial services and has had a mixed bag of experiences with house shares, ranging from pretty good to a “horror show”.

At the age of 28, Nolan decided he did not want to rent forever. Despite he and his girlfriend, Kes, earning about €100,000 between them, they concluded that moving back to his family home in Ballygarrett in north Co Wexford for a spell was the only way they could hope to save up a deposit in the medium term.


“We want to buy because there is no security in the rental market,” he said. “There aren’t a whole lot of measures in place to protect people in certain kinds of tenancy arrangements and that adds to the number of people trying to get places of their own. The Government should definitely be doing more to address the situation.

“We feel very lucky that we have this opportunity to use moving home as a vehicle to save a bit of money and still have a comfortable house to be sitting in while we’re doing it. But it definitely comes with its own set of challenges.”

Nolan said he and his partner both work in jobs that offer the option of working remotely two or three days a week.

“We’ve managed to co-ordinate the days we go in so we’re not travelling separately on different days or anything like that but those days can be very long,” he said. “My girlfriend isn’t from Wexford and so a lot of our social life is still in Dublin. It’s not too bad, it’s only an hour away but still, a night out often means sleeping on somebody’s couch. It’s a short-term pain, long-term gain situation.”

Their intention is to add to their existing savings over the next 18 to 24 months. He reckons having about €50,000 should put them in a decent position to move forward with their plans.

They had concluded that staying in Dublin and renting while trying to save was not feasible without pushing their hopes of buying a home well down the line.

“The sorts of places we would have been looking at were between €1,800 and €2,200 a month, which isn’t really sustainable long term if you’re trying to save,” he said. “Some friends who maybe don’t have the option of moving home for whatever reason, are trying to do it but to put any sort of money aside in that situation, your quality of life does go down quite a bit.”

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times