Is it worth buying a fixer-upper home? We run the numbers on four

You can still find bargains outside Dublin. But do the maths before buying in and around the capital

Doing up a home can be costly and time consuming. If you’re buying a fixer-upper to renovate, then along with pulling together the asking price, property tax and agents’ fees, you need to factor in the building costs and the additional expense of paying rent or an existing mortgage while you wait for the work to be done. You’ll also need to prepare for the frequent delays that can be caused by the planning process and by the quest to find – and retain – a good builder.

Yet the lure of a so-called bargain buy somehow captivates us all. Maggie Molloy’s hugely successful Instagram account, Cheap Irish Houses, has ratcheted up almost 30,000 followers with its regular updates on ruinous gems that are coming to the market. Typical examples – the locations are mainly rural – include a former school house in Millstreet, Co Cork, for €19,950, an old forge in Co Offaly for €50,000 and an old mill outside Ramelton, Co Donegal, for €75,000. There are castles, too, including a tower house, Black Castle, in Thurles, Co Tipperary, seeking just €95,000.

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