A converted stone barn which sleeps six people at Grove House, Toe Head near Castletownshend, is among the properties maintained by Beacon Properties.. Photograph: Anne Minihane

For owners revisiting their properties after lockdown, some surprises may await

Relationships already under strain hit breaking point under lockdown

Consultant plastic surgeon Nora Nugent says that working in the NHS, things are sometimes “more structured with more formalised processes” than with the HSE.

Wild Geese: Plastic surgeon Nora Nugent, Sussex, England

Irishman Eoghan O’Sullivan, who has settled with his family in Switzerland. “We have some Swiss friends and we are making an effort to get involved in local life. It really feels like home”

Wild Geese: communications consultant Eoghan O’Sullivan lives with his British wife outside Geneva

Eamonn Murphy: “It’s a fantastic environment . . . Despite it being a megacity, everything is very convenient and easy.”

Wild Geese: Eamonn Murphy, Tokyo

Prices in Dublin, which had been declining, rose by 1.1%  year-on-year, according to CSO figures, but prices outside of Dublin have risen by 4%

Prospective homebuyers may be raring to go, but house price predictions can be misleading

If the property is part of a terrace without rear access, everything will have to come through the front door. Photograph: iStock

Factors such as access, layout and even tricky neighbours can all add headaches and cost

Hugh O’Donnell is founder and chief executive of Bermuda Brokers.

Wild Geese: Hugh O’Donnell, Bermuda

Michael Frain's landing workspace in a client's Dublin 12 home: ‘By putting a roof light into the landing, you are brightening the main circulation space and also carving out a little nook that can be used as a home office.’

The home office is here to stay. How can you adapt your home to make it work?

If old age is always 15 years older than you are, then you have time to plan. Photograph: iStock

Older people may like to move to a home adapted for their needs with support

Population growth means housing in Ireland will have to become more dense to meet demand. Photograph: iStock

Apartment living makes sense for many, but do your homework to avoid headaches

A new baby doesn’t mean your personal finances have to be on a cliff-edge. Photograph: iStock

Having a new baby is costly but, with proper planning, you can minimise the expense

When it comes to borrowing, not only must you prove you can pay the monthly mortgage repayment, you must show you can pay it at a stress-tested level. Photograph: iStock

How to sort the financial side and anticipate hidden costs

Mortgage lending to first-time buyers has increased by 15 per cent. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Demand, supply, mortgages, viewings: everything you need to know about the market in 2021

Pauline Turley, originally from Co Down, started interning at the Irish Arts Center in 1997.

Wild Geese: Pauline Turley is the vice-chair of the Irish Arts Center in New York

“You never want to think the relationship will break up or that one of you will pass away but from day one, you need to make provision,” says Michael Dowling of Dowling Financial. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Sharing a home without legal protection of marriage can lead to huge financial fallout

Candles are all about light and symbolism, so it’s no wonder Ireland’s candlemakers are experiencing a boom through this time of pandemic. File photograph: iStock

Scented candles are big business and small Irish makers are reaping the rewards

The tech “evangelist” from Kilkenny targeted the software sector without any coding knowledge.

Wild Geese: Rebecca Kelly’s maths degree opened many doors, including one to NYC

HaloCare is the brainchild of David Walsh and Niall Kelly, the Irish founders of global remote monitoring security firm Netwatch, and entrepreneur Johnny Walker.

Irish firm HaloCare’s software tracks and interprets movement and health at home

Prof Andrew Keane of UCD and co-founder and chief technology officer of Novogrid, and Paul Manning, co-founder and chief commerical officer

GridBoost, an initiative by the UCD spinout firm, is aimed at wind farm owners

Rejigging space for lockdown living isn’t the answer. You need to plan for the long term

Remote working, adult children at home and greater longevity – time to rethink our homes

If you don’t already have a website, it’s now easier than ever to get one. Illustration: iStock

Whether Covid-19 has closed your doors or not, make sure customers can find you online

The Department of Public Expenditure found that by 2031 more than a quarter of a million inhabitants in Ireland will be aged over 80 years. Photograph: Getty Images

August figures show 4,030 people assessed are on waiting list for support

There’s a flow of Irish emigrants house hunting back in Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Many Irish emigrants are looking to move home

At a maximum price point of €500,000, searches countrywide were up eight-fold on September last year

Searches for homes valued at less than €100,000 increase six-fold

John and Clair Duffin at their home in Blackrock, Co. Louth. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Clare and John Duffin are among the expats accelerating their return to Ireland

Whether it’s lethargy or loyalty, fear or loathing, too few of us switch mortgage. Photograph: iStock

Avant Money has brought fresh competition to the Irish lending market

Fair Deal: You must be careful about selling your home as the timing can influence how much you pay towards your nursing home costs.

The contribution isn’t the same for everyone – the better off you are, the more you will pay

The new probate process aims to make things simpler, removing common errors to speed up processing times. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Revenue will want a lot more information on beneficiaries under new process

House insurance: Too many of us blindly renew policies that cost too much, cover too little, or both. Illustration: Getty Images

Taking a little time and effort when renewing your policy can save you money and a lot of heartache

Puppy love. Photograph: iStock

A dog is for life, not just a pandemic, and the outlay can quickly ratchet up

Employers can pay workers an allowance of €3.20 a day to compensate for home expenses without paying any tax, PRSI or the universal social charge on it. Photograph: Getty Images

Home workers have been absorbing some of the costs of employers, and the coming winter will see these ratchet up

When it’s time to retire, how do you get your money?

There are smarter more efficient ways to buy property through a pension structure

It can be hard to get a price for a coffin, but one made of less expensive wood with a flat lid and plain sides will be less costly. File photograph: The Irish Times

A basic funeral can cost anywhere from €2,950 to €7,500, according to an insurer’s review

Prioritising life, serious illness and mortgage insurance will protect you, the income-generating golden goose. Photograph: iStock

If the worst happens, the right policy will keep a roof over heads and bills paid

The student grant scheme, the main financial support for students, is divided into maintenance grants, fee grants and the postgraduate contribution. Photograph: Joe St Leger

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the calculations for many seeking grants

Your solicitor may get a firmer grasp of your spending than you. Photograph: iStock

Family home, maintenance and pension among the difficult issues to sort out

A survey found that one-third of respondents start their Christmas shopping in September. One in eight of them said Christmas would leave them in debt. Photograph: iStock

Only 20 weeks left before the biggest shopping period of the year

The sea front at the popular tourist town of Kilkee, Co Clare. Photograph: Alan Betson

If your plan is to rent a holiday home to cover running costs, do the sums first

Retrofitting is to get a  major boost under the forthcoming  stimulus plan, with Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan preparing proposals for an 'ambitious and rapid scale-up'

Ireland is set to retrofit 500,000 homes and install 400,000 heat pumps by 2030

Three-quarters of parents say back-to-school costs are a financial burden, according to a survey last year by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Childcare in Ireland is expensive - but there are grants and subsidies to help ease the burden

Household deposits rose by €3bn  in April, followed by growth of €1.5bn  in May, according to Central Bank figures. That is the biggest increase since records began in 2003

Not only are you rewarding yourself after a tough time, but you are supporting the drive for economic recovery

Cyclists by the Grand Canal in Dublin. The numbers cycling in the city have surged in recent years. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

House hunters who are prepared to pedal should try these newly connected city areas

Mindy O’Brien of the environmental charity Voice at an exhibition called “Plastic: can’t live with it, can’t live without it” at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin last year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Budget-friendly green moves include using a e-bike and reducing food waste

With a global acceleration towards remote working, and cheaper housing, for some, living in the capital may no longer add up.

Remote working, cheaper housing, cleaner air: there’s a lot to be said for quitting the city

If you’ve got a crystal ball then you’ll know exactly what’s going to happen to house prices. Photograph: iStock

House prices, number of buyers and mortgage lending are being shaped by Covid-19

The bodies representing valuers say though they are adding a Covid-related clause to valuations, they are not altering values based on the virus.

Good health of mortgage approval and stage in purchase process infected by coronavirus

After guardianship of minors, dealing with the family home is top of the list for those making a will. Photograph: iStock

Solicitors have seen a surge in advice about the best way to pass on the family home

The average household spent an additional €122 on groceries during the four weeks to March 22nd. Photograph: iStock

We’re spending more on groceries and cosmetics but less on commuting and childcare

The cost of adding an extension to a house built in the 1950s and one built in the 1990s can vary widely. Photograph: Getty

Instead of asking how much will it cost, you should ask how much can you spend

If the coronavirus has put your holiday plans in limbo, can you at least get your money back? Photograph: iStock

From package holidays to city breaks and concerts to classes, how to go about getting your money back

Archly arranges video consultations for homeowners planning renovations. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archly, dubbed ‘Uber for architects’, can enable design projects to advance despite coronavirus restrictions

Those getting rent supplement are expected to contribute towards rental costs. The minimum contribution for a single person in receipt of a basic supplementary welfare allowance and not subject to an age-related reduction on their social welfare payment is €30 per week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Landlords and tenants can weather it out via communication and bank and State aid

The banks are offered a three-month mortgage payment holiday to those whose ability to pay is hit. Some 28,000 such breaks have already been granted

If you have a rainy-day fund start eating into it now

Estate agencies nationwide have halted physical viewings of residential properties due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: iStock

Estate agencies are utilising tech so home buyers can complete the entire process online

All householders using a licensed waste collection service have a right to access details of how much waste they produce, including the weight and type of waste

Eating and drinking at home creates more domestic waste, but there are ways to limit volumes, save money and help the planet

Despite political pressure, banks in Ireland  have been slow to budge on rates, though they are offering more competitive fixed rates. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Rates have continued to fall, so anyone paying more than 2.2% should have a rethink

After three decades of paying for telly, we may have forgotten that some of the best things in life are free. Photograph: iStock

TV, once cheaper than a night out, now comes with a hefty monthly bill

The sad truth is that, in the Irish jobs market, our boys will get paid more per hour than our girls. Photograph: iStock

In 2015 the overall gap in pay stood at 13.9%. It had risen to 14.4% in 2017. But why?

Buyer beware. If it’s an executor sale, ask if it has gone through probate. If it’s a private sale, ask if contracts are ready. If the seller is a receiver, the paperwork can mean delays.

Do thorough research, be upfront about your finances and know when to play it cool

Investing for some is no longer as simple as making money.  It’s about saving the planet and maybe your soul too. Do it right and the financial returns can add up. Photograph: Getty Images

ESG fund reporting relies on self-disclosure by constituent companies to measure the impact it generates

“The property market has a very significant unhelpful effect on marital breakdown.”Photograph: iStock

For parting couples with property to divide, it’s complicated

Before casting your vote in the general election it’s worth examining what effect successive Fine Gael budgets have had on your pay packet. Illustration: Paul Scott

Fine Gael’s reign has had a price tag for all workers as well as pensioners and unwaged

Health insurance: Whatever your life stage, before looking for a quote, make a list of what’s important to you.  Ask your provider or a broker for policies that match your needs.

Loyalty to health insurers or packages is misplaced. Shop around every few years

Whatever time of year you launch, preparation needs to start months in advance.

Launching earlier in the year or at off-peak times ensures competition is less intense

Credit card debt is expensive. If you’ve built up credit-card debt, you need to get it under control before doing anything else. Photograph: Getty Images

Big savings are easily made to help you better manage your finances

‘Make a list and check it twice – what do you still need to buy?’ Photograph: iStock

Christmas is one day. Don’t let it ruin your new year

Know your rights and how to spot a scam

For most people, buying a house before selling their own is not a runner. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Making a seamless transition from old to new home is the holy grail for house traders

A will is not just about who gets what. With the right advice, you can ensure that your legacy brings the maximum benefit to those you love. Photograph: Tetra Images/Getty Images

‘It gives direction to your loved ones at a time of uncertainty’

As you age, you may need to adapt your new home.

Tending to gardens, heating rarely used rooms and paying property tax for the privilege? Maybe it's time to cash out.

So while sticking with your negative equity property may feel like Stockholm Syndrome – so long a hostage you develop an alliance with your captor – as a survival strategy, it may be one to consider.

For some accidental landlords, it has been a decade of playing what must feel like a zero-sum game

Many home-buyers are seeking typical holiday home locations

With the economic barometer dropping across the channel and fairer times here, more are now on a flight path home

 “I try to use the phrase, ‘Think suit, think Louis Copeland’.” Louis Copeland at his shop on Capel Street in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

The man whose very name is synonymous with high-end suits has tailored his business to adjust to the economic downturn

A building energy rating certificate is compulsory for all homes offered for sale in Ireland, but does a good rating make a whit o(...)

One of the stone heads of Dublin Metropolitan policemen on Pearse Street Garda station, Dublin

Society aims to bring history and traditions of Irish policing into the public arena

The entrance of the former Magdalene laundry on Stanhope Street North in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Department of Justice to pay €11,500 to €100,000, depending on length of stay in laundries

Government policy is to support older people to live in their own homes for as long as possible, the  Nursing Homes Ireland annual conference has been told.   File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Department of Health says cannot be assumed same number older people will be cared for in residential facilities as are now

Danske, which has 100,000 personal and 10,000 business customers, is the second bank to announce plans to close this week after ACCBank said it was to hand back its banking licence next year with the loss of about 180 jobs.

Department of Finance study shows banks remain reluctant to write off debt

Jennifer Stanley: “I represent video game development companies and social media companies, and I’ve had the opportunity to do some work on a movie.”

Silicon Valley lawyer helps companies protect their IP, or get permission to use IP from others

A ’for sale’ sign is seen outside a housing estate in Keshcarrigan in County Leitrim. The Department of Finance said today that Irish banks have negotiated with consumers to restructure 71,086 mortgages of which more than half, 41,236, have been permanently restructured. Photograph: Bloomberg

Department says term extensions most regular solution to issues

Alex Craig weightlifting at her club in Dolphin’s Barn. Photograph: Dave Meehan

More and more women are finding out that weightlifting does wonders for mind, body and spirit

Ambassador of Mexico, Carlos Garcia de Alba (right) pictured at the for the launch of November’s ‘A Taste of Mexico’ with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisin Quinn (left) and mariachi Antonio Garcia-Lopez. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

‘Lot of room to strengthen’ trade between Ireland and Mexico

Catherine McGuinness: As chairwoman of the National Council of the Forum on the End of Life, McGuinness will address a conference in Dublin on Thursday, on dying and death. Photograph:Frank Miller

Conference to hear how inclusivity, funeral regulation and hospital culture need to change

Seán Rowland, founder and president of Hibernia College

A lot of people turned to education as unemployment took a foothold

If given a chance by policy makers, midwives could “lead on new models of care”, INMO president Claire Mahon  has said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

INMO to devote all resources to ensuring ‘only positive things emerge from this tragedy’

Nicola Finnerty: “I’m sort of a therapist for brands, working out people’s relationships with them.”

US job allowed Dublin woman to become expert in motivational research

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