Has there ever been a better time to buy a home in Ireland? There are plenty of spacious, well-built country properties at a fraction of the cost of their equivalent in British beauty spots. The cities are lively, liveable and exciting. There is so much to do, either in Ireland’s great outdoors or culturally, in the land that gave us everything from Oscar Wilde to Father Ted, from The Pogues to Riverdance. There are job opportunities too, just an hour’s flight from the UK, in a welcoming and English-speaking EU country. Here are five more great reasons why you should buy a home in Ireland this year:
1. Wild, beautiful, empty
Well, not quite empty, perhaps, but the Republic of Ireland has 67 people per square kilometre compared to England with 420 per kilometre! Having six times fewer people means more than just room to breathe. It allows you some space to call your own, a decent-sized garden, less pollution, an empty beach, somewhere to park! And while Ireland won’t appeal to sun worshippers, anyone who craves green fields and woodland paths, the excitement of huge waves crashing onto a breezy beach, will love it here. It’s a climate that allows you be active too. You won’t be scurrying between air-conditioned malls and cafes in Ireland, but catching salmon in crystal-clear streams, cantering along the beach, or celebrating a good round of golf at the 19th hole.
2. Brexit? No problem
The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland operate a Common Travel Area (CTA). This was set up long before either country joined the European Union and will continue after Brexit. As well as being able to travel freely between the two, “reciprocal rights” extend to subsidised healthcare and free school education, social housing, the right to a pension, to work, to study, to retire, or to just spend time there. You even get to vote in Irish elections.
3. Affordable property
For the lowest prices, head to County Roscommon and County Longford. Other affordable options are County Sligo and County Mayo, for anyone seeking property with land. Property is low priced but rents are relatively high. This means buy-to-let investors have been finding the highest rental yields in Europe in recent years. They’re significantly better than the UK.
4. Job opportunities
Several international corporations have set up headquarters in Ireland. Its proximity to the UK, English-speaking people and low corporation tax have all contributed to its success. The majority of companies fall under tech, finance and pharmaceuticals. If you have the right skills, finding employment won’t be difficult. Ireland could be your next exciting career move!
Ireland has 67 people per square kilometre compared to England with 420 per kilometre! That allows you some space to call your own, a decent-sized garden, less pollution, an empty beach, somewhere to park.
5. Easy to reach
No matter the time of year, you’ll be able to be back in the UK in around an hour without breaking the bank. Ireland has five international airports servicing cities across the UK. If you book in advance, flights will cost you less than you’d pay for dinner. This means friends and family have no excuse not to come and visit you. Or you can drive onto the ferry. And don’t discount the handiness of chucking everything in the back of the car when you travel to your overseas home (rather than cramming it into a Ryanair overhead locker!).
What should you plan before you buy a home in Ireland?
It can be tempting, in the excitement, to immediately start viewing homes. A lot of people do do this, but it makes the search a lot longer. They find with each home they view that they end up refining their criteria that bit more. That’s why, before you buy a home in Ireland, you need to ask yourself these five questions.
What is behind your dream to buy a home in Ireland?
Set out in words what you’re looking for and you’ll have greater clarity. This will give you more direction in your search. Take the time to sit down and write out what the reasons behind your move are. This could range from wanting a larger home that you couldn’t afford in the UK, to having a new adventure now that the kids have left. You might find that your pension goes further in Ireland, or you just don’t want to regret never having moved.
How are you going to use it?
Decide what you want out of your home and you’ll know what to look for. Do you want it for long weekends? You’ll probably want to be close to an airport. Will it be a permanent home? You won’t need to worry about buying somewhere with rental potential. Be honest. If you like the idea of nipping down on weekends, but it’s unlikely to happen, you could save money by buying further away from transport.
What’s the maximum amount you can afford?
Remember that if you buy a home in Ireland, you’ll be buying in euros. You won’t get the interbank rate – the exchange rate you see on the news. It’s not available to the general public, so you’ll get a few percent points different.
Find out how to protect against changing exchange rates in the free Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
Make sure therefore that you know what your budget is right from the start. Include an extra 10% for buying costs.
What are the ‘musts’ for your home?
When you start looking to buy a home in Ireland, you’ll need to decide what the property should have. What does your dream house look like? Would you like a large outdoor space, or a swimming pool? Do you need to be by the sea, or in a city centre? Is it essential to be able to walk to the local pub or café? What would make it absolutely perfect for you?
What are the biggest ‘nos’ for your home?
Decide also what you really don’t want – this will help agents avoid showing unsuitable homes. Would you find a period cottage a bit too draughty for the Irish climate? If you buy somewhere with land, or spare rooms, would you worry about being saddled with maintenance and cooking? Now’s the time to say it loud and clear!
Buying in Ireland
Do keep an eye out for Part 2 in our serialisation, in our monthly newsletters and here on Ireland Property Guides. And, if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to speak to your specialists on 020 7898 0549 or email@example.com.