Many of us would love to buy a home in Ireland but don’t have the cash to buy. Or rather, we think we don’t. The truth, however, is that for many potential buyers in Ireland there are all sorts of ways to raise the money, some involving little sacrifice – simply using your assets better. Here are some potential ways to raise finance for an Irish property.
Raising money from your UK home
Your main asset can work for you in all sorts of ways, and you won’t even have to sell it. That means you retain any capital growth in the UK market while you own a holiday home in Ireland.
Equity release takes many forms, which is why it is essential to get good independent advice before doing anything. However, for homeowners aged over 55 with a property worth at least £70,000, it’s a real opportunity to enjoy life more without paying for it – at least not in your lifetime – by using the equity you have built up in your UK home.
Read more about raising the finance to fulfil your dreams in our new guide, How to Pay for a Property Abroad, to see all your options.
It’s also a terrific way for retirees to buy a holiday home in Ireland which their whole extended family can enjoy too, without losing the family home.
It only really applies to holiday homes, however, as you have to remain living in the UK property for at least six months of the year.
You can get this tax-free, as cash, without selling up or downsizing. Then you can use it as you wish, to buy a property, boat, investment or anything else. You do need to be a little careful in who you use for this – we would suggest you only use a provider governed by regulatory body the Equity Release Council. The benefit is that you should be able to continue owning your own homes, with the deeds in your own name and with the right to be there for life.
Renting out your UK home
There are two options here. If you need plenty of money to buy a home in Ireland, but don’t wish to sell the family home, you could raise money on it via a buy-to-let mortgage. The fees are higher, and there will be restrictions, but you could potentially raise enough to buy in Ireland.
If you have a UK home but the kids have left, this is the most flexible way of raising money. You simple sell your home for the best price, move somewhere smaller and buy a property in Ireland using the cash. This way saves any borrowing costs and may be able to live comfortably on the proceeds of any invested surplus.
You also avoid the risk of stepping out of the UK property market should you ever wish to come back.
The downsides are that you lose the family home, and have to pay the costs of selling, such as agent’s fees.
If you downsize but stay owning a home in the UK and abroad, there will also be tax implications as the owner of a second home. You can be stung for high taxes on second homes and rental income, should you rent it out.
Other ways of raising money for an Irish property
Holders of defined contribution pensions (although not holders of final salary schemes) can now use their pension “pot” as they like. They can withdraw 25% of the pot tax-free and leave the rest invested. Of course, you do need to be aware of scammers and always consult the Pensions Advisory Service before parting with any money.
Buying with family or friends
This is a great way to spread the wealth of a family – for example allowing the grandparents to leave a living legacy – as well as the burden of owning a property in Ireland.
Reading our Family Buying Guide to learn how joint ownership can halve the costs and double the buying power.
The simplest option is to each pay a share. With a few siblings, aunts and cousins involved you could potentially own together for just a few thousand pounds each. And they might pay that amount for a couple of week’s holiday. Although the more people involved, the less you need to pay, the downside is that it could make for more complicated legal processes and ownership structures.