07 Mar 2017
The excitement of buying your first home may have been dampened every-so-slightly after those first five viewings.
Your expectations have gone from, ‘This will be an adventure. Bring on the house hunt!’ to ‘Will I survive another viewing?’ (By the way, the answer to this is yes, you can.)
If you’re a first time buyer, you may be slightly overwhelmed by the experience that is house hunting in Ireland; but don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are many people out there who know exactly what you’re going through (including us). That’s why we have outlined all the things only Irish house hunters will relate to below, and we’ve even shared our own tricks of the trade in the meantime. Plenty of self-pity allowed.
1. Realising that your ‘Price range’ is now a stretchy, tangible thing
No, it wasn’t a figment of your imagination. That 2-bed semi-D you viewed last month had an asking price of €350,000 – but now it’s on the market for €360,000. It’s time to hang up your belief in the durability of online house prices, which seem to have the magical power to change before your eyes.
Then, when you do find a price within your budget, another buyer decides to come along with a bid you haven’t a hope (or the heart) to raise. Many house hunters will find that they need to be as flexible as possible when it comes to clinching the home of their dreams.
Psst – this is why it’s a good idea to talk to a mortgage advisor about how much you can borrow before you start the hunt!.
2. The fear of the cash buyer
Is a cash buyer eyeing up your dream home? Many house hunters are familiar with the ‘fear of god’ which this can instil. These buyers can cover the cost of the house in one fell swoop, without any involvement from a lender.
However, cash buyers are not as big and scary as they seem – your mortgage-approved purchases can be just as good! Savvy borrowers will learn that they can have just as much a chance as their cash-counterparts, by arming themselves with Approval in Principle, pre-approval letters, and other such things that will soothe the seller.
3. Hoards of buyers
If you’re searching for a house in Ireland at the moment, you’ll be familiar with the following scenario:
A good house in a good location appears on a property website. Your first thoughts are: ‘this is it, I’m saved!’ Before you realise that every other home buyer in Ireland is on the scent – and they all mean business.
Yes, there will be buyers. In their hordes!
We can all agree that the number of people attending house viewings in Ireland has seen a boost in the last two years. But don’t be put off – there is no reason why the successful punter won’t be yours.
It’s important to make sure that you have all documents ready, you are armed with your Approval in Principle, and that you are quick to approach the seller with a warm and professional attitude. It doesn’t matter how many houses you’ve viewed this week – be brave and glue that smile back on.
4. Your list of ‘must-haves’ has become a list of ‘lucky-to-haves’
It’s a good idea to have a list of priorities outlined for your dream home – but don’t hold these too close to your heart. Many house hunters will come to realise that sacrifices will need to be made – which could mean swapping your dream of a big garden and south facing kitchen for an acceptable 3-bed in a great location.
5. Your inbox has been invaded by property alerts
Trawling through property websites has become your new favourite hobby, and your inbox makes it look like you work for Daft.ie.
That’s okay – this shows that you’re maintaining your position of ‘one step ahead’, and eventually it will all pay off. To save yourself a possible headache, it’s a good idea to divide up email folders into homes viewed, homes you would like to view, and the homes you’re thinking of bidding for.
6. Waiting for ‘that call’ like a love-sick teenager
You haven’t felt this needy since that first person you fancied took ages to call you back (well, a whole 24 hours). Now you’re back to checking your phone every two minutes, and jumping at every noise or phantom vibration in your pocket.
Once you’ve put in an offer, it is important to stay in regular, daily contact with your solicitor and your lender – this time, it’s called being professional. Ahem.
7. That amazing feeling of accomplishment
You did it! You have found the home you’ve been looking for and your offer has been accepted – you may as well have climbed Everest. It may have taken a little longer than expected, and maybe some parts need a lick of paint and a new kitchen unit, but it’s all yours. Woohoo!
Finding your perfect home can teach you some good life lessons, and prepare you for things you never thought possible (like how to survive the crowds on Christmas Eve).
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