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08 Mar 2017

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Buying your first home is a journey in itself – but the ride is made all the more exasperating with the fussing and ‘foostering’ of the Irish Mammy.



From wonderment about your new immersion system to dropping in for a cuppa in the midst of the moving boxes, it may seem that your Mam is there just to get under your feet. But underneath it all, the Irish Mammy is a well of wisdom.

So here are six things you’re sure to hear from your mammy when buying your first home, and the reasons why you should listen.

1. ‘Have you got enough curtains and sheets, now?’

You have so much on your mind right now. Your solicitor may not be answering your calls, and your seller needs to close the deal before the end of the month. Curtains are a far-away thought at the moment, Mammy.

Why you should listen to Mammy:

You don’t want your first introduction to the neighbours to be a surprised wave as you tackle cardboard boxes in your PJs (you’ll also thank her when you aren’t woken up at the crack of dawn by that early morning sunshine).

2. ‘When are you moving in? I’ll pop around for tea.’

She means well – but sometimes your mammy just doesn’t understand the concept of ‘room to breathe’. And anyway, you won’t even know if you’ll be at the ‘kettle-owning’ stage after your first few days of moving in.

You still have to get your fridge installed, and buying some visitor delph is way down your list.

You have to set a moving-in date too, but that’s constantly moving itself – so tea with your mammy may just have to wait!

Why you should listen to Mammy:

It’s important to include her as much as possible at this early stage – she’s worried about you and she wants to be involved. But if the time isn’t there for tea, you can tactfully deter her from excessive ‘mammying’ with one simple sentence:

‘Course you can come over, Mammy. Just as long as you don’t mind using plastic cups for tea, and a cardboard box for a kitchen chair.’

3. ‘Patience is a virtue’

Your mammy is full of sage knowledge and ‘soothing’ sayings when you’re trying to manage the process of buying a home – but, to you, it doesn’t seem like being patient is helping at all!

There are hordes of cash buyers to battle and a solicitor to keep up to speed. Now isn’t the time for patience! Or is it?

Why you should listen to Mammy:

Usually ‘closing the sale’ of your new home can take a few months, for a multitude of reasons.

You can speed up the mortgage process by being well prepared. Having mortgage approval lined up before putting an offer in for your new home will be a big help.

4. ‘You’re better off with the dearer one.’

Shopping for household appliances and decor with your mammy is a dangerous venture. She just wants what’s best for you, even at the cost of emptying your bank account. And sure you just saw that same couch-throw elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. Do you really need the expensive version?

Why you should listen to Mammy:

At moments like this, it’s best to resist spouting one of her own sayings back to her, (‘Do you think money grows on trees?’), as certain staple items are worth investing in. Wooden furniture and your mattress are well worth a solid investment.

Otherwise you’ll have to avoid your mammy’s ‘I told you so’ when your bed springs are giving you a back ache a few months down the line.

5. ‘Does that wall colour match the carpet?’

Irish Mammies have a strange sixth sense for matching colours – jumpers, coats, socks, scarves, walls and carpets are all given the once over. If she tells you the colours don’t match, listen up.

Why you should listen to Mammy:

As good as any online colour-matching tool, your mammy will know when two shades are off-kilter! For matching those all-important colours make sure to:

(i) Use a free online tool

ColourSnap Visualizer is a tool that lets you upload photos of a room so you can try colours on the walls.

(ii) View the room in different light and at different times of day

Our colour perception changes depending on the amount of light and shadows in a room, and a lovely burgundy could be transformed into a rude purple in the harsh light of day. Surpass this issue by buying tester pots of paint and strips of carpet.

(iii) Get a second, third, and fourth opinion

It’s a strange phenomenon, but when two people observe the same colour, they may see different shades. This is because the photoreceptors in our eyes can vary in sensitivity. Be sure to call a general consensus, and to get a second, third, and fourth opinion.

6. ‘What do you mean you don’t have to switch off the immersion?’

As the world becomes more energy conscious, Ireland has moved on from the days of relying on the immersion switch as a sole source of a hot shower.

Many new homes still have an immersion as a back-up energy source, but it’s usually secondary to more efficient systems. Plus, new immersions even come with a timer. So yes Mammy – that means no more manual switches or moments of pure panic while out and about.

Why you should listen to Mammy:

There are many things you should ask yourself when considering energy choices for your new home – and in our changing world, it’s important to be conscious of things like BER ratings and renewable sources of energy. They can save you money in the long-run and decrease your carbon footprint.

So while you needn’t worry about the immersion switch anymore, it pays to be energy smart!

Thinking of applying for your first mortgage?

Buying your first home is a huge step, but you’re very lucky to have your mammy in your ear with some excellent advice – even if you do sometimes have to grit your teeth and bear it!

If you need another source of reliable knowledge while applying for a mortgage, a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with an EBS mortgage advisor will set you straight.

Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer guide. You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

If you have any queries about opening an EBS savings account, call 0818 654 322 or email info@ebs.ie.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c..

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either expressed or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.


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