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The ultimate guide to buying a house in Castleisland

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26 Jun 2017

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There’s only a couple of thousand people living in Castleisland, but the community punches above its weight thanks to a nexus crossroads setting, which connects the town to lots of prime spots – including other Kerry towns, and counties Cork and Limerick too.

It also punches above its weight on the sporting side, competing in GAA, soccer and rugby in particular, where its natives have gone on to high honours.

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There’s a pride in the local Castleisland rugby club having produced greats such as Moss Keane, Mick Doyle, Mick Galwey and JJ Hanrahan down the years. But it’s not just a boys’ club, or an old boys’ club – women internationals such as Siobhan Fleming and Sharon Lynch also cut their teeth on the local fields.*

With economic recovery trickling out of the cities, the uplift is being felt in local communities too, and Castleisland – the ‘Crossroads of Kerry’ – is no exception. Castleislanders like to keep their business local – perhaps it’s the willingness to go the extra yard, the sense of place, and the network of connections on wider fields.

Castleisland for house hunters

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Preliminary mortgage inquiries about returning to Irish shores from the likes of London and Australia are coming into the local Castleisland EBS office, says Ivan Stuart, who is second generation in the family-run business which was started in 1980 by his father Tom

They often deal with young buyers looking to return to north Kerry. “There’s an increase in inquiries from emigrants, especially since the start of the year,” says Ivan, as well as locals looking to buy a first house or to build on a site. They do some second-home mortgages also, but the reach goes beyond the area, and beyond the county even.

“A good part of our business is people who grew up here, and whose parents live here still, but they’re maybe working in a city and looking to buy their first home. They’ll make the inquiries with us because they know us, and their parents know us: it’s the personal connection, and it tends to make it easier for them,” explains Ivan.

Typically, he’ll meet face to face (Saturdays can be busy) and then a phone call might follow, but e-mail is hugely efficient, and the goal is to make the process as simple as possible, and get all the necessary lending information upfront, so as to be able to advise would-be borrowers as soon as possible.

“If they’re not going to get the loan, it’s much better to find out as quickly as you can, and just tell them. We try to make the process as simple as possible,” Ivan says.

In many borrowers' favour is the fact the north Kerry area has some very strong employers, such as the likes of Fexco and others in Killorglin which is a bit of a ‘Klondyke’, enabling workers to easily afford relatively short commutes to and from other towns too; the Kerry Group pays a good wage to a large number, as does Liebherr in Killarney. Tourism and agriculture also provide relatively steady incomes for borrowers.

The good news for those looking for a home in and around Castleisland is the relative affordability. At the time of writing**, Daft.ie had 44 listings of properties for sale with a Castleisland address, and the Price Register shows a dozen sales in the first five months of 2016, ranging in value from €32,000 to €265,000.

Castleisland for First Time Buyers

Castleisland has a mix of options for FTBs: there’s a selection of some very cheap houses in town centre settings, older stock and townhouses right on the streets too, which puts every service near to hand.

You can buy a do-er upper from €35,000, and sites can be bought for €35-45,000 – even a bit less in some cases. Because of scarcity of planning permissions, sites kept up reasonable values.

“Self-builds kept the local economy going during the downturn: EBS is always strong in this sector,” says Ivan.

By way of contrast, sites in an area like The Spa by Tralee can change hands for as much as €120,000.

Older three-bed semis can be bought for less than €100,000, but prices are back on the rise from the lows of a few years ago. Selling well now, and at still-affordable prices, are schemes like Cahereen Heights, and Clonough Drive.

Castleisland for families

For those trading up, Ivan says the options include good detached houses on the edge of Castleisland to detached bungalows on larger, more rural sites. A budget of €180,000-€250,000 will buy a quality family home in outlying locations, with or without views.

At the time of writing, one of the higher priced properties in the hinterland was priced at €315,000. Affordable choices over and under the €225,000 mark will still see buyers getting good houses for the family-rearing years close to services, shops, schools, (check www.schooldays.ie) and sporting facilities. And, as we all know, while Castleisland may be small, its sporting tradition is mighty, so sports are abundant!

Castleisland for commuters

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Castleisland lives up to its title as ‘the Crossroads of Kerry’, and it’s an easy-reach from so many other spots, for those who have to commute for work.

Even if the comparison is quite well known, locals like to boast that the Main Street is the second widest in Ireland, after Dublin's O’Connell Street.

The late writer, journalist, and sport connoisseur, Con Houlihan* once described it as a street between two fields. And maybe that was true then but now Castleisland has grown so much, it’s even gained a bypass.

Want to buy in Castleisland?

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Before you go house hunting it's a good idea to get your mortgage arranged – or at least discussed so you know where you stand.

Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer and Next Time Buyer guides.

If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Ivan or one of the team in EBS Castleisland. You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

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Tom Stuart trading as EBS Castleisland is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c.

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 express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

* If we mention celebrities or businesses, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.

**Prices were accessed as of May 2016.

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