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How to buy a house in Listowel

Old stone castle

19 Jun 2017

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Throw a stone in Listowel and it’s likely you’ll raise a lump on a writer’s head: the place is full of scribes, especially in early June, when the celebrated Listowel Literary Festival is all a-go.

And thanks to very affordable local property values, throw a few euros in your EBS savings account, and soon enough you’ll raise a lump sum sufficient for a place to call home. Sweet words, indeed.

The north Kerry town is a phenomenon, in lots of ways. It has a noble call of locally-born writers and poets, and blow-ins from around the globe who come for the days’ long festival to spot new talent, and acknowledge the likes of locals like John B Keane, Brendan Kenneally, Bryan MacMahon and Gabriel Fitzmaurice. There’s hardly another Wikipedia entry on the literary scene on any Irish town as detailed as there is on Listowel.

Listowel’s summer is book-ended by two major festivals, the first for book-writers, and the last for bookmakers.

The end of summer sees the seven-day Listowel Race Festival, and a slightly different crowd, entirely. Memo to literary types: what would happen if a patron of one festival inadvertently turned up at the other festival, and stayed the course? There’s a book in it, probably.

Pun intended.

Ivan Stuart, head of the EBS Listowel office, knows the scene. His EBS offices are right next door to the family pub run by writer and journalist Billy Keane, descendant of the great dramatist John B Keane. It’s as close to greatness as you might wish for, and not a bad location either in basic property terms.

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The Field, Listowel-style

John B Keane’s ‘The Field’ might have been all about the land, and that’s as true today. You’d be hard pushed to get a site to build on around Listowel unless you have family connections. Myhome.ie lists less than ten sites (June 2016) and Daft.ie less than two dozen…several of which have been years on the market.

The cheapest sites come in at €25,000, and if you journey the few miles to Abbeydorney, €125,000 will buy you 29 acres on the Killarney Road. 

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First time buyers in Listowel

Instead of buying a site, many young and slightly entrepreneurial home-hunters around Listowel are buying doer-upper properties, for owner-occupation and typically spending €60-70,000 on acquisition of dated townhouses, or bungalow/cottages. They’re then spending north of €100,000 on enhancements, reckons Ivan Stuart, who says at those sort of values EBS is able to lend up to 90% of estimated completion values.

Generally, those sort of renovations are for end-users/occupants, but if done right they are eminently suitable to sell on, as long as they’ve been completed to a standard a certifying engineer can sign off on.

But if it’s done ‘on a budget’ and not certified, on the other side of a deal, EBS might not be able to lend on a purchase, Ivan advises.

For those looking to buy without the hassle of a build project, a First Time Buyers can get a modern three-bed semi-d in a spot like Cahirdown for just under or, indeed, over the €100,000 mark. Ivan advises: “It’s ideal at this level, if you are already paying €500 or €600 a month in rent, you can buy around Listowel for a mortgage of €450 a month.”

Generally €150,000/€225,000 will get you a fine quality family home in Listowel.

The Property Price Register shows just a handful of €200,000-plus sales in Listowel in the past two years. One of the top sales?  An Art Deco style five-bed home on a whopping 2.7 acres for €315,000 early in 2016. On that acreage, it wouldn’t look out of place in Dublin’s Mount Merrion, though you’d have to add another zero to the price!

Listowel for commuters
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There are many reasons to relocate towards Listowel: roots, literature, sports, shopping, the pub culture and craic. It’s the stuff both of legend and literature!

Then there’s proximity to the Wild Atlantic Way and the indented coastline.

Ballybunion’s a 10 mile, 15 minute spin for golf and beaches. Tarbert’s about the same, with regular car ferry access across the mouth of the Shannon to Co. Clare. A short enough commute will get you to quite considerable employers in the North Kerry hinterland: one such is Dairy master, in Causeway, where salaries can range from a decent €30-40,000 pa.

Listowel isn’t too big a place and it’s well-connected so nothing’s too far away. Whether you want to build your own house or buy a place to call home, wherever you settle, Listowel’s got plenty of charm to keep your entertained. It’s a great place for stories – so why not start yours there?

Want to buy in Killarney? 
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Before you go the scenic road home hunting around Listowel, it’s advised to get your mortgage in perspective – or at least initiate discussions, so you know where you stand and where to look.

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 one of the team in EBS Listowel. 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 Financial Services, trading as EBS Listowel, acts 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.

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