First time buyer steps explained

Being able to take out a mortgage has become a major hassle for all types of home buyers, but especially first time buyers. Recently, a 2018 study by the Central Bank reported that the best position to be in so that your request for a loan can be approved by one of the 7 largest lending banks is in a couple with a substantial down payment already available.

This is most likely the case because a couple can bring in two salaries, making a steady stream of income more reliable even if one person were to lose their job. Additionally, having a large down payment reduces risk for the lender. If you were to foreclose on a property, meaning you couldn’t afford to pay your mortgage anymore, there would be significantly less consequences on the lender side.

Although this is an ideal situation for approval, it is not the only solution. Plenty of first time buyers are individuals without extremely high credit scores and salaries, but there are a few key parts that must be fulfilled in order …

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Ireland affordability from a US student standpoint: Restaurant wages

Working in a restaurant can be an extremely exhausting job, especially when there are requests from a multitude of customers flying at you all at once. Luckily, the staffs ability to fulfill these requests timely and politely pays off in the form of monetary compensation; this is usually a successful motivational tool.

In recent months, there have been reports that many restaurants across the city of Dublin and far beyond have been unclear with customers about how their tips are being charged and where that extra cash ends up. For the most part, people assume that a server who provides exceptional service will receive the entirety of the tip that you leave for them. Many times, that assumption is wrong.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty has picked up on this issue, promising workers in this industry that there will be changes to the tipping system. These changes are aimed to make businesses more transparent about how this optional part of the bill is split up within the company.

As a customer, getting information …

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The future is refinancing

Getting a loan can be extremely hard to achieve, especially in today’s Irish economy. With higher interest rates than usual, many people who have successfully gotten a loan may be looking for an opportunity to refinance in a few years to come.

Refinancing would not be beneficial for those people who are repaying loans. This is largely due to the banks uncertainty as the Brexit date draws closer. Banks are afraid that there will be an economic crash that will leave people with loans unable to pay the banks back at their projected rate. These fears are outwardly displayed in the form of high interest rates and low amounts of accepted loan applications.

The current interest rates rely heavily on the type of loan that you are receiving, but can vary significantly. The most common forms of loans are mortgage, auto, and personal. In any of these agreements, the interest rates are high in comparison to previous years.

Refinancing in the future may be key for many of the people who are currently being approved to take out …

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Dart and Luas location spikes home prices

Location has always played a substantial role in the pricing of property, especially in major cities. Comparing prices of rent or total purchasing price of business, commercial and residential properties, it seems that this is a common trend across the world.

In Dublin, this also reigns true. New research from Daft.ie has shown that if you are a renter located near the Dart or Luas, your rent can be up to 12% higher than that of those a bit further from these modes of transportation, with Luas red line stops topping the charts. Rent in Dublin has averaged €2,000 per month in 2019, while more conveniently located renters paid a premium of up to €3,500 per month.

On the coast, there is also an influx in prices due to its prime location from some of Dublin’s quickest modes of transportation. This is not unwarranted though, given that the Luas and Dart decrease travel time significantly. Time is very valuable, especially for commuters into or a bit outside of the city.

As a student at UCD this summer, …

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Money lending interest rates regulated

The Department of Finance is a crucial part of the government of the republic of Ireland. During the current year, the Financial Services Division of this sector is looking into the interest rates that government approved money lenders are charging their consumers.

According to the Central Bank of Moneylending and the Consumer Credit Act (1995), money lending is “the practice of providing credit to consumers on foot of a money lending agreement.” Usually, these credits are taken in the form of cash but can also be the purchase of goods on credit from a catalogue.

In general, money lenders make getting money quick and easy. They are especially beneficial for those with a higher chance of being denied the ability to take out loans due to bad credit history, low income or a variety of other financial reasons. Many people who are also uneducated or inexperienced in the financial sector may find themselves turning to this easy alternative.

These vendors are most beneficial to be used as a last resort option when you are in need of …

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Pension top-ups failing seniors, women

The most recent governmental review of pension top-ups has left many retired people with far less than they had anticipated. Only 15% of around 11,500 cases reviewed within the last period will be receiving top-ups, leaving 10,000 people who applied for a top-up without any other option than to survive off of their same plan, despite rising prices.

This denial of pension top-ups extends beyond this small percentage of retirees. Tens of thousands of people were affected by this bad review, causing the public to go into a frenzy. Understandably so, given that everyone who has a pension is retired and between the ages of 60 and 70. Most of these people have already worked for over 40 years and have planned and saved so that they no longer have to work in the elderly stage of their lives.

Usually, people begin saving for pensions at the age of 25, paying small amounts to their retirement fund that are sometimes matched to a degree by either their current employer or the government. These plans also usually have higher …

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Regular wages and purchasing homes

In the current market, there is an increasing want and need for housing in Ireland, especially in populated cities such as Dublin. With this increasing demand, prices of homes and rent are rising each year. One problem that many soon-to-be or want-to-be home owners face now is the inability to effectively save for a home when they are paying high rent fees month after month.

The Central Statistics Office of Ireland notes that the average full time worker made around €45,611, while an average part time worker made around €16,600. Using surveys on these two numbers, we can say that the average worker in Dublin makes around €37,000 per year.

These numbers seem to allow a single person to be able to obtain a mortgage and afford a home, but if you were to add into the equation any additional expenses, such as children, rent or transportation, there would be a significant amount of money deducted from those average numbers.

The national average rent in Ireland is €1,122 per month. If you are interesting in living in Dublin, …

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Ireland affordability from a US student standpoint: Groceries

There are many noticeable aspects that differ significantly between the United States and Ireland. For me, one of the largest changes is that the value of every euro I have us significantly more than that of my US dollar.

When coming to Ireland, I used my local bank to exchange dollars for euros with the euro being 1.2 times more valuable than my crisp dollar bill. Although I was aware of this rate, it has continuously thrown me off as I go in and out of sandwich shops, Tesco’s and the occasional Spar.

When I walk into any of these places, I think only in terms of my euros in hand. I am amazed by the €4 sandwiches, the €1.5 salads, and in general much less expensive grocery prices. When getting my first installment of groceries, I was amazed by the €36 price. This is because I usually spend around $50 at the grocery store in the US in order to stock up with those same ingredients.

Although that seemed cheap, the extra $5 in conversion made the payment just …

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Brexit takes more than just UK funds

As we are all well aware of by now, Brexit may affect the Irish economy. Although, one key part of the economy that we tend to overlook when it comes to this massive change is construction, which can and does play a significant role in our day-to-day life decisions.

Construction is much more intricate than just having laborers come in, swing around some tools, and build a structure. Specifics in supply and demand of laborers, resources, time, materials, consumers, money and a multitude of others aspects all play a part in construction outputs.

If Brexit is to occur, especially a no deal Brexit, there are a number of barriers that can arise. These barriers can and will be placed on construction companies, especially those currently working on a project. Some of these barriers include a reduced labor force, slower materials delivery, and possible construction penalties.

What current construction workers point out is that there is a steady decline in the amount of workers each year, and an even steadier decline in quality construction workers. If a hard …

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Illegal Irish flats similar to US university housing

During the month of May, a property in the city of Dublin was advertised as a flat, accommodating up to eight people comfortably. This listing, seemed normal to many prospective renters until they looked at the photographs.

This alleged flat seemed to many to be a converted office building. Upon further inspection, it was easy to see that this five bath, eight bed, and shared kitchen space were not exactly up to legal regulations, although this is conveyed as the least important aspect.

What most people seem to be most appalled by is the lack of privacy, and in some aspects, personal space that come from the conversion of an old workplace. The blocks of office areas were broken into two, leaving renters with thin walls between their two rooms.

Additionally, one of the rooms had three single beds pictured in one of the so-called rooms. This also put people in a frenzy, criticizing the renters on their lack of space management. In the end, it was found that this flat did not have the correct paperwork or …

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