Looking to buy a home? Here are 5 things to avoid

Thanks to the internet, the buying of property is now an easy process in Ireland. There is plenty of information that is available for you whenever you wish to undertake a research on the process of buying a home. Despite this being the case, many people in Ireland fall into common traps. This posts aims to highlight five major things to avoid so that you can purchase your next property in a stress-free manner.

Ignoring the math

Without a doubt, the most important step to take when considering to buy a home is working out exactly the amount of money you will have to spend to purchase it. While this can be very obvious, a majority of people do not often work out the amount of money they would need to spend, and this leave many of them facing serious financial shocks later down the line. One of the most common mistakes is concentrating only on both the deposit and the purchase price without knowing that there are other fees like survey fees, solicitor’s fee, and Stamp Duty. The …

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Why are Mortgage Interest Rates so High in Ireland?

Recent reports from the Central Bank of Ireland indicate that mortgage holders in Ireland are still paying much higher interest rates as compared to most of their  neighbors in Europe. Therefore, why are people in Ireland paying high mortgage rates and is there a way to reduce it? Currently the  interest rate for a first-time buyer is at 2.79 percent, which means that it is now the highest in all of the 19 countries in Europe together with Greece. Despite the fact that the interest rates have dropped by 0.11 percent as compared to last year, they are still way more than what is being charged in other places in Europe where the average rate is as little as 1.31 percent. 

In a report by the Banking and Payment Federation of Ireland (BPFI), the mortgage for a first-time-buyer in Ireland is approximately €225,000. Basically, this means that someone who borrows this amount with the hopes of repaying it in 30 years ends up paying an extra of €167 per month and over €2,000 annually as compared to other countries …

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5 Things to Consider when Viewing a House in Ireland

As a first time buyer, viewing houses can be exhausting. There are countless things to consider, such as the layout of the home, the location and nearby schools, and much, much more. This can be a bit overwhelming when viewing open houses, as there is so much to observe you might miss some key details about the property. In this article, we will discuss 5 key things to observe and be aware of when viewing houses, so your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

1.How long has the property been on the market?

The first question you should ask the estate agent is how long the property has been on the market. If a property has been on the market for more than a few months and still isn’t selling, there’s usually a reason why. While this could come down to a number of things, from price to hidden structural issues to low demand, this is a good gauge of potential red flags.

2. Account for renovation

Many people make the mistake of buying houses that appear to be …

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5 Ways to save for a Deposit

Saving up to buy a home can seem like a big challenge. Your home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make, and unlike saving for retirement, this payment is a large sum of money that you will need to access soon. This may seem challenging, but with a solid savings plan, anyone can save enough to put a down payment on their dream home. In this article, we’ll cover 5 easy ways to start saving for your down payment today.

 

Budget your money wisely

The first and most important step in any savings plan is budgeting. To build your budget, examine your bank statements and credit card payments to see where your money is going. Make sure to keep track of how much you spend on necessary payments, such as rent, utilities, and student loan payments if you have them. Next, consider how much you spend on eating out, entertainment, and other nonessentials. While you are saving, it is a good idea to set limits on each of these categories and stick to it, setting aside the …

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Costs you Should be Aware of before Buying a House

There are more costs associated with buying your first home than just the 10% deposit. There are many additional fees, duties and taxes that you should be aware of before buying your home. 

 

The first fee you should be aware of is the stamp duty. The stamp duty is not included in your mortgage, so it’s a good idea to save this fee up in addition to your 10% deposit. The stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price on a home or residential property of up to €1m, and 2% of the selling price on homes and residential properties above €1m. This stamp duty may change however, and full details are available on the Revenue.ie website. 

Legal fees are another hidden cost of buying a home that you should look out for. There are a lot of legal aspects that have to be accounted for when officially transferring ownership of the property to you, so you should find a trusted real estate lawyer to take care of this transfer. Legal fees will vary depending on …

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Is it Getting easier to be approved for a mortgage in Ireland?

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had many effects on business throughout the world and in Ireland. Every industry has been affected by this pandemic, and many in negative ways. However, this is not exactly the case with the mortgage industry in Ireland.

 

The mortgage industry in Ireland has remained remarkably buoyant over the past year. This is especially significant due to the fact that the country has been under level 5 lockdowns since March of 2020. While one would expect mortgage drawdowns and approvals to decrease like most economic activity, what happened instead was surprising. For the first quarter of 2021, BPFI reports that there were 9,091 new mortgages worth €2.1 billion drawn down by borrowers. These numbers represent a 4.5% increase in volume and a 7.3% increase in value when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020. This was also the most drawdowns approved in Q1 of any year since 2009. 

bpf

March 2021 was also a strong month for mortgage approvals, especially when considering First Time Buyers (FTBs). In March of 2021, a …

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Types of mortgages and lending rules

Irish law has specialized sets of lending rules depending on the type of mortgage application. Types of applications are split into three different categories: first-time buyers, remortgaging or switching, and buy-to-let buyers. Depending on which of these categories an application falls under, different loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits will be used. The former refers to the minimum deposit a borrower must have on a home before getting a mortgage loan. The latter refers to the maximum amount of money borrowers can receive in relation to their yearly gross income; while this is normally capped at 3.5 times one’s income, lenders can provide additional allowances of varying amount depending on the type of application.

Firstly, there are first-time buyers. These applicants are those buying a house for the first time, so the deposit required by LTV limits is understandably less steep. They will need to have a minimum deposit of 10% of the home’s total value. For example, if the price of a home is listed as €250,000, a 10% deposit would amount to €25,000. Lenders are allowed to have …

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Banks or brokers? Which to choose when applying for a mortgage

In applying for a mortgage, there is always the question of whether to go directly to a bank or to go through a broker. There could be advantages and drawbacks to either approach; the former could be faster and/or less expensive, but brokers can provide valuable assistance before and during the application process that make them a viable alternative. Ultimately, which of the two is the better option is based on the individual, and they should consider personal knowledge, experience, and preference when applying.

Firstly, going straight to a bank allows one to avoid paying a broker’s fee. Additionally, there may be an added level of trust associated with conducting negotiations directly. Assuming one has a high credit score, healthy income, and otherwise checks all of the boxes banks are looking for, it could prove to be faster than going through a broker. However, failing to do so might lead to one’s application being rejected out of hand. If an applicant is aware of such complicating factors, they should consider going to a broker instead.

If an applicant isn’t aware …

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Three Things to do Before Taking out a Mortgage

Let’s face it mortgages are daunting; with interest rates, terms, and credit scores. Many things can make finding a mortgage a challenge but what are the most important things you need to know before taking out a mortgage? Well, you’re in luck, these are three main takeaways that you should know before taking out a mortgage.

SAVE SAVE SAVE

When preparing yourself to take out a mortgage, being financially secure is extremely important. You will want to have enough to make sure you have enough for a good down payment. This isn’t the only reason you want to be saving though. You will also want to have enough in your account for any unexpected expenses that may pop up due to things such as closing costs, and inspections. Liquidity (cash) is just as important as saving for a down payment. Banks and other financial lending institutions look at the balance of your accounts prior to approval to validate your ability to afford your desired home.

Along with saving, you will want to keep your account in order. Avoid overdrafts, late …

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Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

You may not know whether or not you want to use a mortgage broker or why people use them in the first place. How do they help and what do they do? Let’s go over why people use mortgage brokers and what they do for you.

First of all what is a mortgage broker? A mortgage broker is a person that is working with you and the lenders. He is the middleman that will be advising you (client) on the mortgage that is going to work best for you.

Unlike banks, mortgage brokers can work with you and multiple lenders. They’re the middleman when it comes to getting you the mortgage that is going to work best for you. They can shop around for you, work with multiple banks, and work with you on problems that may occur. Since you are working one on one with a mortgage broker, they can also explain things and perhaps give you advice on how to improve in certain areas.

Working with a professional mortgage broker allows you the opportunity of possibly having them …

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