What will the Local Property Tax changes mean for you?

On 2 June 2021, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed the details of the Local Property Tax (LPT) changes. Once the changes go into effect on 1 November, the government estimates that just over a third (36 percent) of property owners will see an increase on their bill, just over half (53 percent) will see no change at all, and 11 percent will see their tax payments reduced.

First off, what is the Local Property Tax? The Local Property Tax was introduced in 2013, and it is an annual charge on all residential properties in the State. Basically, if you own a residential property, you will have to pay this tax. The charges are currently based on self-assessed valuations carried out in 2013. The amount you pay is based on the valuation of your property, and there are 20 different LPT bands, with the lowest two having fixed rate charges of €90 and €225. The problem with these valuations is that property prices have surged since 2013, while the valuations of property for LPT purposes have not changed since 1 May 2013. …

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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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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 do people use insurance brokers?

Insurance brokers are only here to help you. Like mortgage brokers are the middlemen between their client and the lenders, insurance brokers are the middleman between you and the insurance companies, and finding you the right policy is what they do best. With so much going on in our world, having life insurance is great for giving you and your loved one’s peace of mind. Insurance brokers can find you great deals, save you time, help you to understand the policy, and overall have a better understanding of a number of insurance companies.

Since insurance brokers have access to multiple companies, they are able to get you a great policy with a premium that will work for you. They will ask you a number of questions to get a better understanding of what type of coverage you are looking for. From there they are able to show you several possible policies and explain each of them in enough detail for you to fully understand what each of them covers.

Understanding your policy and what type of coverage you have is …

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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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Getting a mortgage during the covid 19 pandemic.

There has been a lot of news about banks not lending to people who are receiving any wage supplements during the covid 19 pandemic. The initial headlines were about AIB who later rowed back on the decision not to assess any cases where people were on wage supports.

The other banks were more open to offering loans but they all have one basic trend in common which is that you can’t be on TWSS and draw down a loan. This may seem unfair but if you got a loan in July and were laid off in August in time a person would wonder ‘why did the bank give that loan?’ given that companies can only get wage supports if their turnover is seriously impacted due to the pandemic. So what can you do?

Delay: for many people they’ll be back to regular wages soon, talk to the people involved in your transaction and see if they are willing to wait. Withdraw: most contracts have ‘subject to mortgage approval’ in them. Ask your employer to take you off the support scheme: …

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The Last Word on TodayFM features Irish Mortgage Brokers, 30/04/2020

We were part of a discussion around Covid19 and mortgages on Matt Cooper’s ‘The Last Word’ show on Today FM yesterday. The other participant was Brian Hayes of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.

For our part we were impressed with the fact that the banks have been able to do more than 2,000 mortgage restructures per working day since the pandemic driven mortgage breaks were announced. To put that in perspective, it took six years to do 100,000 restructures after the financial crisis. This time around that figure could be achieved in a little over two months, that is something to be commended.

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