Home of the Year 2021 and RIAI Awards – by Nikola Lancova

The Home if the Year is a competition series where the team behind RTÉs is searching for the most unusual and architecturally stunning private houses. The desicion is based on functionality, clever design and individuality. Each week the team of three judges visits three homes across the country. They give the house score out of 10. The home that receives the highest score goes through to the finals.

This year it was the seventh season of this competition series. In this season judges visited 21 homes across Ireland. From these 21 competitors, the judges selected seven finalists:

David O’Brien (Cork) Jennifer Sheahan (Dublin) Tanya Lee Conroy and Noel Conroy (Galway) Saara and Mike McLoughlin (Co Limerick) Sally-Ann and Ruairí Mitchell (Dublin) Kevin Desmond (Dublin) Kate and Cian O’Driscoll (Dublin)

Of the above competitors, Jennifer Sheahan from Dublin won the prize. Her house is 1800s cottage in Dublin. She bought this house in 2019, it needed a lot of work, it was damp, there was no central heating and the toilet was outside. Jennifer renovated the entire house, knocked all internal …

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Avant Money turned 1 year old, and in that time they changed everything.

Avant Money is part of the Bankinter group and they have been in the market for just one year and in that time they have been transformational in terms of what they have achieved in the current landscape.

To begin with they came in and offered the lowest rates we have ever had since the days of tracker mortgages, their fixed rates were also available for longer durations at these low rates than the other leading rates of the day. After that they brought out a suite of fixed rates which were also at the forefront of the market.

As a lender who distributes exclusively through brokers this is wonderful in our view as it drives people towards independent financial advice and greater selection. We can’t wait to see what Avant Money has coming down the line in year two!

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Pros and cons of a variable rate mortgage

A variable rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the interest rate on the outstanding balance changes periodically. Typically, these loans will have fixed, or “teaser” interest rates for a specified amount of time, after which the interest rate will change based on a variety of factors. In most cases, the initial interest rate on a variable rate loan will be lower than a fixed rate, which can be appealing for homebuyers. But it is important to be aware of the pros and cons before jumping into a variable rate loan.

Pros

Flexibility

The number one advantage of a variable rate mortgage is flexibility. With a variable rate mortgage, you don’t need to worry about penalties for things like increasing your monthly payment, or paying off your mortgage early. You also have the ability to make lump-sum payments on your mortgage throughout the year, which can be very helpful for home buyers with a fluctuating income affected by bonuses or commissions. If your life is likely to change relatively soon, and you plan on eventually moving or selling the house, …

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First Time Buyers lead the way as mortgage drawdowns and approvals continue to rise

As the Irish economy continues to reopen following the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, mortgage approvals and drawdowns have remained on the rise. Recent figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has shown data on mortgage drawdowns and approvals for the second quarter of 2021.

According to the data from BPFI, some 9,625 new mortgages were drawn down in the second quarter of 2021. This represents an increase of 45.4 percent in volume when compared to the same data from the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic was at its height. These new mortgages have a total value of €2.23 billion, representing an increase in value of 52.5 percent when compared with the same period a year ago. BPFI reports that of these new mortgages, first time buyers represent the largest segment, accounting for some 50.9 percent of all new mortgages.

The vast majority of new mortgages drawn down were to finance a purchase of a home. In the second quarter, there were 7,438 mortgage drawdowns for purchases, with a combined value totaling €1.8 billion, a 47.8 …

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How to get the lowest rate on your mortgage

When applying for a mortgage, you will notice that rates vary greatly. These rates determine on a number of things, including the length of your mortgage term, the size of your deposit, your credit score, and which lender you choose. With so many different mortgage lenders available to choose from, this can be a daunting process, especially for first time buyers. Securing the lowest rate is incredibly important, as it will make your monthly payments smaller, thus saving you money over the whole lifetime of the loan. Here are a few things to focus on during your application process to ensure you get the lowest rate possible.

Shop Around

You wouldn’t buy a car without driving a few first, or a mattress without laying down on more than one, right? In a similar way, if you want the best mortgage rate, you should shop around with different lenders. This process should entail researching different lenders and the products they have to offer, as every lender has different loan types, terms, and interest rates. You also should apply for more than …

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How do mortgages work?

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve probably already realized that this is not like most transactions. The average house price in Dublin is €396,000, and unless you’re very wealthy, you probably don’t have anywhere that much in savings. Because you likely can’t afford an expense of this magnitude out of your own pocket, you will need to finance the purchase through a mortgage, and if you’re new to the home-buying process, you may be a little confused as to how exactly these loans work.

A mortgage is a huge loan secured against the value of your house. A “secured” loan means that the borrower promises collateral to the lender in the event that they are unable to make payments, and in this case, the collateral is your home. In other words, the bank will kick you out and take possession of your house if you can’t make payments. In order to prevent this from happening, the lender will typically conduct a detailed review of the borrower’s finances in order to determine how much they can reasonably afford to …

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Myths about Mortgage that you Should be Aware of

 

Many people often consider mortgages as a complex and difficult matter. There are also some myths that people share. These myths leave most people worried about how the mortgage will affect them. After application, some people are mostly stressed by the repayment process. This perception and the reluctance to talk about them indicate that some people could be missing out on the benefits of mortgages. 

When it comes to your finances, knowledge is very important. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting a mortgage in the future, or have one at the moment, never fear to ask questions and always do research. These are three mortgage myths that you need to be aware of. 

A mortgage payment holiday or break will cost you nothing A payment holiday is when the financial institution suspends the payments of your mortgage for a given time. The payment and the interest are then moved to the mortgage’s balance. For most people, this means that at the end of the break, the payments they make on a monthly basis will increase. Therefore, always ensure …

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How to Buy an Apartment Building in Ireland

 

It s often very hard to comprehend how best to invest in apartment buildings. However, a good understanding of the 4 steps below will see to it that the entire process becomes more easy and successful. 

Be sure that you owning an apartment building is the right thing for you

Regardless of whether you are a novice in real estate or have already built up a portfolio, the most crucial question to explore is whether owning an apartment building is the right thing for you. There are many things to consider and these include time and cost. The costs associated with an apartment building include ongoing cash flow matrix and of course, the initial capital requirement. An apartment building requires a lot more management and involvement, like addressing issue to do with management, leasing paperwork, and dealing with the turnover of tenants. Prior to owning an apartment building, ensure that your finances and schedule are set up to cope with the change. 

Try to figure out the type of apartment building you want to buy

Apartments come in all …

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What is an Equity Release and how does it work?

Your equity in your home is how much you own. Think of it as the amount of your mortgage that you have already paid off, or the difference between your home’s market value and what you still owe the lender. So, once you have paid off your mortgage completely, you have 100% equity: you own it entirely. But as the value of your home appreciates, there is no immediate benefit to you in terms of cash. You will not be able to profit from the increase in value until you sell your property, and if you never sell, your estate and beneficiaries will be the only ones who are better off.

An equity release mortgage offers a way around this. These mortgages are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners aged 55 and older, as they give you a way to benefit from the equity you have built up in your home. An equity release involves a lender giving you a portion of the value of your home as a lump sum or a series of payments, in exchange for interest or …

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