How to win a bidding war on a house

So, you’ve found your perfect home. The only problem is that the home that is perfect for you also happens to be perfect for several other buyers. In markets with high demand and low inventory, also known as seller’s markets, bidding wars can be quite commonplace. And because of already increasing demand, combined with a year-long halt in construction due to the pandemic, Ireland is in a seller’s market right now. This means that many houses will have multiple buyers attracted to the property, which can hurt your chances of securing the home of your dreams. In this blog, we’ll consider some strategies to ensure you walk away with your dream home

Make the highest offer

The most obvious way to win a bidding war is to simply make the highest offer.  Because the seller is usually trying to make as much money as possible, the highest offer usually holds a lot of weight. So, if you can scrape together some extra cash to outbid the competition, you will most likely be the top choice of the seller. However, under …

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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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Buying a home vs. Renting: Which is better?

Buying your home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. However, it is a big commitment and there are a lot of hidden costs and factors that can make it unaffordable for some. Because of the costliness of buying a home outright, many buyers turn to renting instead, especially in expensive housing markets like London, New York, and Hong Kong. Determining which option is best for you depends on a variety of factors, and not everyone’s situation is alike. To help with this important decision, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between buying and renting.

Buying

When buying a house, it’s likely you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. To get a mortgage, you need a deposit (usually at least 10% of the home’s value) and a steady income in order to make repayments. The greater your deposit and income, the more your bank or lender will be able to offer you. However, if you live in an expensive area, or have a low salary and little savings, buying may not be for …

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Advantages and Disadvantages of a long-term mortgage

In a major market innovation in the Irish Mortgage Market, Finance Ireland and Avant Money have introduced new long term mortgages. While longer term mortgages have never really took off in Ireland, they are very popular in other parts of Europe and worldwide. These mortgages can be attractive to borrowers for a number of reasons, but it is important to also consider the potential downsides before making the switch.

Pros

One of the biggest advantages provided by long term mortgage products is certainty. Unlike a two or three year fixed term, a 10 or 20 year mortgage will allow your monthly mortgage repayments to remain unchanged throughout the duration of the loan. This reliable and predictable payment can be very helpful when planning out your monthly and yearly personal finances. It also can be very helpful in determining what your home will cost after factoring in interest. With a long term fixed rate, you will be able to know exactly how much the home will cost you right away, while a shorter term fixed rate will change over the lifetime …

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How you can be approved for a mortgage in Ireland despite Central Bank’s rules

It’s no secret that house prices are continuing to rise in Ireland. Because of this, it is more important now than ever to maximize the amount that you are allowed to borrow. The Central Bank’s rules often do not make this process any easier, as many have criticized the Central Bank on its restrictive rules in terms of how much people are allowed to borrow. To be approved for a mortgage in Ireland, you first have to fall within the Central Bank’s income rules. Second, your lender will evaluate your repayment capacity.

First, the Central Bank restricts lenders to loans of 3.5 times the borrowers’ income (joint and single), unless they are granted an exemption. This means that someone making €40,000 can borrow up to €140,000, and a couple making €100,000 combined can borrow up to €350,000, respectively.  However, to be approved for a mortgage, they must also pass a stress test, per Central Bank rules. This tests the ability of the borrower to repay the loan each month should interest rates rise by 2 percent above what the lender …

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What is the Help to Buy Incentive?

The Help to Buy incentive is a program from the Irish Government that provides relief to first time buyers of a new home or apartment. The amount of relief granted through this incentive was recently increased due to economic pressures brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic. In the July 2020 Jobs stimulus package, the Government increased the amount of relief available temporarily through 31 December 2020. With the passing of Budget 2021, this increased relief has been extended to 31 December 2021. The incentive gives a refund of income tax and Deposit Interest Retention tax (DIRT) paid in Ireland over the previous 4 years to qualifying first time buyers.

Help to Buy only applies to properties worth less than €500,000, and the home or apartment must be new or self built. To qualify for Help to Buy, you must be a first time buyer who either buys or self-builds a new residential property between 19 July 2016 and 31 December 2021. However, the Help to Buy scheme does not apply to rental or investment properties. The scheme is limited …

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5 Mortgage tips for first time buyers in Ireland

If you’re buying your first home in Ireland, chances are you will need to finance it using a mortgage. Getting a mortgage is a very big commitment, and may seem overwhelming, especially considering that if you miss too many payments, the bank may foreclose your home. However, mortgage approval rates for first time buyers are on the rise, and if you’re feeling uneasy, here are 5 tips to make the process a little less scary.

1. Budget and save effectively

You won’t get a mortgage without having a deposit ready, so it is important for prospective homeowners to open a savings account and start budgeting for their deposit. The lender will be looking to determine your ‘repayment capacity’, assessing your current expenses and financial situation. Mainly, they will be looking to see that the amount you save each month is greater than or equal to your mortgage costs. Be sure to limit overdraft fees and excessive spending, particularly gambling-related expenses, on your bank statements, as this will look bad to lenders.

2. Have a good credit rating

It is essential …

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5 Negotiating tips to make sure you get the best house price

When buying a home, you can expect to negotiate with the seller or estate agent for a better price. In fact, many homes end up selling below the asking price, since most sellers ask for slightly more than market value to account for negotiations. Your ability to negotiate could have a huge impact on whether or not you pay the best possible price for your property. Here are some tips to help prepare you for this part of the home buying process.

1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

While asking for a better deal may seem awkward at first, it is completely normal to haggle for a house price. The reality is that haggling and negotiating happens regularly in the real estate business, and many homes sell below asking price every day. Most sales people are not offended by you asking for a better price, and it is often quite the opposite, as this signals your interest in buying the property. However, it is crucial to ask politely and avoid any hostility and confrontation during negotiation.

2. Research the local …

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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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