First Time Buyers can’t catch a break

First time buyers are being told ‘now is the time to buy’ in the papers. I think it’s time to spell out a few home truths for the prospective buyer just so that they are 100% sure of what they are getting into. Buying a home is fundamentally a good thing, doing so without knowing the facts however is not.

Firstly, property is in a downward market at the moment, that’s not opinion, its a fact. You can dress it up as a ‘re-adjustment’ a ‘balancing out’ or an ‘inter-cusp reductionary period’, heck, call it ‘my granny’ for all I care, it’s still down, plain and simple. So if you put an offer on a property and an Estate Agent tells you ‘you have to sign soon or you’ll lose the place!’, then lose it (unless they accepted an offer so low you have to snap at it!) no guilt, no apologies, and don’t you dare pay full asking price! The current Irish property market favours the buyer not the seller. I would even advise our clients to offer below …

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To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

I have a problem, and its kind of a big deal to me. You see, I have a vested interest in the property market in the respect that I am a mortgage broker, so if clients ask me ‘should I buy now’ and I tell them ‘no’ – which is what I have been doing in some cases for quite a while – then in turn it affects my livelihood.

estate agents are pulling a perpetual aceThe bigger issue is that other folks with a vested interest don’t seem to be doing the same, at every turn they interpret events as a ‘buying opportunity’, so the market is going up? Go buy, there is capital appreciation to be had. Its falling? Go buy, there is value out there. It seems every card dealt to the market is an Ace.

When is not a time to buy? Well… that’s the purpose of today’s post, I will do my best to spell it out for a two segments of the Irish property market namely: investors, first time buyers. Investors: I will start …

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100% Mortgages, how to get a 100% mortgage

100% Mortgages became quite popular in Ireland recently and up until the credit crunch they were proving to be the answer for many young buyers, the reason for requiring a 100% mortgage is normally because a person has been renting and paying off college debt etc. and for that reason they were not able to save up a deposit of 8-10% or more. Given that Irish property prices (at least in Dublin) were – and still are – above c. €350,000 it means you would have to save up the guts of €35,000, no easy feat even if you didn’t have college debt and lived at home.

The issue currently though is that the Irish property market is in a declining phase, so lenders have pulled back for the most part from 100% mortgages for the simple reason that they could be in a situation of inverse equity. When you get a mortgage normally you have at least some stake in the transaction, a down-payment or deposit and that portion ensures that you are committed to the transaction, call it …

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First Time Buyers – What you need to know

If you are considering your first home then you should do a lot of research because today’s market is a tricky one, there is value to be found in 2008 if you look for it and know how to negotiate, however, for the naive it can also be fast method to part ways with your hard earned money.

Some developers are currently knocking up to €100,000 off the price of properties they are selling, this has gotten a lot of media attention, however it also begs the question ‘why?’, are we to believe that they suddenly want to help out first time buyers? Or are they trying to shift stock that they think won’t sell otherwise? The real question is whether properties were vastly over-priced and the prices reflected pure greed or is the developer being forced to sell due to financial reasons or what the underlying cause for something so drastic is.

If somebody offered me an iPod for €50 I’m not sure I’d be interested, I guess I’m a natural born skeptic. I’m not implying that houses with …

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The Vultures are here….

When the government raised the bar for stamp duty to €317,500 house prices took a jump and suddenly every house was valued at €317,500. This meant that a huge amount of stamp never entered government coffers and many people blamed estate agents. Rightly so, it was a disgrace but it happened and now we can’t reverse time.

Once bitten, twice shy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice….. (in the words of GW Bush) well…. you’re not gonna fool me twice. Alas, yes, we have been fooled twice, for no sooner had the government introduced extensive increases in mortgage interest relief than they were swooped upon and devoured.

How? By the likes of Ulsterbank who increased their rates (especially the ones available to first time buyers) only the day before. So all of the money that the tax payer spends to suppliment the mortgage interest relief and all of the governments best efforts are once again halted by greed.

Estate agents took a beating over the house price increases when stamp duty was reformed, and developers too as …

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