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Buying a home in Ireland

Most people dream of buying a house and of having a place to call home. However, buying a house is one of the most financially important decisions you will likely ever make. Buying a house in your own country can be a complicated process, but it is particularly the case in a foreign country. In Ireland, there is currently a housing crisis, with a shortage of housing, rising house prices and high rents. However, this should not deter buyers from at least exploring the market. Who knows? The right house might be out there for you at a price you can afford. However, it is vital that you learn what the house purchasing process is in Ireland and consider all your options. At TranslateMyCert, we would like to tell you what steps are involved in buying a house in Ireland.

Find out what house you can afford

Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to be a cash buyer, and, although it can be fun to look at houses, there is no point in viewing them if you do not know how much you will be able to afford. Firstly, shop around banks and find out how much money they would be willing to lend you. Currently, first-time buyers (they must not have previously purchased a property in Ireland or abroad) have to pay a 10% deposit on the cost of the house. People who have previously bought a house, in Ireland or abroad, have to pay a 20% deposit on the cost of the house.

Good news for first-time buyers

If it is your first time buying a property, either in Ireland or in a different country, then, fortunately, a couple of government initiatives might help get you on the property ladder. The Help to Buy Scheme allows first-time buyers to pay 5% as a deposit on the cost of a new build property up to the value of €500,000. However, you must have paid tax in Ireland for at least four years in order to avail of this tax rebate.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan enables first-time buyers to apply for a home loan from the local authority in which they plan to live. The house you wish to purchase can have a market value of up to €320,000 in counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow, and up to €250,000 in the rest of the country. The loan has low interest rates.

Employ a solicitor

Solicitors are necessary to deal with the legal process when buying a property. Their fees vary, so it is a good idea to ask friends and family for recommendations and to shop around to find a price you are comfortable with. To find a solicitor in your area, you can search the Law Society of Ireland’s website.

Find a property that works for you

There are a few property websites in Ireland, but the most famous are daft.ie and myhome.ie Make sure you view the homes at least twice before you decide to buy. It is amazing the things that you do not notice in the first viewing.

The importance of a surveyor

Sellers do not have to inform buyers of any problems with the property. Therefore, it is vital that you pay for a surveyor to do an inspection before you complete the sale. Even if you are buying a new build you should get a surveyor to assess the property before you complete the sale. You can find a solicitor at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)

Final Steps

When you have found the property you would like buy, you must get final mortgage approval from the bank before you sign the contract of sale. You must also pay a tax known as ‘stamp duty’. Your solicitor will calculate how much you must pay and you will have to pay it before the close of sale.

If you are planning to buy in Ireland after living in a non-English speaking country, you may need to have documents, such as your identity records (e.g. passport) and bank statements, translated into English. If you are a first-time buyer and plan to avail of the Help to Buy Scheme or the Rebuilding Ireland Home loan, you may also have to provide proof from your native country that you have never previously bought a property.

At TranslateMyCert we can assist with any translation needs you have. Simply upload your document(s) to TranslateMyCert and we will do the rest.

We wish you good luck with your house hunting!