This guest blog post was written by Beth author of the First_Time_Buyers_Ireland account on Instagram.
Beth’s page contains collated information and tips to help you navigate the craziness of the Irish property market in a bid to purchase your first home. We all know that at the time of this post the CEB has announced interest rates are to rise in an attempt to gain control over inflation. Recent media headlines stress that we are on the cusp of a severe recession with Eddie Hobbs advising we are heading into a firestorm recession. Energy prices are causing people to fear poverty for themselves and their families coupled with the seriousness of rising living costs and relentless price hikes alongside static salaries that are not increasing.
With all the economic odds stacked against them Beth wants to shine light on the hopelessness many people feel by highlighting what they did to finally get the keys to their first home. Beth will explain what they did when the initial plan failed due to covid and circumstances beyond their control and how they pulled in off in the end. An interesting read:
My route to purchasing my first home was not a straight forward one.
“Myself and my partner rented for many years before having to move in with his family due to our landlord selling”
On hearing the landlords intention to sell, it gave us the push we needed to finally look into purchasing a home, levels of savings needed. New build V second hand v building m. Living with the in laws was intended to be a temporary situation (max 6 months) as we had contracts signed to purchase a new build in cork with an ETA of June / July 2020.
Back in march of 2020 we were just weeks away from getting the keys to our first home.
It was an incredibly exciting, stressful, mix bag of emotions for me as we were in the thick of it preparing for our new house. Go tobann out of the blue , Covid impact hit us, and I lost my job. I thought my entire world was crumbling as we had put so much work into making this house work, and then one relatively ordinary day it changed with
“..a simple email outlining my redundancy”
Thankfully a clause in the contract allowed us to pull out with the only financial impact being paying solicitor fees.
A year and a month (and several lock downs) later we breathed a sigh of relief as we received the keys to our new home. different house , different town, different year but it was such an incredible rewarding feeling to know we had overcome so many obstacles to get there.
The journey we went through between my redundancy and finally getting the keys to our now home was not easy.
“I was unemployed for 3 months, which wreaked havoc on our then perfect savings.”
Finally when I did secure a job it was on a far lower salary than my career / experience etc and also meant I had to spend months away from my partner in the midst of the pandemic, but I knew I had ti make some sacrifices to ensure we got our home over the line.
While this might seem like an overly negative article I want to express that the point is to highlight that sometimes life throws your curve balls and you have to adapt and roll with the punches.
The serious positives to highlight are the change in help to buy meant we were entitled to 30K off the cost of the house, as opposed to 20K, and the development we purchased in also had a grant available for a small number of houses if you fit the criteria they were looking for , and we thankfully received that too, meaning it cost us 50K less than we expected.
For every grey cloud there is a silver lining.
The house we purchased is A rated so we received a lower mortgage rate: and the rates had also dropped which again meant the repayments are lower.
If I had the chance to speak with my 20 year old self I would give the following advice:
“Change your attitude – you always complain you don’t have money as you’re in a low income job…”
but if you don’t address your spending habits you will remain the same no matter what you earn.
Save at least 20% of your salary but take it out of your current account and have it in an inaccessible location. (Pay yourself first)
Treat yourself wisely, stop with the excessive smaller daily spends but then allow yourself a larger treat on a monthly basis so you’re not feeling deprived.
You don’t need an over draft and a CC should be for travel only. The whole aspect of boosting your credit rating is an American phenomenon.
Watch the pennies the pounds mind themselves. But equally, for anyone who isn’t in their 20s, it’s never too late to address poor financial literacy. There are so many amazing instagrammers out there showing you how to cut down on waste , implement a budget and improve your savings and goal settings. If you tell yourself you won’t achieve it then you’re right- you won’t !
Keep up the positivity and you will get there.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
The piece of advice would be to focus time and energy on things that bring value to your life. Don not be afraid to set boundaries in life work and friendships.
Fun fact about you?
Well, pre Covid I was a travel junkie and travelled the world with my fiancé but still managed to save for the house ? Although that’s not really fun is it !!
What are some books, podcasts or YouTube channels you recommend?
12 Rules For Life,
Rich Dad Poor Dad (I read a long time ago and thought it was really interesting)
Minimalism the documentary,
Congratulations Beth on finally getting the keys for your first home in Ireland!
To read more about the HTB Help to Buy Scheme Ireland and how you can apply follow this link to read on Revenue’s website
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