Buying in Dublin on single income

Hi all -

I’ll try to keep it snappy.

I’m in a pretty secure public sector job. I’m on contract at the moment but it’s a rolling one. It has been for the last three years and permanency looks very likely in the next two years. I’m based in Dublin 9. It’s a job & working environment I really like, but it’s a role that I could get in any other county. (I work in education & earn between €40 - 45k pa.)

On the other hand…

I’m 29 and single. I’m tired of renting and I’m looking at buying in the next year to eighteen months. The ‘best’ mortgage I could get is 160k based on the new rules. I’ve 20k saved, so the most I can afford to pay for a place is 180k. This will just about buy a 2 bed apartment in a few locations close to my job.

Needless to say, my money would go a lot further outside the capital.
My question is, with the cost of living in Dublin, including housing etc, am I mad to consider staying in Dublin when I could get the same job elsewhere where my wages would go much further? (I’d anticipate a €2 - 3k bump in take home pay if I were to move back to Munster) The reasons I’m considering staying is that I’m very happy in my job, I have family in Dublin, a great social life, etc.

Any contributions/views appreciated, hope this is the right place to post.


Well houses prices falling in Dublin is on your side and there’s plenty of new apartment complexes being commissioned at the moment which should bring down prices more when they come for sale. It’s good to start watching.

Not being facetious but you’re getting on a bit…hook up with someone suitable via that “great social life” in Dublin and double your money. I’d wager that most of us who live in decent enough places in Dublin couldn’t have done it without a double income.

What a romantic! :slight_smile:

I think long term a purchase in Dublin, and Dublin 9 is a good location being close to the city and with a large university, would stand you well. Should you hook up with someone it would be an easier sell compared to somewhere further out or in another part of the city. You just have to find somewhere that will have long term appeal, the other consideration is finding somewhere that allows you to change job location without having to up sticks

You are a teacher (I think). You can easily manage a one-hour commute if you only have 180 working days a year:D

What I think bothers you more is the lack of social life. Try renting in somewhere like Ardee for a while. Save the difference and see how you like it.

You could then buy this for €160k.

If I could work anywhere I would head west. Why be fighting over resources with the bullshit professions? And the scenery is nicer.

Don’t buy. It ties you down. Right now, your job is flexible and can change. Your personal life could also have a change in circumstances. And, you have the capital to give yourself some breathing space should you decide to make a change.

Financially, a difficult scenario you could put yourself in would be; buy a place, don’t like & can’t sell, meet someone and want to relocate but have used up your finances and, job security changes due to govt cutbacks.

Wait, keep building savings. Reassess in 12-18months. You’ll know more about job security etc.

yes but it never stops raining and galway city is the only place in the west with a proper economy , galway city is incredibly expensive for housing , limerick is dirt cheap and as the OP has a public sector job , the wages should be the same in limerick if she could transfer

I think if you must buy, buy in d9 if you can. It will be a starter at this point in your life and you need something that can sell on easily

Small tip, try and buy something within 15 minutes walk of work.
Life without 1 hour commutes each way makes a huge difference to your quality of life.

Unless you enjoy the commute.

All the new builds I see at the moment are being aimed at the higher end of the market. I dont see any new developments in Dublin coming on in €180k price range.

OP, its your decision on whether you want to live in a Dublin apartment or something larger in the country. Either way, at 29 I don’t think you’re mad for buying on a single income. I brought 4 years ago at 28 in Dublin on a single income and have no regrets. I don’t feel trapped at all if that’s what you’re afraid of if you buy? When I brought I never thought this was my final stop, and I still don’t but is grand for the moment.

Only coming back to this now. Sincere thanks for all replies, from ahem, romantics to pragmatists. Not worried about being tied down per se, I’m working on the assumption that anything I were to buy this year, then in five to ten years I’d be able to sell it on and worst case scenario break even. Also I’d agree that a D9 property would be much easier to sell on/rent out than most other locations. Not remotely interested in a one hour commute even though I do like driving, but thanks for suggestion, it’s good to consider all options.

In fairness, even though I’m ‘getting on a bit’, I like to think I’ve some time on my side yet. I also think maybe I’d like to see what further impact, if any, the new mortgage rules have on prices in Dublin. Renting for another year would hardly kill me in fairness, but there definitely comes a point in life where having your own space is the best option.

Will mull it over for another little bit. Thanks again, good to get unbiased opinions. God bless the interweb.

This is a common predicament for the single person in Dublin in their late 20s/early 30s.

Decent income, fed up of renting, love the social scene. You’re sensibly looking to the future and thinking I’d love to live here long term but it’s so expensive to buy.

I was in the same boat in 2013 on similar money. Took a sideways transfer to Cork. It in effect game me a promotion overnight with the cheaper lifestyle and hoping to buy this year on my own. Commute halved, no stress.

Yes, I miss the better social life I had but most of my friends are starting to settle down now anyway so not sure how much longer that would have lasted. You adapt.

I’d keep your options open. See what jobs are out there down the country and keep saving. Either way, you’ll need a decent deposit when the time comes.

Hi TheJackal -

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it. Yeah, to be honest, since writing my original post, I’m leaning more towards moving away from Dublin. Great to hear of someone who’s actually bitten the bullet. I’ve started viewing a few places, including some rooms for rent, and some apartments for sale, and the quality of stock, particularly rental, is honestly shocking. :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: I mean, it’s one thing to hear in the media but quite another when seeing it with your own eyes. €500pm for a tiny single bedroom with damp? Seriously? :imp: :imp: :imp: I viewed another absolute kip in Glasnevin last night, the landlord was nice as pie but I would be mortified if I were charging people for the claustrophobic cabinet she was trying to claim was a double room. Made my excuses and left, but today I’m sorry I didn’t call her out on it and just turn on my heel.

More €€ in my pocket, the ability to buy a decent suburban house in a city location e.g. Cork/Limerick, and the fact I could pretty easily move job are all beginning to tip the balance towards leaving. I think sending out a few feelers job wise would be the wise thing to do between now and the renewal of my contract. Good to keep the options open like you say. Thanks again for replying.