Buying in the Irish countryside

So I’ve been thinking of buying a holiday/weekend home in the Irish countryside.

Somewhere in Laois/Carlow or Kilkenny.

Right now I can get a high standard 4+ bed house with 2 bathrooms and 1 acre of land for ~220k (on a pretty scenic location).

Now compared to what this would have cost in the past it seems like a healthy discount from the bubble. BUT the rental cost for such a property would be 700pm. This implies a value of ~ €110k in my mind.

I’m quite bearish on the future for the Irish economy for the next 4-5 years and yet I know it’s going to be hard to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t buy once the above type of properties slip below 200k…

Anyone any views on buying these “one-off” properties in the Irish countryside? How low will they or should they go??

Basically I’m looking for reminders why I shouldn’t buy! :confused:

220k in the midlands is too expensive; a 2 bed flat in London is 100k stg, that’s nearly 100k in euros and getting closer to it by the day. Dosent anyone yet understand why a property is worth something. In London you have access to a world class urban environment with shops, jobs, theatres (if you’re that way inclined) or any thing that humanity has to offer within easy reach. For a little more you can move to a green leafy suburb and have a family-friendly version of that.
in the Midlands the best you can hope for after spending all that money is strained access to a local drinking hole that our illustrious leader may or may not frequent. I’d suggest you weigh all your options with a view to the new reality or meal economy that we now find ourselves in before you commit to pursuing such an inflated price.
The current bluffing over economic improvement smells and looks like the bluffing performance we’ve sat through since 2002. Think back to the midlands of the early nineties, thats on the way back. Economics is actually based on the reality of human activity just as the value of a house is based on its substance and circumstance. I’d consider it carefully

Yeah but in London you don’t get the Irish countryside.

can the midlands really be called countryside? and is it worth 150k

OP - why not just rent a mansion in the midlands every weekend from now til the day you cease to be?

surely cost would be less than 150k + finance…

What would you prefer to call it?

and as to what its worth, well, how much can anyone say a house is worth in an array of empties not seen since Chernobyl circa 1986. Its worth what someone will fork out for it and that could very well be 150k 8-

well I’d prefer to call that area of the Irish Countryside ‘the midlands’ and while I can appreciate the silence of a vast flat bog with crumbling powerstations ( a little like Chernobyl), there’s no amount of romantic nostalgia morphed into an ‘I wanna MacMansion on the relatively cheap’ that would inspire me to ‘snatch’ a deal for 220k for that

I guess I want to have complete “control” of the property and to be able to use it when I retire or take some time out from working.

My idea would be to rent cheaply in Dublin and live down the country as much as possible. The reason I want to own in that area is because that’s where my friends and family are so I’ll always want accommodation in that area. Also certain parts are very beautiful to my biased eye!

The question is how much should I pay for this?

Some interesting responses so far - thanks for that.

again I would be careful and if the vendor gets wind of your real reasons for moving back which are genuine ’ there’s no place like home’, or indeed as has happened in the past, gets wind of how much you can pay, then you can be sure that the price will factor in your interest and purchasing power.
there’s no way the market has bottomed out yet, i understand that these properties were built expensively and someone will have thrown money away no matter what the outcome, either the developer or you.

Don’t disagree with your general point, but in fairness for a 100k stg you are probably looking at a corpo tower block in Plumstead or Thamesmead. Hardly the urban idyll you’re describing.

To the OP, bide your time for a while before making a decision Why not rent a place for 700 a month for a year and see if you like having a holiday home in the region? A 220k purchase price will cost you over 1,000 a month, so you are not losing anything.

You have to base it on what you believe is the sustainable demand in the area.

If it’s near a centre of employment base it off a 3-4 times salary multiple for the type of employee that you think should be able to afford to live there. If it’s not near a centre of employment…all bets are off

Thanks Mobile that’s an important point on the purchasing. I would remain as flexible as possible so that doesn’t happen but I’m also trying to develop another option which is to buy a site from a distressed landowner (there are a few) and build my own residence over a period of a year or two and hopefully in the current building environment get a better overall price.

Lets say I buy a 1 acre site (in my desired location) for 35k (this is not possible right now but I think it will be). How much per sq foot for a fully fit out house? (excluding furniture).

I was hoping for 2500 sq ft. The best I’ve heard was €55 per sq ft or
€137,500 but this wouldn’t have included flooring or a kitchen fit out etc.

So the total cost could be of the order of 137.5 + 35 + 30? (for fit out) = 202.5k Hence I thought anything that gave me all of the above for less then 200k looked reasonable.

To get down to below 150k I’d need to build the thing for maybe 110k and buy a site for 15k and lower the fitout cost to 25k. It’s hard to get a feel for the figures and if that would be practicable as I have no building experience but in the current market it doesn’t seem possible…

Interesting idea. I’d just discounted that idea as I’m already renting in Dublin but it might be a very useful exercise…

This ‘3-4 times a salary’ multiplier is what mortgage brokers are recommended to loan based on an idea of what someone can reasonably pay back while providing for some disposable income, it isn’t a value of property indicator.
What’s the price of the car to go with it? A tenth of what was paid the house or what? How much is the shirt on your back now ?
I paid 20 Euro for a remus umo, hardly designer but it was a fifth the price it should have been and this was the new asking price in the store (could probably have got it for 15)
Houses had become a luxury commodity, to be bought and sold on a speculative market. What is the ‘manufacturer or retailer’ (builder and his auctioneer) willing to settle for to cover an acceptable loss.
If this is a house being sold which was bought by a family for over this asking price then god help them, this is the other side of the transaction.
There is no market after all.
Don’t become that family who paid over the odds.

You may be too late…

The landowners became much less distressed last week when the loans they owed were transferred from a relatively motivated private sector to the public sector. Civil servants are not going to be so aggressive in getting their pound of flesh. There is nothing in it for them. Here’s to long term economic truths. 8DD

I think these are relatively decent numbers, but I would add the caveat that if you build yourself you get to choose the insulation level, the shape of the place, the internal kit-out. The marginal costs of doing this on a build can be low (e.g. if you are happy with a plain kitchen, it is not an expensive item, but maybe you want to put the money saved into the appliances).

So, by buying somewhere, it is someone else’s ideas that you may or may not like in the longer run. So I would factor a discount into the ‘build-it-yourself’ price to arrive at a cost for an existing house. What the actual price is based on that is purely down to supply and demand - does the seller really want to sell, how many people want to buy. Some areas of the Midlands have been trampled for jobs, so there is likely to be motivated sellers, other bits not so much.

I hope the shirt fit…….chances are it does not look good on you, or it’s not comfortable to wear or something but it’s ok – it was cheap and functional – just like the flat you described in London, it in no way fits the requirements of the OP.

To me the definition of the country side is simple. It’s an area outside cities and towns – most of Kilkenny, Laois and Carlow fall into that category. Chances are someone who is looking for a weekend country home is trying to escape from everything you described about a London 2 bed flat. When choosing a location in the country side - the more remote and isolated the location the better I say.

You can get fancy high quality finishes installed anywhere, but a house in the perfect location with your dreams views and dream setting won’t come along every day. If you compromise and pass on the house and pick one like some pick their shirts. Then you might wake up one day and realise – as much of a bargain the house was, you don’t actually like it.

House prices can fall below build cost. Some people think that if a house cost 250K to build it can never be worth less than this. In other European countries it is the norm for rural construction costs to exceed purchase price of an existing property. As yogan says, it’s nice to design your own house, choose insulation and kitchen etc. But it’s also nice to save a huge amount of money on purchase cost.

I believe that many one-offs in uneconomic areas were built speculatively by farmers children and others with the right to do so, hoping to sell on when the local resident clauses expired. I expect there is a large overhang of remote large recently built bungalows, so I don’t see the point in rushing into a purchase when you can rent. It also makes no sense to build yet another when supply is so high.

When I lived in Germany, building new rural houses was only for the rich. Everyone else would buy or rent at a much lower prices.

sorry €55 per sq ft - wouldn’t touch it - better looking at €100 per sq ft