Considering making an offer. House on Dublin commuter belt


Just wanted to see what people thought about this. Basically I am considering trying to secure a house in the Dublin commuter belt, approx 45 mins to an hour travel time to Dublin city. It is a 3 bed, 2 bathroom house, 98sq. metres (1,055 sq. feet) on the market through the affordable housing scheme for approx 170k - 180k.

I work in Dublin city as a permanent civil servant (gross 36k salary, savings of about 15k) and have been switching between sharing accommodation and living with the parents over the last number of years.

From my experience, prices at the more affordable end of the market for both renting and purchasing have fallen but nothing like as much as prices in the more affluent areas of Dublin. I am finishing up in my current rental property at the end of the month and going back to the parents house. Being aged 27 it is not something I am looking forward to at all.

I dont want to live in an apartment and I am fairly confident I can find someone who will share the house in the short term at least. While I know there are a lot of empty properties lying idle around the country, a great many of these are cramped, dark apartments and not spacious houses like the ones I am interested in.

As regards a mortgage, I got approval last year for more than the asking price of this house and am confident enough I could be approved for the asking price here, despite the many levies! With the likelihood of an interest rate rise in the next 6 months, I am considering a 5 year fixed rate mortgage. While this would be expensive at the beginning, I am confident I could cope with the repayments, especially if there is someone renting a room.

I know what my parents would say if I told them I am considering this i.e. wait, wait and wait longer, as I have been doing, but I think I value my independence enough to purchase somewhere I can afford in the near future. At this stage rental prices are virtually on a par with mortgage repayments at the more affordable end of the market and as I am planning to live in the property for many years it makes sense to me to go and buy. Any thoughts?

P.S. I am single and have no kids and would be buying on my own

Can you post a link?

Here it is: … MLAU412105

I took the sizes from similar properties advertised on myhome. I drove out there yesterday and had a look around, the security guard let me into one of the houses too. I was impressed compared with what I have seen in the many viewings I have been to.

Broke your post into 3 key points:

  1. Yes I agree, all these much talked about empties are places no one would want to live anyway, to a large extent; those places which are desireable are still high in price because the demand, like from yourself, keep them that way. Many PINners so desperate to own have yet to understand this point. It’s not “the empties”, it’s location.

  2. I would not count on getting someone to rent, anytime soon, but if you can still afford repayments, then so much the better. You say you value your independance - so am not sure how you would take a renter living in “your” house?

  3. So it’s a home and not an investment. So price is not as important as you are not looking for a ROI. Still not nice to be paying more than you should, if the price falls, but once you are happy in your own mind with the house and the price, then just get on with your life and don’t be checking the property pages every day to see if you’ve made a mistake :wink:

  4. For now! You’re 27 and although you’re single I assume yr not in a LTR. This can change quickly, especially when hitting the big Three Zero.

Good luck with yr decision.

Are you buying privately or through the affordable housing scheme?

The prices on the link say starting from 128k

I presume this is for the two bed? An extra 40-50k for a third bedroom seems excessive, 15k would be as much as I was prepared to pat for that, depending on size.

You probably need to stress test for mortgage rates going to 6+%

What’s the sound-proofing like?

Thanks for all the replies, I haven’t worked out how to multi quote yet but ill do my best.

I dont know exactly how much the price will be for the 3 bed houses as they havent officially launched yet. Maybe 170k is going a bit too far alright which is more the better. The estate agents themselves have a starting price for 3 beds of 140k so it is more likely max 155k for the largest ones.

They are affordable houses being launched soon. There was an earlier phase launched on another estate which had a high proportion of social housing, which leads to its own problems eg. they have built a playground which seems to attract anti social behaviour but the next launch is a bit away from that estate. As regards sound proofing, i dont know all the details yet in that regard.

I am concious of the likelihood of interest rate hikes, hence the reason I think I long term fixed interest rate mortgage is a good idea.

I am just out of a long term relationship so in no rush to go back into another!

Couple of points where I don’t understand the logic:

You will have someone share your house to help pay the mortgage?
If this is the case, then why don’t you just continue to houseshare closer to work and town. Presume you do all your socialising in the city centre. Even if you wanted to go to a play, the long commute home on a winter’s night would be enough to decide to leave it and stay home instead.

You seem to think there is something ‘bad’ about living in the family home at age 27. While it is inconvenient for a single young person, there is nothing ‘bad’ about it as such.

Sounds like you are feeling some sort of internal pressure to own your own house, even if it means an hour in traffic each way and cramps your social life. Not to mention buying in a falling market. What’s that about? Is it just a temporary blip in your accommodation arrangements that is driving you to consider buying?

You are planning to live in the property for many years to come? You are single and 27, how can you be sure that you will living there for the next 50 years? And you said you wanted a place ‘in the commuter’ belt. So you aren’t really fussy about the specific location, yet you intend to be there for ‘many years’.
Even if you did happen to remain single for many years, at least being closer to the city centre there are far more socialising and cultural opportunities to enrich a single person’s life that a commuter belt village.

My advice wait at least another year if not longer. Then at least you might be able to buy a place that you can comfortably afford on your own, without whincing every time the front door slams and your pain-in-the-butt lodger arrives home to leave their pubic hairs all over the shower.
If Balbriggan is so nice, why don’t you rent there for a year and then decide.

Isn’t it evidence that there is still something very, very broken in the Irish property market that a civil servant on €36k + a c.10% deposit needs to avail of an affordable housing scheme? Before the bubble, married couples with only 1 person earning this average type wage used to buy houses. But now, an average salary like this and a secure job and you need to go through AH?

This madness has to end because it simply does not make sense that an average earner can’t afford an average home. How on earth can that situation continue? Who buys average houses if average earners don’t/can’t? Bah, this stuff really makes my head hurt because I just can’t work out how it all unwinds.

If I was going to share the house I would share with people I know, who have already said they would like to share. Living at home with the parents is an option but everyones parents are different I guess and I would much prefer not to live with mine at this stage. I hear what you are saying about waiting another year but will mortgage repayments be all that different if interest rates shoot up when I have the chance to fix the rate for the medium term now?

I second that Larry that first time buyers on an average salary on their own can at best be looking at a mortgage of about 180k max. It was mind boggling during the height of the bubble seeing how many multiples of my income I would need to get a shoebox apartment.

The estate contains a number of social units. Already some undesirables have made their presence felt in the area. Just check for evidence. Do you really need that hassle even if you perceive yourself to be getting a house at a more reasonable price.There would be better places in Balbriggan.

What’s your commute going to be like. If you are signing up for more than 2 hours a day to go home and live in Balbriggan then I think you need to start reassessing priorities.

It’s in the briggah…under no circumstances should you buy a house in this hellhole of a town.

I think you’re crazy to consider spending €170,000 for a terraced house in Balbriggan. You’re a single young man, you don’t want to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere, away from your family and mates. Anyway, even in todays market, there’s much better value than that. - Three bedroom end of terrace in Fairview for €215,000. - Three bedroom end of terrace in Ballybough for €225,000.

why on earth do you want to live in Balbriggan? How far apart in terms of location and ideal home is this house and your ideal house?

OP here,

Thanks for the replies, well I did the deed and put down a deposit today. 140k for a 3 bed house is not too bad and they are still giving out 100% mortgages for affordable houses which surprised me!

Best of luck with it, Don.

Everyone’s situation is different, and obviously you feel this is the best option for you.

I’m curious about your strategy of buying with interest rates low so that you can fix ‘for the medium term’. Sure, it’s grand in a normal market, but these aren’t normal times. You’ll save a bit on repayments by fixing now but interest rate rises are likely to further reduce house prices, perhaps to a very significant extent.

Thanks Coles2. Interest rates will probably rise alright and house prices will probably fall a bit more, although I dont think it will be a whole lot more at the cheaper end of the market.

If house prices fall and interest rates rise I would expect government intervention like they always seem to do eg. a cut in mortgage interest relief or some other method. I dont think i have put myself in trouble anyway with a 4 times my salary mortgage, but ill try and ignore the property sections of the newspapers for a while