you’re doing a bit better than me in terms of savings at the moment.
What I have decided to do is a two pronged attack. My main concern is not having somewhere to live when I am no longer economically active, ie retired. It maybe that come the age of 65, the retirement age will have gone up (I’m certain it will) but in case it doesn’t, I have to take that into consideration.
The old way of doing things is gone for the moment; you can’t buy right now and expect inflation to do nice things for you. there are two reasons for this. the property market is in a mess and realistically, it’s hard to say, even now, how close to the top of the market you are buying. So I’ve made a call on cost of quality of life versus amount I want to save and how much I will put up with in the way of flatmates. As I watch rents fall, the likelihood is that the amount of disposable cash being spent on non-essentials like hobby related expenditure will fall off and go to rent on my own. Savings will go up and I’ll watch the market.
What scared me most over the last 5 years is watching friends of mine buying anying just to get somewhere of their own. I understood their dilemma, but could not buy into it myself. I had contracted for a while and during some of thsoe contracts found myself travelling 90 minutes to work on occasion. To me, ownership just wasn’t worth some of the associated costs.
I’ll put it into context: 4 years ago, the closest to Dublin I could afford to buy on my own was somewhere like Slane. If, at that point, I could have afforded to buy in Balbriggan, I would have done. Even a 2 bedroomed apartment. Now, however, 3 and 4 bedroomed houses are within my reach in Balbriggan and instead of hopping for them, I’m looking at the market and thinking "well I’d really prefer to live somewhere much closer to the city centre, but not too far from work either, so somewhere like Santry, Glasnevin or Whitehall would be ideal. Dublin 9. In fact, if I pushed west a little, much of Finglas is now within reach. They’ve fallen, I think, a little faster than other areas. I wouldn’t necessarily choose to live in Finglas. What I am seeing, however, is that places I want to live are actually not completely outlandish price wise now, the way they were 4 years ago. Places I’d actually want to live. So now, I have no longer any itnerest in buying in Balbriggan.
So if I were you, i would do the following:
- pick a couple of places where you’d like to live. Watch the market there for a few months and see what way the prices are going.
- rent in the area if at all possible. MAKE sure you have a break clause in your lease so that if you see something sooner rather than later you can get out with relatively little difficulty. A lot of people are looking for advice on how to break leases on boards.ie lately. I think this is reflective of poor forward planning
- keep saving
- keep an eye on what you want from a property. You won’t necessarily get it all, but set priorities
- sit back and wait until you find a balance in a property of what you want, where you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it.
That’s for the short term. If that doesn’t work out, keep saving so that come the age of 65, you can go somewhere else if necessary. My mother has a cousin who, following family difficulties, moved from the UK back to Ireland after something lik 40 years away and set up home and is amazed by just how well it worked out for her.
In the meantime, rent close to work.
PS, what freaked me out of about the various affordable schemes were the conditions attached. Ownership wasn’t worth it to me.