What Would You Do?

Hi all: I’m new here, and have several issues I’d like to learn more about.

I’ve been following the forum since the beginning of the year, but have not delved into the archives. If there are relevant threads someone can direct me toward, I’d appreciate it. I’ll start by laying out the basic scenario and follow up with further answers if required.

My siblings and I have inherited our parents house in SCD. 10-12 minute walk to Dart at Blackrock or Seapoint. We all live overseas, me for 25 years.The simple and maybe smart thing would be to sell the house and split the money. We don’t seem inclined to do that, at least in the short term. Looks like some or all of us will hold onto it at least for some years, likely as rental property.

That said, I have begun investigating options from afar. The house is a 1930’s 5 bed, (3 dbl, 2 sgl), 1bath, semi, with garage, front and rear gardens. 1,960 sqf, on a CdS. You could park 4 in the front. The only upgrades have been double glazing, modest kitchenette, rewiring, and rudimentary attic insulation all in the mid to late 1980’s. House never previously extended.
Had two Architects and two EA’s look the place over when I was in Dublin last August, EA consensus was 625- 675 in August 2013 and likely 725-775 by August 2014 as is.

Architects, who had been invited to give 30 minute free consultations, with a view to extending, had different takes. Both pronounced the house as “solid”, but one said that what he would do is spend 25K on cosmetic upgrades, then rent as is, get PP for an extension and garage conversion, and then sell it with the PP. He said that new buyers would not be “locked in” to the submitted plans and could change them. He also said that PP would add 18-20% to the value of the house. That strikes me as optimistic.
Other architect said that a 400 sqf single story ext. (no PP reqd), to the kitchen/living area would run 60-70K and the rest of the house could easily absorb another 60-70K. EA says you’d never recover that money in increased rental, which I think is true. However, if you recovered 50%, in say 5 years and increased the value of the asset by 20-25% unadjusted for inflation etc. it might not be such a bad deal.
That got me wondering about a two story extension. I believe It would require PP, and if applying for PP, why then, not seek the largest permissible ground floor ext. of say 900 sqf in this case, and put 3-400 on the upper floor extending the house by about 60% in total?

I read a comment here, which I agree with, that Dublin is full of houses that are garden rich and living space poor.

I understand that we must leave a back garden of 25 sqm minimum.The architect quoted a ballpark of about E150 per sqf for extension construction, and the EA quoted about E350 per sqf at sale. That’s a big spread. I recognize that a larger house will not necessarily command the same price per sqf as a smaller one. Still, there seems an incentive to build as much as is permitted. A fully modernized 3,000 sqf house 10 minutes from the Dart at E 300 a sqf compared to 2,000 sqf in need of modernization at E350 a sqf, might seem like a bargain to some.

There is no mortgage on the house. We would like to avoid putting our own money in, and would like to get a buy to let mortgage for say 20-25% of the value of the house to renovate, but since we all live overseas there are obvious complications.

Your thoughts, observations, etc. on the back of an E50 note to…

Go fuck yourself you greedy cvnt.

You’re welcome :wink:


When I read your post I read: hassle… risk… more hassle… more risk. Oh yes and discussions too.

I wouldn’t get into it personally.

Agree that the best option is to sell it. Long-distance management of a project like this would be a nightmare. There’s also too much potential for sibling disagreement. Not worth it when the market in SCD is buoyant and you could get a good price for little effort.

What is the motivation for holding it?

Yield? Capital gain? Holding strategy until the housing market returns to normal transaction levels? One of you eventually moving back in?

This is my question too. Why do you want to hold on to it? In the hope that prices will rise further?Then at what stage would you prepared to sell. There will always be someone who wants to hold out that bit longer to squeeze that last price rise out of it.
Sell it.

There’s at least a fighting chance that SCD is on or around the crest of a bubble.

To try to manage a renovation project from abroad strikes me as lunacy (unless well versed in that art)

Yields on larger houses tend to be less attractive

Which all points to a sale. By all means put a bit of money into freshening it up and optimising a sale but that’s about it. Given my being one of the few here not looking to buy in SCD you can take it I’ve no axe to grind :wink:

Family members in Ireland inherited a very high end property in London and were led on a merry dance by agents and tenants.
You may not want to sell but it may become obvious to you after some time that it is the only practical option available to you.

It sounds like you’d be doing your family and potentially some other family a big favour by selling it.

Paint it, clean it, sell it. Take your share and invest wisely.

or blow it on fast cars, women and champagne! 8DD

I’ll take it!


And many others here I’m sure


Thanks for the replies. I’ll try to incorporate answers to all the questions in one post. If I miss your question hit me again.

There is a heart vs. head dynamic at work. We are four, and it’s a 50/50 split. I voted to sell. There’s the element of severing the last link to Dublin. Those voting to hold, say we should take some time, the market seems to be going our way, for now, selling is irreversible, holding for now, still permits sale later. All of us could certainly use the money, but none needs it urgently, so we are unlikely to have a major bust up over it, (I think).

I’m cognizant of the many downside points made in the replies above. I made them too.
If we are to hold, we want to treat it as a serious investment property, and that involves evaluating all options. Major extension would involve the most headache, and therefore that’s the one I need to sweat, the others are relatively simple.

We believe one of us would need to be there for 6-8 weeks of a 16 week extension project, and we think we could manage that, in rotation, and maybe more. I worry it could take a lot longer than 16 weeks. We’ve all heard the horror stories.

Several houses on the road have been extended, but only on a single level. One of them made an eye popping sum, back in the day. When thinking about a two story job that would add up to 400 sqf to the second floor, I wonder about the additional cost/benefit of an attic conversion linked to the extension. (I dream of a skyscraper with underground parking). I’ve never seen an attic conversion, so have no realistic concept, but it might take livable space up to close on 4,000 sqf.

The house is basically 30 ft square, with a kitchenette, boiler room, and toilet of 160 sqf total tacked on at the rear. We would demolish those and then start over.
With a garage and attic conversion, a 5 bed, 3 bath. would still be possible.
At this point, I’m most interested in:

(1) issues that could arise in the PP process. neighbors grounds for objection etc.

(2) Architects fees, I’ve been told, not by an architect, 20K easily.

(3) Financing, we’ve traditionally banked with AIB, but we’d be very open to reccs and suggestions for creative alternatives, given what I said in the OP.

Did a search on Google.ie on the term “home equity loan” popular in the US for extensions etc. and the results were not encouraging. The link below refers to what in the US would be called a “reverse mortgage”. Different nomenclature can lead to confusion.

citizensinformation.ie/en/mo … hemes.html

Comments appreciated.

The other two don’t currently have the free readies for a double buyout, and we’ve agreed not to sell for at least 12 months.

Thx. I’ll wait awhile, and then do that.

Having recently completed an extend/refurb dealing with a builder directly and seeing first hand the number of decisions to be made (and I’m reasonably conversant with what’s involved), I’d be suggesting that you hand the project over to the architect to deliver turnkey and pay the fees appropriate to that. You would need to spend face time so as to give a brief both to him (and to any interior design expertise which might be involved. Thereafter you could communicate electronically perhaps paying a follow up visit mid way and a final inspection visit at the end.

What use one of you being there in rotation serves I cannot understand. Are all expected to be in command of the brief. What would they be doing?

Past performance is no indication…the small print on all investment literature.

The question is whether the current surge is sustainable or a bubble. If a bubble you could find yourself mid-build on an expensive project with house prices starting to go south and no way to exit. They don’t need to drop by much to cause all those who’ve hung on renting for many years to decide to wait a little longer.

One exercise would be to see what the competition is in that size house. And how well they are selling. And what they are selling for (as opposed to asking). Myhome.ie often have ads of sold houses still up which along with the Property Price Register with give you insight. An estate agent giving a valuation is one thing, an estate agent giving you objective information on value and saleability in the current and recent, more suppressed climate is another. It strikes me that the size of house you’re suggesting is beyond what the core market is after. And of not core then at best niche and at worst immoveable (given the scale of investment)

Architect territory

For a turnkey of that scale most certainly much more.

This will be your biggest stumbling block. What you are doing is engaging in a property investment. The (Irish) banks have been sunk by a multitude of torpedos, each with the words “property investment” inscribed on them. They simply have no appetite for property - no matter how solid the fundamentals. Perhaps when there’s been a couple of thousand buy-to-let repossessions processed to give the bank some sense of recourse on their loan. But not until then.

What they would make of the group of investors (siblings dealing with a will) and their location might serve for them to give you a straight no instead of wasting your time pretending they are open for property lending business when they aren’t in fact.

I noted in the OP that we had a preference not to put any of our own money in, if possible. We are looking for some type of finance.