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Seven Genuinely Useful Facts To Know When Buying Your First Home – According To The Experts

By Lovin Media

September 25, 2020 at 2:45pm

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Buying your first home can seem scary. It isn’t just one big decision, it’s lots of little decisions. But if you ask the right people, making those choices can be so much easier.

It’s precisely for that reason that we’ve been teaming up with AIB to host Livin Dublin events since 2018, educating Dubliners on how to become first time buyers and helping them reach a major milestone in their lives.

During our last virtual event (attended by almost 2,000 people online), our panel of experts gave some amazing advice for first-time buyers.

It was a one-stop-shop for budding house hunters, basically.

For those of you who couldn’t attend our event, here are a few of our experts’ key insights for those buying your first home.

‘Help-to-Buy is an important piece of info to take away. It's a refund on tax or DIRT that you've paid over the last four years. You have to have that tax paid in to get it back out, but it's a wonderful resource and I would encourage everyone to have a look for it on Revenue.ie. I am seeing a huge amount of interest in new builds because Help-to-Buy is driving that.’

–  Orla Gleeson, Head of Homes, AIB Dublin West

‘Any advice I would give first-time buyers is research, research, research. Asking prices are one thing. The properties you're looking at within your price budget - what are they selling for?’

– Owen Reilly, Estate Agent

‘Where you buy depends on your budget. Some of the hotspots right now where you can get great value for money would be areas like Irishtown in Ringsend, East Wall, Fairview, Marino, Cabra and Phibsborough. There are pockets of the north inner city that I think are undervalued. We're also seeing a lot of first-time buyer activity in areas like Dublin 8.’

– Owen Reilly, Estate Agent

‘If you're buying an existing house which does need major renovations, you're initial budget goes into the fabric of that building to bring up the energy rating. You can phase those works over a number of years and spread those costs.’

– Lisa O'Brien, Quantity Surveyor

‘The biggest piece of advice I would have for anyone is to ask themselves how long they are buying for. Is it for three, years, five years, ten, twenty or beyond? That's going to have a serious impact on how much money you're willing to invest into it. It's also going to have a huge impact on your lifestyle. Be brutal with yourself in terms of where you're at because you're criteria will change and will affect how much you need to spend.’

– Declan O'Donnell, Architect

‘We would regularly see buyers underestimating the cost of renovation on properties that require upgrading. I also think the seller would like to see the buyer or bidder doing some of that research on numbers upfront. You don't want a sale to fall through later on because the buyer has underestimated the cost of what they want to do on the property.’

– Owen Reilly, Estate Agent

‘A lot of first-time buyers actually can't locate and buy where they grew up, they might be going into new areas. Boards.ie is great because it gives a thread of information from people who are actually living there.’

– Lisa O'Brien, Quantity Surveyor

‘When you have a property that's a B3 rating or above, or you do the work to bring it up to that, you will get a green mortgage rate, so you will get a fixed rate of 2.45 which is a really good rate in the market we are in. Because you're choosing an energy-efficient home, we want to support that.’

– Orla Gleeson, Head of Homes, AIB Dublin West

Want to keep an eye out for more upcoming events like this one? Make sure to check out our bespoke AIB Livin Dublin first-time buyer hub!

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