If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Did you have doubts when buying your first home?

  • 26-08-2022 11:45am
    Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭

    We're a country that values home ownership and it's a goal most of us strive for. I'm in the process of trying to buy right now and I almost went sale agreed on a place recently before being pipped to the post at the last minute (c'est la vie!).

    At one point I thought it was going to be accepted and I was mulling over it for a few days - then I had a few realisations that had felt more real than ever at that point:

    • This is the biggest purchase I'll have ever made
    • My savings that were accumulated over years of work and saving will be gone in an instant all going well
    • I'll be committed to a particular area for a number of years (given this is the height of the market and it's not in the buyer's court)

    These are things I haven't heard people talk about as much and if any of ye have bought did you having similar feelings? And would love to know how it worked out?



  • Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭PSFarrell

    I had similar apprehensions particularly around all your savings being gone in an instant but in a few months a nest egg will be built back-up. I think if I was having second thoughts on an area I would be wary of purchasing there. I've seen friends and siblings buy in areas they had mixed feelings on and almost all were very unhappy, even if they liked the house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭Topgear on Dave

    A solutely I had concerns & doubts, taking om a huge debt, and losing the flexibility of renting.

    As @spacehopper says (hitting the nail on the head) flexibility is only good if there is supply.

    On the other hand even if it all goes wrong and I can't pay the mortgage its practically impossible for the bank to get the house off me. LOL

  • Administrators Posts: 52,702 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    I think everyone has these thoughts at some stage in the process, it's a stressful thing buying a house and all sorts of questions will go through your head. Second guessing yourself is only natural.

    On the point about commitment to the area, I don't know your situation but if / once you have kids and they start school you're pretty much committing to an area anyway whether you buy or not.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 33,816 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    There's definitely a sense of 'this is it, the rest of my life' when you buy a house. Which can be really frightening.

    Always remember though that you can sell a house. You're not locked into it forever.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭Tork

    Buying a house isn't the entertaining experience it seems to be on the telly. It's stressful and daunting and not fun at all. I bought my first house when I was single and I'll never forget the hollow, anti-climatic feeling I had the day I got the keys. Some of my friends have since told me that they felt the very same thing as well. Once I settled in, it was grand.

    There comes a time when the flexibility of renting stops being a key selling point. It's grand when you're in your 20s and 30s but there comes a time when the instability starts to grow old. And as has been mentioned above, once you have kids you're more or less tying yourself to an area anyway. You might also find that you're less pushed about changing jobs once your career gets established, or your appetite to move locations is much reduced.

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭ClaudeVercetti

    Great replies here, and really reassuring. I'm priced out of where I grew up but luckily I work (mostly)remotely for a company based in the midlands so location isn't tied to a specific area.

    But like that I don't have a sentimental connection to a lot of areas having lived abroad for a long time so that spurred on these questions! I rent in an area that's fine but quite isolated so mainly looking at build up rural towns.

    No kids and single so moreless looking to just build a life back in Ireland after returning 18 months ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭ClaudeVercetti

    This is a great point and I'm just reflecting back on it now - there doesn't seem to be such thing as flexibility when it comes to housing. If I were to give up my rental tomorrow I'd move back home, so in that regard renting vs owning you're going to try and stay in the one place as long as possible.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    The whole housing thing sounds super depressing, friends of mine have built and with brexit, the bill seems to be never ending and beyond their expectations. If I was buying a built up house with no fixings needed for say 200k mortgage, say with a 20% deposit of 40k, how much savings should I also have for other expenses, should it be another 20k or more for solicitor etc? Just curious as would like a house of my own some day

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭Tork

    There's a bit of "the dog caught the car" about it I think. You spend so long thinking about your future house, that when you finally get it, you have to change your mindset. I do remember thinking about how quickly the money I'd worked so hard to save just flew out of my bank account in giant lumps. The booking deposit, then the rest of the desposit, the solicitor's fees, paying the surveyor etc. That is a bit unnerving even though they're all going towards your final goal - a house. There was always something comforting about knowing there was this nest egg of sorts in the bank account.

    @Pissy Missy You'll get different answers as to how much money you should have along with the deposit. This is a rough breakdown of what you'd expect to pay In short, you're looking at somewhere in the region of €5,000-€6,000 to buy a house. That's before you set foot in the house or do anything to it. I'd strongly advise you to have some extra money set aside along with that because there'll be no shortage of "rainy days" once the key goes in that door.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,456 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    yes, i had the 'this is too much to be paying for this house' doubt. and i was lucky enough to be able to buy in 2003, when prices were still 'only' about 60% of their peak. and i lost 100k selling it in 2012.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,799 ✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Scared stiff of the debt at the time and worried about the cost of repaying it. As the years passed and family life took over the debt paled into the background and we cleared it earlier than we ever imagined. At the time it seemed we were committing to the greatest expense in our lives but as it turned out we've don't more on cars since then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,103 ✭✭✭Maz2016

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,816 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    That is 100% it alright. So much about buying a house in this country is the work that goes into saving up for it and the actual dream itself. The whole process is so long and arduous that once you're at the end of it you kind of don't really know what to be doing with yourself.

    I found it something similar to going to university. You spend years studying to get in, spend years studying while you're there, finally get your degree and there's a massive sense of 'what now?'

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,437 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster

    I dont think I could buy a house tbh, too many compromises. i've built 3 so far and would definitly recommend it to anyone to do if you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,816 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    I'd really loved to have been able to build a house to my exact specs, I've some hobbies which would really benefit from their own space and it would have been a hell of a lot of fun to do.

    Problem is I love living in Dublin city! So not a chance I'd be able to do that.

    There is something nice in living in a house with a bit of history though. Our current house was built in 1903, can look back through the census records and see who was living there 100 years ago. Kind of feels like you're a part of history.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭Girl Geraldine

    Not really. I was looking for a house for ages and couldn't find one i liked for a bearable price.

    So eventually I came across one that was in a good place, good condition, and go re-sale potential but I wasn't mad about personally, so I just bought it anyway. I could sell it in the morning if I wanted to. I am not going to do any upgrades or anything. No interest. It does the job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,174 ✭✭✭Fian

    I bought my first (and current) house in 1996. I was very nervous/uneasy at the time, I was young. It was easily the best financial decision of my life.

    We have since spent more than the purchase price on extending it, though in fairness the extension probably doubled it in size. Now living in a house I could not afford to buy today, despite the fact that our family annual income is now greater than the original purchase price.

    Bottom line - if you are lucky enough to be able to buy nowadays don't let the nerves get in the way, if it is a house you will happily live in you are very unlikely to regret the purchase in the long run. Even those who bought in 2008 and ended in negative equity for years were better off in the long run than had they not bought and continued to rent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 846 ✭✭✭thefa

    Didn’t want to start a new thread. I’m having some similar feelings but have just had my offer accepted. I’m not so worried about having limited savings if it goes through but whether we’re spending the money wisely.

    Been renting for years and makes sense to make a purchase as we’ve settled in Dublin suits both and I’m usually decisive but went to the house today to see the outside in person again and plagued with doubts like;

    -House was built late 90’s so what would the build quality be like. Have heard stories of pyrite issues in Dublin.

    -ex rental so might not have gotten as much care over the years and no upgrades made to kitchen, bathrooms don’t help. Exterior hasn’t been painted in a while and brickwork looking a bit jaded too.

    -new builds in the area are hard got but there’s some at a similar price with one less bedroom but an A rating rather than C. They all seem to be going down the Air Pump route rather than the Gas heating too.

    -it’s vacant and will be for another while which won’t be helpful during the winter.

    It’s weird because I wasn’t too concerned about most of these when we viewed it after months of searching but now playing on my mind.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭scrips

    I bought a very run-down property twenty years ago, in a locality where I knew no-one, and probably should have had more doubts than I did. Spending my 'nest egg' didn't overly concern me as it seemed logical to spend it on buying a house, as I was in my first permanent job and knew I would be living in the area for the forseeable future. thefa, I would say build quality is the most important thing to consider. The house can be repainted, the furnishings upgraded or the heating system replaced, in time, when you have the money and have had time to reflect on what you really want and need. But do you really need the extra bedroom that the C rated house has? Would a new, A rated house enable you to save more money in the long run and thereby free up money (& time) to spend on other things? Discovering pyrite would be a nightmare I agree.

    I became aware of a myriad of structural problems in my house not long after purchasing and thought 'OMG, what have I done' but thankfully, after renovations, the house although never perfect served me and my family well in lots of respects (location, big garden, on a quiet road, choice of schools) over the years. In addition, our ties with the local community and accumulated memories of living here mean it would be a wrench to ever leave this area where I am now firmly rooted.

    Post edited by scrips on

  • Registered Users Posts: 137 ✭✭ClaudeVercetti

    Hey thefa, I'm the OP of this thread and had started it a good while ago so thought I'd chime in with an update/my thoughts.

    A couple of months after starting this thread I found a place and got the keys January this year. To be honest I haven't looked back.

    There's a lot of similarities also between what I bought and what you're going for (but I didn't buy in Dublin).

    • My house was built in '99 and the build quality is excellent. I got a surveyor in and raised things I wanted to check including this - there's been no issues in that regard from the report and coming up to 10 month's in the place there's been no issues.
    • This place was also an ex rental, and there were a few things I needed to do like putting in new flooring and painted the place. But that was all done so quick and didn't break the bank at all. Wood flooring is cheaper than you'd think. There's still work that I want to do on it and there always will be to be honest. But it got to a point where it felt like 'home' fairly quickly.
    • Like yours this place is C rated also, the surveyor mentioned that the rating can be brought up by changing the insulation in the attic and a couple of other things. But the retrofitting grants are there for this reason so I'll be making use of that soon as other's in the estate have. At the end of the day it's what it's there for.
    • Regarding it being vacant during the Winter, that shouldn't really matter if the house isn't over-exposed to the elements. My first night in here was absolutely baltic (I couldn't figure out how to work the heating!!) but it didn't do any harm to the house over a couple of cold months.

    I hope this helps shed some light on this. A good surveyor will be a godsend in this regard and if you know any tradesmen there's no harm in getting them to take a look also. It's natural to overthink in the period after going sale agreed and waiting on your keys. I was close to pulling a couple of times because of it! But I'm glad I didn't in the end after some chats with friends and family.

    At the end of the day you have time and can always pull if something untoward comes up in the meantime.

    Best of luck in the purchase, I hope all goes well!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,773 ✭✭✭highgiant1985

    Yeah I bought on my own at the time and for the first two years after I bought I found it really difficult worrying about if i was to lose my job suddenly how would I survive as I'd used up all my savings at the time.

    I had cut back on spending during those first two years (no holidays,very few nights out, no major spending etc...) and rebuilt my savings back up again. Thankfully things have worked out really well since and I'm a lot more comfortable financially in life now but the first years of a mortage can be stressful and it is normal / ok to have worriesa about it.

    At the same time, if you don't buy now you'll still have worry's just a different type e.g. will you ever get on the property ladder, what will you do come retirement age if you don't etc...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,421 ✭✭✭RichardAnd

    I don't think anyone could make a big decision without some doubts, and buying a home is a very big decision. I was full of doubts, and I still have a few, but I still think that buying was and is the best thing to do.

    This line caught my eye:

    "My savings that were accumulated over years of work and saving will be gone in an instant all going well"

    They will not be gone. Your savings will be in a tangible asset. After the last few years, there must be one salient point that everyone needs to understand: cash is only valuable in the short term. I personally keep no more than 10k in cash at any one time. Everything else goes to the mortgage or investments. Fiat currency is backed by nothing, and the state and banks can and will print it out of thin air in huge quantities if their needs are served by it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 281 ✭✭mykrodot

    interesting thread.

    One thing I would say ...... if a house was built in the mid to late 1990's, Pyrite would have reared its head by now, you would actually see with your own eyes!

  • Registered Users Posts: 846 ✭✭✭thefa

    Cheers for the responses and info.

    @scrips Hoping the surveyor gives me some reassurance on the build quality. With regards to the additional room, definitely don’t need it now but with two of us working from home and hopefully kids in the not so distance future, I’d prefer to have it in hand if we can afford it.

    @ClaudeVercetti thats good to hear. I’d be hoping if we get in, there’ll be no looking back too! I imagine there’s a bit mindset change when you can go into a place and start making it ‘home’ and it’s something I’m looking forward to, but not wanting to have to do too much off the bat.

    The more I think of it, one of the biggest things bothering me is the lack of (perceived) value as I see it. Paying something like €100k more than a similar house in the estate sold for 5 years ago and similar to a bigger & detached house 2 years ago. Feeling that we may be buying at the top of the market. A couple of months ago, it felt like a find but now questioning is it all inflated. Then having to weigh that against continuing to rent in town at €18k/annum.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,011 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Paying something like €100k more than a similar house in the estate sold for 5 years ago and similar to a bigger & detached house 2 years ago. Feeling that we may be buying at the top of the market.

    Well, this is a very real possibility, but a) by all accounts interest rates have peaked or are close to it and b) supply won't be significantly increased any time soon. As such, the market may well have peaked but is it going to collapse to the point where you're going to save tens of thousands by waiting? It seems unlikely tbh.

    As for build quality - I'm sure it is structurally sound, but you shouldn't bother comparing it to current A rated homes for things like insulation or energy efficiency. You're never going to be able to put a heat pump in. I don't think pyrite was an issue back in 1999 so unless there's visible signs of damage, don't worry about it.

    If you like the area and the house is sufficently big to cope with your future plans for family etc, then those are two massive plus factors. Even if the market contracts, it's not a huge deal if it's a long-term home.