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9 buyers share what they wish they'd known before house-hunting

6 June 2019

There are plenty of things you can prepare ahead of time when house-hunting – the ‘dream house’ Pinterest board, the exact shade of blue you’ll paint your gorgeous front door.

And then there are the things you can’t predict, be it a difficult vendor calling the whole sale off or a contract taking months to draw up. The setbacks that make you want to end it all now.

Things people wished they’d known

House-hunting can be a long process, so we asked some people who’ve recently made it out the other side to share their insights.

There will be moments you’ll want to call the whole thing off

“Land registration issues delayed our sale by six months and the whole thing nearly fell through. We were pulling our hair out and ready to forget about moving house altogether. Thankfully we stuck it out and we finally got the keys just over a year ago.”

- Laura

Dial down the house-viewing thirst

“When I was viewing a home and liked it, I showed it. Like, really showed it. In one case I offered the full asking price and the agent came back to say someone else had just made a higher offer – but looking back I honestly don’t believe that was true. After that I started to research how estate agents pitch and picked up on a couple of things. I learnt to use my poker face more!”

- Niamh

Ask a surveyor, not a family member

It’s a fine line between ‘needs a bit of work, it will be grand’ and ‘as soon as you lift a floorboard an entire wall collapses’. Have some professional expertise on call if you have your heart set on a ‘fixer-upper’.

- Mike

New build? Start the DIY before you move in

See if there is a possibility of getting into your house before you get the keys. Neighbours of ours had their shed and some concrete slabs put in before they moved in and it looked great. It gives you a head start.

- Dave

Your bank manager can help with questions throughout the process

“Our bank manager was actually more helpful than our estate agent. We were in touch with her a good bit, especially when it came to signing stuff closer to the end of the buying process. She really put our minds at ease!”

- Becky

Keep back some money to make your house a home

Our house was ready for us to walk into, we didn’t have to do any structural work. But we hadn’t factored in just how much it was going to cost to get it looking like our place. All of the extras like wall painting and picture framing ended up costing a few grand.

- Christine 

Be prepared to wait… and wait… and wait

“Even house viewings can take a long time, so factor that in. We would find places online that we wanted to view right away, but we’d have to wait for the open viewing, two weeks away, usually on a Saturday morning at 11am.”

- Paul

Guess what? You’re more mortgage ready than you think

“A lot of people I know work in the arts, like me, and think that their job is too unstable for them to be eligible for a mortgage. I now know that’s not true. Often it’s about how reliable you are at paying things off, not just how much money you currently have. If you’ve been paying rent reliably for years, that can help a lot”.

- Leanne

All this stress will be worth it, honest

“I have friends who say they prefer the freedom of renting, but I found I got more freedom by owning my own place. I was even able to move to another country recently, with small short-term lets first, then ultimately letting out the whole place. And when I move home I’ll be able to refurb the place and settle back in.”

- Simon

For more information, head over to our  Mortgage section.

Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Security and Insurance required. permanent tsb p.l.c is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog does not constitute advice and is for general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice before relying on anything stated in the blog. Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site.

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