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Our Journey Home: Sarah and Jody found their perfect place

11 February 2022


There’s a lot to take in when you’re a First Time Buyer. Along with trying to find the right house, you’re also trying to get your head around new financial terms and things like mortgage rates. So, you really want to focus on learning from people who’ve been there and already bought their dream home. That’s why we’ve reached out to several real home buyers for our new video series “The Journey Home”. It’s a chance to pop into homes around Ireland and get some real tips from the First Time Buyers now happily living in them.

Our first destination is the seaside village of Kilcoole, where new homeowners Sarah and Jody have fallen in love with the Wicklow way of living. In terms of getting their journey started, Sarah was the first to admit that she can be “easily overwhelmed” and was dreading all the “jargon”. In the end, it took them less than a month between starting out on their journey and getting mortgage approval, with Jody pointing out permanent tsb’s invaluable support in how they laid everything out and broke down each step. For Sarah, her top tip for First Time Buyers would be to take it one step at a time.

“Don’t take it all on at once. It needs to be done in phases.”

In terms of sorting application paperwork, Sarah was surprised how manageable it was when she focused on the task at hand. “For someone as organised as me, it was like, ‘I’ve got this’,” she recalls. They’ll tell you exactly what’s needed at each of the different stages so if you take it step by step, it’s much easier to manage. Primary requirements for Sarah and Jody included a signed and stamped salary certificate, Employment Detail Summary (P60) and 2 of your last 3 payslips, and personal bank account statements for the past 6 months. Depending on your mortgage type or application type, there can be different requirements but you’ll be taken through all this at your initial chat. Sarah and Jody were surprised at how smoothly everything went . “We’d heard that getting a mortgage can be so difficult. That wasn’t our experience at all.”

“Getting the documentation was absolutely fine because they’ll tell you exactly what’s needed.”

From there, Sarah and Jody had other decisions and compromises to make on their home journey, starting with their decision to leave Dublin.

Get it right with a flexible outlook

While Sarah initially thought a new build across the road from their old apartment in Dublin was her dream home, she was surprised how quickly that changed. Jody had gone to college in Wicklow and felt the countryside calling him back, so location became the couple’s first compromise. Key to making Sarah comfortable was their ability to rent in the area for six months first, with them heartily recommending that kind of “test drive” if you can do so.

“You do need a bit of let-up to get to the right compromise.”

While affordability played a role in that initial compromise, Sarah now maintains that happily settled into their Wicklow abode, they wouldn’t return to city life if they won the lottery. The beach, woodland walks, and community of young families they now call friends have sealed the deal. While Sarah was flexible on location, she was set on buying a new build, which is where their other non-negotiable came in handy…

Get settled in with mortgage cashback

Working to a tight budget, Sarah and Jody were initially focused on how much they could borrow and how to get the best rate. While permanent tsb ticked Sarah and Jody’s boxes in terms of lending and rates, they now say permanent tsb’s cashback ended up being most important to them. Having secured the new build, Sarah wanted it to be filled from the moment they got through the door.

“When you’re thinking ‘I have so much to do in the house…’ the cashback is huge. If I was to go back, it would be my non-negotiable.”

That lump sum ensured that Sarah and Jody weren’t moving into an empty house while they sorted out flooring, tiling, appliances and “things you never think about, like new bedding!” With permanent tsb, you get 2% of the mortgage amount back as a lump sum within 40 working days of being drawn down. There is no limit on the cashback amount, and you do not need a permanent tsb account to avail of the offer. 

You can see exactly how that cashback helped make Sarah and Jody’s Wicklow house a home in The Journey Home, and hopefully pick up a few extra tips as you do. As Sarah tells our host Ciara, it’s important to chat to new homeowners who have been in the same position as you. There’ll be plenty of them to come, as we continue The Journey Home…

Wherever you are on your home buying journey permanent tsb are there to support you along the way. Book an appointment to start your journey home with us today or find out more over on our Mortgage Section on our website.

Offer available to new applicants who receive a full letter of approval up to 30/06/2022. 2% cashback at drawdown will be paid on the amount of the mortgage advanced. Excludes 4 Year Fixed Home Loan New Business Rates, tracker, buy-to-let, negative equity and applicants refinancing an existing permanent tsb mortgage. 2% cashback at drawdown is paid into the customer’s mortgage paying account (which does not need to be a permanent tsb account) within 40 working days of mortgage drawdown. The qualifying period (11 January 2016 until 30 June 2022) may be extended as permanent tsb decides.

Product eligibility criteria applies. 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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