I recently purchased my first home alongside my partner. It’s important to know that we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Hopefully we are not the only ones who found it tricky, however we definitely found it very rewarding. If you are in the same boat then hopefully some of these tips and tricks below might help you along the way.
We started saving in 2015/16 and in late 2016 we moved out of our apartment in Dublin city centre back home to our parents’ houses to save more. We then engaged with a mortgage provider early 2018 and started viewing homes in the summer.
Top Things We Learned During the Viewing Process
- It helps to shop around for a mortgage provider – this is a huge financial decision so take your time with this one
- Know the area you want to aim for
- Know your budget - and try to stick to it
- Decide between a new development or a second hand home (we went with a second hand home)
- Try to go to viewings both on your own and with experienced home owners – they have more experience
- Consider car park spaces, how many rooms, if you want a garden, etc.
- Engage with a solicitor for extra help
After 4 months, we finally went sale agreed on a home that we loved. This is where things can either go smooth or a bit haywire. We found this stage okay but would recommend these top tips to do during this time:
- If, like us, you’re buying a second hand home, get a surveyor in to do a report and point out anything that might be structurally wrong or a reason not to buy it. It can cost roughly between €250-600 but it can be worthwhile to add into your budget
- Your solicitor will work with the seller’s solicitor so you don’t have to do that – the legal stuff will take over from there. Make sure to add solicitor fees and stamp duty to your budget as well
- A quick process from sale agreed could be considered about 2 months, so don’t worry if it takes a little longer. Ours took 4 months but we stuck it out as we knew we loved the home.
House Insurance – How We Got It*
Next step after all the paper work is done was to research Home Insurance. When we were about to close the deal and get our keys we had to think about home insurance and mortgage protection.
We wanted to have a good home insurance policy to give us the courage to spend our savings on new gadgets for the house, nice furniture, and any new appliances we were planning on buying. We did not want to purchase new things knowing that we would not be covered if anything may happen. It’s a decision you need to make on your own, and I myself chose to go with Allianz Home Insurance*. Here are a few things I suggest to consider when choosing your home insurance:
- Check that it’s not in an area that is exposed/prone to flooding. You can do this by getting a quote for home insurance. If the property is in an area that is deemed to be exposed/prone to flooding, you might be declined. It’s better to find out now than later!
- Check to see what offers are currently available for home insurance. Make sure that you feel comfortable that your provider is an expert in insurance. In my experience, Allianz explained the policy to me and even explained about adding items to the policy to cover them outside the home (bikes, rings etc.)
- Make sure you know the cost to rebuild your house. This isn’t the value of the home! We got this from the surveyor report from the bank as this is something you need to include in your insurance. Also, Allianz helped me understand how much to include for contents cover as it was tricky since we technically had an empty home.
Once I had made my decision, Allianz emailed me a Letter of Indemnity, as your mortgage provider will need this, and we were allowed to collect our keys!
At the end it is worth it, don’t give up and remember if all else fails Google usually has the answer!
*Niamh is a previous Allianz Ireland employee. As an Allianz employee at the time, Niamh also received an employee discount.
**This discount is available for Allianz customers. Standard acceptance criteria and policy conditions apply. As an Allianz employee, Niamh also receives an employee discount.
This blog is for general information purposes only. Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this blog.
Many choices we make in life can require a degree of courage, big or small. Whether it’s the moment you sit behind the wheel for the first time, decide to settle down, or bite the bullet and take that trip of your dreams. This is how great things happen and, at Allianz, we are proud to support people who have the courage to go forward in life.
Learn more about Allianz Home Insurance.