Thursday 19 October 2017

'It's a grim process' - first-time buyers say Budget will change little for couples like them

Lisa Dunn and her fiancé are living separately in their parents' homes as they hunt for a second hand home.

First-time buyers Lisa Dunn and Kieran Keane, who are currently living separately with their parents in Knocklyon, Dublin, while they save to buy a second-hand home. Photo: Justin Farrelly
First-time buyers Lisa Dunn and Kieran Keane, who are currently living separately with their parents in Knocklyon, Dublin, while they save to buy a second-hand home. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Laura Lynott

FIRST-time buyers will not have looked at Budget 2018 and thought "oh great", according to house-hunter Lisa Dunn, who expects little to change in the housing market over the coming year.

Ms Dunn (28), who works in digital marketing, and her fiancé Kieran Keane have held off their wedding for two years to invest all they have into their first home.

The couple are currently living separately in their parents' homes in Knocklyon, Dublin 14, and are on the hunt for a second-hand home, but say there has been no incentive offered to convince couples in their situation to buy.

The Government's Help-to-Buy scheme - which has been retained - is only available to first-time buyers who purchase newly built homes.

Ms Dunn said a renovation grant - which would help buyers fix up second-hand homes - could have addressed this.

"I don't think any first-time buyer will walk away from it and think 'oh great'. There's no immediate impact and there's going to be a lot of wait and see," she said.

"With a second-hand home, there's a lot of work and a lot of costs afterwards.

"There are plenty of homes that are perfectly good but might need new heaters or something like that.

"You'd like for them to say buy a fixer-upper and we'll help you fix it up," she added.

Despite their hard work and sacrifices, however, it seems Lisa and Kieran (32), who works in hospitality, are no closer to finding a home.

"It's been a grim, emotional process. We're looking for a small, two-bed house but we have been to so many viewings and nothing so far," she said.

Irish Independent

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