ME AND MY MONEY WITH BRENT POPE
LIKE most people who got on the property ladder early, RTE rugby pundit Brent Pope says his first house was his best purchase.
"My first house was my best buy, it's a little two bed cottage in Deansgrange but with a Foxrock address.
"I cannot believe that it appreciated about eight times over the last 10 years," he said.
"I recently purchased an expensive house in Blackrock. I am a qualified property valuer by trade but still bought at the peak last September.
"Dublin prices have since stagnated and in some cases gone down, add on the stamp duty and it may be regretful. Time will tell."
"It is an old 50s style house with a brilliant back garden. The bad news is that I bought it after the auction season last year so it has possibly dropped slightly in value. Oh, for a crystal ball.
"It cost too much really, but hopefully in 10 years time it will be a good buy. It has a large private garden with a swing and apple trees, it is close to town and excellent schools and just far enough away from the bustle of the city to be a piece of domestic paradise. Location, location, location.
"It is my biggest expense, I am renovating it at the moment and I cannot believe the difference in quotes that I have been getting - scandalous.
"Some tradesmen just throw a figure at you because they really don't want the work anyway.
"The Polish and Latvians are fantastic, hard workers, good skilful tradesmen and at least keeping costs realistic."
While not investing too much in a pension, he did take out the maximum SSIA.
"I have the maximum SSIA, it matures this month but unfortunately it is equity-based so the market has fallen substantially the last few months," said Brent.
"I hope to recoup somewhere in the vicinity of ?20,000 and I will put that cash into the renovation of my new house or use it to buy an investment property abroad.
"I have a very small pension, I don't really believe in them to be honest, I work for a vibrant overseas property development company so my pension is hopefully in Bulgaria.
"Also I hope I can emulate George Hook and be a graggy old RTE rugby pundit 'til I am in my 80's.
"I don't really waste much money. I am not a gambler or a person that wines and dines regularly so my major indulgence is clothes and bad taste ties (so I am told)."
Hectic work pressures mean that holidays are limited.
"I don't spend a lot on holidays due to work.
"I work almost seven days a week for at least eight months of the year. I love South America, places like Argentina, Cuba and Brazil and, of course, I try and get home to New Zealand every couple of years.
"I tend not to eat out that much, only because I don't get a lot of time but I love Roly's and Bistro 1 in Foxrock and Kiely's pub in Donnybrook.
"I don't tend to go out during the week, just on Saturday after rugby."