Thursday 20 October 2016

Moving concerns: The family buyers - Budget: €150,000+

From first-time buyers to downsizers, the same concerns are felt. Deirdre Reynolds speaks to the movers and shakers

Published 23/01/2016 | 02:30

The Ryan family from Kildare.

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With six children under 17, a big garden was unsurprisingly a deal-breaker for Emily Rainsford Ryan and husband Fergal when they began house-hunting last year.

The Ryan family from Kildare.
The Ryan family from Kildare.

Currently residing with Emily's parents, the Ryan clan is in the midst of relocating from Galway to Kildare to be closer to family.

"We have six children and where we were living we had no family support at all and really missed that," blogger Emily of says. "We had our house on the market almost a year when we sold.

"We had our eye on different properties in the meantime, but didn't seriously start looking until we had agreed on the sale of our own home. We wanted somewhere with a large garden, and were happy to buy somewhere that needed some work."

After going online, Emily and Fergal, a team leader with the Brothers of Charity, both aged 38, eventually found the perfect fixer-upper in Athy.

But it wasn't exactly love at first sight, she recalls: "I had seen the house we are buying on, but the photos were awful, so I dismissed it. Then my mother sent me the [same] link, saying it was a lovely area and we would have great neighbours, so I went on to Google Earth and looked up the house in more detail. It needs a bit of work, mostly cosmetic, but we could see the fantastic potential."

Despite selling their old home for more than the cost of the new one, Emily revealed how it was virtually impossible to get a mortgage, a process she described as "anti-family".

"When we remortgaged our house in 2008, we didn't even have to go into the bank. This time around, despite looking for a mortgage that was almost half what we were currently paying, they said that we didn't fulfil their criteria.

"Three separate banks told us we wouldn't be eligible for a mortgage because we have six children. One bank told us there was no point in even applying.

"In the end, a friend who had recently got mortgage approval put me in touch with Killian from," she continues. "Once Killian took us on, we were approved fairly quickly. We just had to go with a bank affiliated with the Bank of Scotland rather than Ireland as they would take into account children's allowance."

Now the Ryans can't wait to move into their new country pile set on an 'Irish acre' in the next few weeks.

"We've been living with my parents who are veritable martyrs," jokes artist Emily. "I'm not sure how many people would welcome their adult daughter, her husband and six children back into their home with open arms for an unspecified length of time.

"Although it will be incredibly difficult to leave, we are looking forward to getting all our stuff out of storage and having more space!"

Irish Independent

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