Saturday 23 September 2017

We'll vote for whoever offers homes for couples

The 30-40s

If you have the deposit, you can get your foot on the property ladder but don't expect a family home you can fill with offspring, especially if you live in Dublin
If you have the deposit, you can get your foot on the property ladder but don't expect a family home you can fill with offspring, especially if you live in Dublin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A MIDLIFE crisis is generally sparked by a sudden realisation that half the time you have been given to walk the earth has elapsed and little has been achieved.

This generally occurs in your mid-forties as your existence creeps towards almost half a century.

It may result in the purchase of a car that makes you feel young but look ridiculous. Ill-advised facial hair growth and a new 'hip' image are also a possibility.

If such an urge takes you, think back a decade to when you were in your mid-thirties.

The yearning for yesteryear will soon leave you as you remember the period of your life when you are forced to make those 'big decisions'.

And you can also rest assured that making those life-defining choices is all the more difficult when you factor in the worst economic crash to ever befall this little country in the North East of the Atlantic Ocean.

What are those big decisions you ask.

Well, as your friends 'settle down', start families and consider a station wagon an acceptable mode of transport, you soon find the same is expected of you.

Your mother is asking when are you going to propose to your girlfriend and your father is in continual disbelief that you could reach this stage of your life without having a mortgage.

Your girlfriend is also probably wondering why the third finger of her left hand is noticeably bare.

The romantic in me would dismiss the idea that the expense of a wedding would be any consideration in a lasting declaration of love.

On the other hand, the average cost of a wedding is almost €22,000, according to those who compile such figures.

Quite a substantial sum but you are supposed to get a life-time guarantee, as long as the terms and conditions are met.

Regardless, the mother would see it as money well spent and everyone would have a great day.

The old man, however, would have different ideas about how to spend this amount of money at this stage in my life.

And after throwing 'dead money' into various landlords' pockets for the best part of 15 years I'm beginning to come around to his way of thinking.

The Central Bank decided to offer first-time buyers a slight reprieve when it issued its new mortgage rules last month.

In his ultimate wisdom, Governor Patrick Honohan permitted 90pc mortgages for those buying their first home, as long as they don't spend more than €220,000.

Anything over that and you have to cough up 20pc of the additional asking price.

So that €22,000 put aside for the big day suddenly takes on a whole new relevance.

If you have the deposit, you can get your foot on the property ladder but don't expect a family home you can fill with offspring, especially if you live in Dublin.

It is likely you will spend 20 or 30 years paying a mortgage for a two bed terrace house in a dreary suburb miles from the city centre.

Meanwhile, rent is sky rocketing and the vulture capitalists who bought up the city are threatening to increase them further.

We are told the Government will tackle the housing problem and curb the increasing cost of rent.

There are also plans to reduce taxes for the so-called "squeezed middle".

They tell us the dreaded USC will be reduced and looking at your pay packet will no longer be a traumatic experience.

But little is being felt on the ground and tales of couples forced to return to the home of one of their parents to save for the future are becoming more commonplace.

The party that makes owning a home an achievable goal for young couples living in Dublin, will attract a strong vote. And if there is enough money left over to make matrimonial sense all the better.

 

Sunday Independent

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