Sunday 23 October 2016

Renting in Ireland: 'I'm loathe to put down roots because there's every chance we'll live abroad'

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Vicki Notaro at home in Stoneybatter
Vicki Notaro at home in Stoneybatter

Renting in Ireland has never been exactly straightforward, says Vicki Notaro, pictured above. Generally, it's fair to say, we're a nation of buyers who prefer to own our homes, unlike our continental and US friends.

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However, in recent years and for many different reasons, it's undeniably become more and more difficult to purchase a home of one's own, with many living under someone else's roof and paying a pretty penny for it.

Still, there are some more comfortable with renting than others. Many see it as a temporary solution, with plans to buy their own place afoot, while others have resigned themselves to the necessity of a lease at least for the time being.

"I've been renting since I was 22. I moved into my first apartment with my then-boyfriend at the tail end of the Celtic Tiger, and paid what would now be considered an extortionate €1,200pm for a one-bedroom off the Stillorgan dual carriageway - and it didn't even have a balcony. When the recession hit, we were able to negotiate down to €900, and it was a rude awakening for my young self.

Then in 2013 I found myself single, and decided to do what I'd always wanted and rent closer to town. I moved to a cottage in Stoneybatter that has a garden for my two little dogs, and the man who would become my fiancé joined us months later. It's not a massive house by any means, but we've made it our own and have a lovely, obliging landlord that makes everything easier.

I'm happy renting. As a couple comprising of a self-employed journalist and an IT consultant, we make good money, but aren't really in a position to save the tens of thousands required for a deposit while simultaneously paying rent and enjoying our child-free lifestyle. We travel, we go out and we're planning our wedding, so it's just not something we want to think of right now - and who knows where we might end up in the next few years? I'm loathe to put down roots (and commit to a 30-year mortgage) because there's every chance we'll go and live abroad, at least for a while.

I've never seen rent as dead money; I see it as money that allows me freedom and flexibility, while having a roof over my head in a part of town I actually want to live in. I could have bought in a commuter town five years ago, but I'm so glad I didn't - I'm a city gal, and I love living in the hustle and bustle of what I call an urban village.

Perhaps I won't always feel like this, maybe a few years down the line we'll buy. But at 30, it suits us to have a landlord. And from talking to my fellow renters, it seems tenants are just as diverse as landlords in 2016…"

Sunday Independent

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