Sunday 11 December 2016

While I'll never buy a house in Ireland: 'I'd be paying off a mortgage until I was 80'

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Pat O'Mahony (54) works in radio and TV. He shares a two-bed apartment with a friend in Rathmines, Dublin 6.
Pat O'Mahony (54) works in radio and TV. He shares a two-bed apartment with a friend in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

Pat O'Mahony (54) works in radio and TV. He shares a two-bed apartment with a friend in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

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'I've always ended up sharing, since I first moved to Dublin in 1983 for college, perhaps because a) it's cheaper, and b) I like the company. I moved to London in the 1990s for work, and had a succession of flatmates who buggered off to get married or move in with partners. I never had huge ambitions to live alone, nor to get on the property ladder either.

Personally, I never thought owning a place was the be all and end all. Since I moved back to Dublin six-and-a-half years ago, I've been quite happy renting. For me, the pros are the fact that I don't have the responsibility of looking after everything, plus I can get up and go if I want, even thought I have no plans to. I don't know what's around the corner. As a freelancer, you duck and dive and need flexibility.

People say rent is dead money and they're right in a way. But I've never owned property. I came back from London skint, but I wasn't in negative equity. That wasn't down to any great foresight or planning - I didn't not buy because I was economically aware. People said I should buy and I said, 'yeah, you're right' and I never did, which was pure and utter luck.

At the moment, renting is expensive but there are swings and roundabouts. I'm nearly 55, so would I even get a mortgage, and if I did, I'd be paying it off until I was 80. I would be paying it off just to give to the son and heir, who's nearly 25.

My tip is to find somewhere by word of mouth. I've looked up daft.ie, which is like online dating in a way. I've even gone to see a place but there was a queue so I went home. Ask around. And, when you're sharing a confined space, be ­considerate."

Sunday Independent

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