Tuesday 20 March 2018

The Single Man: 'I'm worried rent rises will delay my departure from Generation Rent'

From first-time buyers to downsizers, Gabrielle Monaghan talks to those planning a move in 2017

iPhone app developer Baz Taylor, who is looking to buy in Limerick. Photo: Bryan Meade
iPhone app developer Baz Taylor, who is looking to buy in Limerick. Photo: Bryan Meade

Baz Taylor, a 33-year-old iPhone developer from Limerick, is scouting the city for a three-bed house to buy because he is weary of belonging to Generation Rent.

Baz, who also records a regular podcast called Worst Case Scenario with two fellow developers, is concerned the rent on his apartment may increase in line with other units in his apartment block and delay his plans to buy a home of his own.

"I'm living on my own and the rent is €775 a month," he says. "Over the last couple of years, I've noticed rents on apartments here going up to €800, €900 and €1,000 a month while my rent has stayed the same, so I'm worried mine could go up by €200 a month. I enjoy living on my own because I've been doing it for so long that sharing with another tenant would not be an option."

The day Baz was interviewed last summer for his current role at a multinational company, he went to a mortgage lender to enquire about securing a home loan. The lender told him to return after he had been in the job for six months because it wanted to ensure he had a permanent position. In November, he was given pre-approval and has two years' savings to fund a deposit.

"At this stage of my career, I'm well paid for what I do," he says. "But I'm not great at saving, so I looked at my finances to see where I could make cutbacks. I earn enough to keep myself going and save extra money, and I also got a sign-on bonus and a Christmas bonus with this job so that helped me with the deposit."

However, the help-to-buy scheme unveiled by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the budget has not boosted his finances because the tax rebate only applies to newly built homes and there are few new developments in the centre of Limerick, where Baz intends to buy. The relaxation of the mortgage cap, which reduced the deposit required for the balance of loans above €220,000 to 10pc from 20pc, will not help either: Baz's budget is €215,000.

He is looking for a "turnkey house" because there isn't enough in his budget to finance much remodelling of a property. Besides, Baz feels he wouldn't be up to the task.

"I'd be okay at ripping stuff out but if it were up to me to relocate a kitchen or do some wiring, I'd still be doing it in 10 or 15 years' time," he says. "And I'd potentially like to upgrade to a bigger property in 10 years."

His ideal home would ideally be located walking distance of Limerick city centre.

"I want to be able to get up on a Saturday morning and walk into town and be able to walk home after a Saturday night out," Baz says.

Irish Independent

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