Saturday 7 December 2019

The Young Family: 'We've moved in with my parents so we can save enough for a deposit'

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

Sarah Lennon (29) Declan Butler (31) and Sienna Butler (2) in Sarah's parents' house in Knocklyon. Photo. Bryan Meade
Sarah Lennon (29) Declan Butler (31) and Sienna Butler (2) in Sarah's parents' house in Knocklyon. Photo. Bryan Meade

Sarah Lennon, a 29-year-old who works in employee engagement at a Dublin-based tech company, her 31-year-old partner Declan Butler, and their two-year-old daughter Sienna moved in with Sarah's parents in Knocklyon in June to step up their saving habit. The couple have been saving towards a deposit on their first home for almost five years, making plenty of sacrifices along the way.

"We were saving while we were working abroad," Sarah says. "We lived in Canada for two years, Australia for a year before that and then spent time travelling around Australia.

"We then moved back to Ireland, and when Sienna came along, we had to put off going on foreign holidays or getting a new car because we wanted to prioritise buying a home. We love travelling so it is was quite hard."

Following their return home, Sarah and Declan began renting a home in Bohernabreena in the Dublin Mountains. But Declan had his heart set on a change of career, and when he began an apprenticeship, the family opted to save the rent money by moving to Sarah's childhood home.

"It is hard when you have lived out of home for so long to start living with your parents, but they are very accommodating, which is not easy with a two-year-old," she says.

The couple, who intend to begin house-hunting next month, would ideally like to buy a second-hand doer-upper near Sarah's parents in Knocklyon or Declan's parents in Firhouse so they can continue to have help with childminding with both sets of grandparents, and remain within easy commuting distance to Sarah's workplace in Sandyford.

"The reality is we probably won't be able to afford to live in either place so we might look at buying in a part of Tallaght," Sarah says.

"Renting in the area is expensive and legalities around renting seem just shocking. It wouldn't be fair on Sienna to put her in a situation where we would have to move because of a rent increase. I've heard too many horror stories of rents being increased by 60pc for us to consider it. Sienna is in a crèche three days a week and with her nana two days a week, yet the crèche still amounts to a mortgage payment.

"We will also have to think outside the box when it comes to buying a home because we will not be able to buy a new-build, but we still want a house with a minimum of two bedrooms, a garden for Sienna, and parking for two cars. Dec worked in construction for many years so he could do a lot of the work on a second-hand house. This way, we could add value to a house and move to a larger home in three to five years. And we're not afraid of a project."

Sarah and Declan have visited mortgage brokers and an adviser on EBS to determine how much they can borrow and hope to get pre-approval for a mortgage at the end of January so they can start viewing houses. In the meantime, the couple are trying to resist temptation to browse property online.

"We have both the Daft and MyHome apps on our phones so we can't help but look!" Sarah says.

Moving in 2017

- The downsizer: 'I love my quirky home but when my son leaves, it will be too big for me'
- The Single Man: 'I'm worried rent rises will delay my departure from Generation Rent'
- The Trader-Upper: 'After decade in negative equity, we can finally move' 

Irish Independent

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