Wednesday 22 November 2017

Moving concerns: The professional couple - Budget: €300,000+

From first-time buyers to downsizers, the same concerns are felt. Deirdre Reynolds speaks to the movers and shakers

Nerilee Ceatha and Barbara Clinton from Dublin.

A utility room with a sink in which to wash her muddy runners is what Nerilee Ceatha is most looking forward to about moving home in 2016.

Professional couple Nerilee Ceatha and Barbara Clinton at home in Dublin 7. Pic. Bryan Meade
Professional couple Nerilee Ceatha and Barbara Clinton at home in Dublin 7. Pic. Bryan Meade

The social work team leader and her long-term partner Barbara Clinton, an online editor, are currently gearing up to move the four kilometres or so from Stoneybatter to Drumcondra, where they're sale agreed on a two-bedroom terraced house.

After viewing more than 60 properties in the past year, the forty-something couple are delighted to have finally found 'The One'.

Nerilee says: "People say when you find the right place, you'll fall in love, but I'm not so sure. We saw a lot of 'right house, wrong location' or 'right location, wrong house'.

"By June, we had seen 60 properties and thought, 'This is a bit excessive'. I don't believe there's such a thing as the perfect house, just a house with the potential to be perfect for you."

After 15 years living in a cottage, which they've just sold, now they feel they've come close enough with the end-of-terrace property, and are hoping to seal the deal some time this month.

"We've been in this house for the past 15 years," New Zealander Nerilee says. "So, for us, it was a huge decision to move. Part of the reason it took us so long to find anywhere was that we knew we were never going to find another neighbourhood like the one we're leaving.

"In New Zealand, people spend a lot of time in their bare feet moving between the house and the garden. What we wanted was a south-facing property with a good indoor-outdoor flow.

"Mostly, I'm just excited about having more space - and my own utility room!"

Employing the services of a financial advisor, who acted as "a buffer" between the couple and their mortgage provider, helped make the process of buying and selling as painless as possible, according to Nerilee. "We have been very fortunate with the process. Even the mortgage process, which could have been stressful, was very straightforward.

"We also had a fabulous conveyancing solicitor who helped talk us through the process and a builder who came out and looked at properties with us."

As demand continues to outstrip supply this year, she urged other home-hunters to keep the faith too: "You hear stories of people being left devastated after deals fall through. I think you just have to hold on to the idea that that there will be a house for you and there will be a buyer for yours.

"We're really hoping to sign and exchange contracts this month," Nerilee adds. "If, for any reason, things do not go to plan, we're ready to go again. It's been a really good learning curve."

Irish Independent

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