Saturday 24 February 2018

Not our dream home, but it offers perfect shelter from bidding storm

Stock picture
Stock picture
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

Standing in the back garden of our new home, we could barely contain our excitement. After eight months of weekend viewings and spiralling bidding wars, we had managed to get our hands on a home...and we weren't letting go.

The estate agent asked me to remind him how much we had paid for the property - there had been a three-month lag between when we went 'sale agreed' and the day we got the keys. He then proceeded to tell me that he'd be confident he could get a further €30,000 for it now.

I allowed myself to feel smug before I momentarily considered putting it back on the market. Clearly we had a gift for property investment! Was I now a property mogul?

This was followed by instant guilt...I was now everything I had come to hate so much over the previous year.

Our demands were quite broad. We were looking for a three-bed home in north Dublin within the M50. Our price range was between €300,000 and €400,000 with a bit of wiggle room, but not much.

A four-bed terrace house in Glasnevin went from an asking price of €375,000 to €435,000 in a week; a three-bed in Beaumont started at €385,000 before we eventually tapped out at €430,000; and our dream home in Whitehall started at €390,000 before finishing at something close to €450,000.

The house we did eventually buy was, strangely, one of the first we bid on. When the price was reduced, we duked it out with a second bidder for a fortnight before our offer came out on top - three months after our first bid.

With gritted teeth we got through the process, bringing us to that morning standing in the garden of our new home with the estate agent.

The reason that we were standing on the lawn rather than in the house was that the key wasn't working and we were waiting for his colleague to arrive with a spare. In the meantime, the auctioneer was regaling us with stories of how there are now anything up to 10 bidders on homes. He wasn't mentioning the properties that are sitting there for a while or the homeowners who aren't willing to budge.

Eventually his colleague arrived up in a shiny BMW and an even shinier suit. The key worked and we unlocked our first home. It's not the perfect home that we'd always dreamed of but it offers the perfect shelter from the bidding storm raging around us.

Irish Independent

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