The Ryan Review
Good news emanating about the still sluggish property market. According to a recent survey from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) 20pc of those renting say they plan to buy over the next 12 months.
With prices increasing in Dublin and even beginning to hint upwards elsewhere, and particularly in the prime apartment market, this is a not an unexpected result.
However, mortgages remain as difficult to secure as ever and 12 months out is a good time to get started with lining up your ducks.
Here's what you can do straightaway:
* Check your credit rating. It's not a secret that only the banks have access to. You are entitled to the same information. For €6 you can apply to the Irish Credit Bureau (www.icb.ie) to see your credit history and, more importantly, make sure it's accurate. It shows at least two years of payments on any and all loans or credit you have and a black mark for even one missed payment can put you out of the running for a mortgage. If it's inaccurate, get it changed before the bank spots it.
* Apply for the mortgage. It's a tortuous process and worth commencing even if you haven't started house hunting yet. My advice is to use a mortgage broker because honestly, it will do your head in.
* Get quotes for life cover. This is a mandatory requirement for mortgages but underwriting can take longer than you think, especially if there is medical information to be sought. You do not have to buy the cover offered by the bank, however "handy" they make that out to be.
* Start house hunting. No need to view or buy, but it's never too early to get a sense of what's available – become picky now because it will stop you getting desperate later.