Thursday 22 February 2018

The trader-upper: 'I was so sure of getting a mortgage, to the point of being arrogant about it'

Budget: Between €300k and €400k

TCD lecturer Ann Nolan was refused a mortgage because of her job. Photo: Bryan Meade
TCD lecturer Ann Nolan was refused a mortgage because of her job. Photo: Bryan Meade

Ann Nolan is a 50-year-old academic researcher at Trinity College Dublin with a doctorate in philosophy, specialising in social policy and international development. She thought she'd be a 'sure thing' financially when it came to getting a mortgage but has been turned down by her bank, despite having a substantial deposit and a property to sell.

"I just didn't anticipate it at all. I was so sure about getting a mortgage to the point of being arrogant about it," says Ann.

"I've been with the same bank since I was a student. I have an exemplary credit record; I've never had an overdraft and never been in debt. I just cannot understand their refusal, especially as I'm looking to borrow substantially less than the value of any prospective property."

According to Ann, her age coupled with the insecurity of her job, were cited as key factors in being turned down.

"My job is dependent on government and EU funding and I work on a rolling three-year contract. I've been employed with Trinity since 2009 and have just signed a new contract until 2020.

"Other academics like me are in the same boat regarding contracts, although I'm financially better off than most, with an annual salary of €44,000."

Ann currently lives in a one-bed apartment in Mountjoy Square, which she bought 21 years ago. She has a top-end budget of €400,000 and would ideally like to trade up to a two-bed house with a garden, for her dog, and parking, in the Dublin 1, 3, 7 or 9 areas.

"I've been looking for a while now but prices just keep going up. It's frustrating. I saw a property in Clontarf for €295k but when I went to view it, I was told the lowest offer they would accept was €320k. Another tiny 55 sq-metre two-bed I viewed in Dublin 3 was on the market for €325k and sold for €370k.

"Because of the type of property I'm after too, I'm competing with investors and downsizers. I can't afford the extra cash for a fixer-upper and the ones that don't need work sell quickly... The market has all the feelings of a boom and I just don't know whether to buy or wait it out until the next crash," says Ann. Either way, she has plans to approach more lenders to secure a loan.

Irish Independent

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