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A life in negative equity is barely a life at all

A life in negative equity is barely a life at all

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A life in negative equity is barely a life at all

There's always a reason not to buy.

During the boom, I still had ambitions to travel the world.

When leaving "it" all behind, the last thing you'd want on your mind is a property.

When the crash came and prices plummeted to something close to affordable, there was 'nothing' worth buying.

Now we're in the upturn. A headline in the Irish Independent last August roared: 'Dublin house prices rise €8,100 in just one month.'

The race is back on. Getting on the ladder is back in vogue.

Like a nation of goldfish, we're queueing up outside show houses for Saturday fun and fighting with banks for bigger mortgages.

But maybe there's no harm in sitting back and letting it all wash over for another while.

I've seen too many friends scalded by the downturn.

A life in negative equity is barely a life at all.

Sometimes it was hard not to feel a bit smug about paying 'dead money' when you see others struggling with houses they've grown to resent.

Some settled for the wrong place, thinking it was the right time.

Others stretched their bank balance to get a little closer to the right location, only to discover the boom didn't get boomier and they couldn't afford it.

But still the question persists: 'Any sign of you buying?'

It comes from parents who think it's time to settle down.

It comes from friends who want to measure their own life advancement against yours.

It comes from strangers, just looking to make polite conversation.

Where once the weather was the nation's default topic for a chat, property is now a fair substitute.

Some day I'll take the plunge but for now the answer is no.

Irish Independent