Journalists

Saturday 20 July 2019

A reader's daughter is advised to seek legal advice. Stock picture

Home economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q We own a holiday home which has given our family many happy years. We are now retired and have given the house to our three children who have families of their own and they arrange visits between them. We wanted them to own it entirely, rather than keep asking us if it was okay to go down. We drew up a contract via a solicitor a few years ago. However, now one of our children is going through a divorce and her husband is claiming a share of the property. We would be devastated if it had to be sold or otherwise encumbered with his name on it. What is he entitled...

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Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q My father left an inheritance to me and my two sons which enabled us to purchase a flat in joint names near their university with me mortgaging the balance. They lived there (rent free) for seven years and we agreed to rent it out for the past five years. However, my eldest son now wants to buy a place of his own and the younger one has agreed to buy out his third. Will it hamper his chances of getting a mortgage and is he still a first-time buyer since he didn't own an entire property?

Retro-fitting older houses with heat pumps is a waste of money

Home economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q I'm heading for the big five-oh birthday, have recently separated and will be purchasing my own home in the next few months. My dream is to live by the sea but I have children in secondary school for the next three years in the midlands. My question is, if I purchase a house in, say Dublin, and rent it out for living in at a future date, and then rent another house near my children's school, will I be penalised tax wise for not living in my home?

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Home economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q Can you advise whether it is worth me getting a power of attorney in regard to my ailing mother? Although mentally well, she is frail and can be forgetful and I am worried she could make poor decisions about her money. I would like something that would mean I have to at least co-sign her decisions, to protect her from being scammed or silly, especially when it comes to her house, which she has set aside for myself and my sister. It is complicated by the fact that we have another sibling, and one of his children has already had her write him a cheque, which I am very cross...

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Ask Sinead: 'My late mother gave me €35k as a gift years ago... my sisters now want this deducted from my share of the will' 

Q Around 10 years ago my mother gave me €35,000 at a low point in my life. It was help toward re-starting my life after divorce and I was very grateful. My two siblings knew about the gift. Our mother has now died and has left her house to be sold and the proceeds equally distributed between the three of us, but my sisters believe the €35,000 should be deducted from my share since the...

The ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ initiative aims to provide 25,000 new homes by 2021. Stock photo

Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q We were recently approved for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RBHL). We were delighted to get approval as this meant we could now get an affordable mortgage, or so we thought. On closer inspection, we realised we were tied into a mortgage protection provider called Generali Pan Europe which will charge 0.55pc of our loan amount working out as an extra €132 per month. This is up to 10 times more expensive than most other providers.

Disruptor: Fintech company N26 offers an online banking solution with a Mastercard debit card

Your Money: Cash in on online bank shake-up 

They're called disrupters - online banks using technology to unseat the traditional players. It's changing the face of banking as we know it, especially among younger people who want to 'tap and go', and are mystified by the thought of actually visiting a bank branch, or waiting for money to leave or arrive in days rather than seconds. They don't exist in bricks and mortar, but are hoovering up customers and becoming serious players in the money market. Are they worth it? Are they safe?

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Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Q I am looking for a smallish mortgage on my house, which currently has none, to build an extension. I need around €60,000 and the house is worth 10 times that, so I don't anticipate a problem getting the loan. My question is: I jointly own a property with my former partner where he lives and we let the other room and will, at some point probably sell, but for the moment the rental income is more valuable as it's covered by the rent-a-room scheme. It is mortgaged for about €200,000. If I take out a mortgage on my own house now, will this count against me?

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Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Question:My wife passed away and we have no children. My home is worth perhaps €400,000, and I have around €25,000 in the post office. I live more or less on my pension, which is €16,200 including the old age pension. My wife's death has brought my own mortality into focus. I am 79 and while I have five nieces and nephews I would certainly leave something to, I would prefer my house to be left to a charity where it could be used to house people in need. How would one go about this?

A bridging loan isn't available to a couple who wish to downsize

Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Question: I read with interest your paper's article about older folk freeing up their houses and downsizing. We are such a couple and find banks are unwilling to help us. We have a five-bed house ready for the market which is mortgage free and valued at €650,000. Our plan is to build a smaller house in our side garden. Ideally we wish to remain in our family home while the new house is being built as we have a disabled daughter who needs a downstairs bedroom. We have asked various banks to borrow the build cost while offering our own home as a guarantee. Each one has declined...

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Home Economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions 

Question: My father is in his late 80s and gets around independently with a walker. He does not need a nursing home and would refuse one in any event. What he does need is someone around most of the time as he is in danger of falling and he can't even do light housework so things are piling up, but we have found the private care agencies very expensive. At €25 an hour he simply cannot afford them and he was refused a Home Care Package. We considered a student under the rent-a-room scheme but I was worried they would be coming and going. I live 50km away and can't be there...