Ireland Owners Guide
Owning a Holiday Home in Ireland (Eire)
This is a country of mellow lush hills, rolling pastures, atmospheric brooding mountains, tranquil lakes and clean rivers with some excellent fishing. Like parts of France, it is a country that seems to offer British visitors a feeling of familiarity, but with a more relaxed pace, far more space and fewer roads. This is no illusion because there are about 1/5 of the number of people per square kilometre in Ireland than there are in the UK.
The country enjoys a largely unspoilt coastline – particularly on the wild Atlantic coast, with legendary sandy beaches, rolling surf and dramatic cliffs – County Clare has the highest seacliffs in Europe at Moher. Galway offers the Aran islands and woodlands and not forgetting the Galway Oyster Festival. Ireland boasts fine country houses open to the public such as Curraghmore House, Slane and Castleton House and houses with landscaped gardens such as Kylemore Abbey and Powerscourt House.
As well as being as a walkers’, horseriders’, cyclists’ and anglers’ paradise, in addition, the towns of Ireland are friendly and inviting. The capital Dublin was originally settled by the Vikings in the 9th century and while it has had at times a turbulent and sometimes tragic history, these days is a welcoming, sophisticated, vibrant and elegant city which offers good shopping and boutique hotels. There are some perfect Georgian squares and cobbled streets. It is the capital of a modern, prosperous European country and it is a cultural hotbed. This is the city where Oscar Wilde was born, Handel’s Messiah was first performed and in which James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses is set. At Trinity University the wonderfully illuminated Book of Kells, a masterpiece from the 8th century is housed. The University City of Cork is a centre for theatre, dance, film and poetry, has an opera house and an annual film festival. Wexford on eastern coast offers an opera festival and fringe festival. Ireland is not short of cultural pursuits and excellence and the shared common language means that British visitors can be entertained by, or perhaps take part in many cultural activities. Or they can just relax at the local pub with a pint of Guinness in hand, listening to music by a peat fire.
Friendly natives and a slower way of life (at least in the countryside) makes this an attractive place to have a second home, and if you have family in Ireland this is further attraction. If you don’t mind a holiday home in a climate generally lacking in heat and wetter than the UK’s, and your interests lie in different areas than laying out on the beach, then this would certainly be an interesting location for your holiday home. Good ferry and air links to Ireland from the UK are another plus.
Learning About Ireland and getting about:
Explore the country and find out what you like, what allowances for local customs you might have to make and what is important to you on balance. Find out how long it takes to travel to your holiday home and from your holiday home to places of interest. Go in all seasons to see how things are in a deep dark winter, particularly in places like seaside towns, which, can be very different in character outside of the spring and summer seasons. If you will want to rent out your holiday home this will be a particularly important piece of research. Summer is short in Ireland, however many people enjoy taking breaks in the autumn and winter when in fact the weather can be more settled and when things are calmer and there is not as much hustle and bustle. Cultural and other events mean that visitors can be attracted throughout the year.
Service and product providers
Make provision to pay for the essentials of owning property, particularly when you live remotely from it most of the time. When planning to take on a holiday home, you must ensure that you budget for any mortgage payments and necessary insurance. Buildings’ and contents’ insurance for the holiday home, second home local authority council tax and any service charges if in a communal setting. Utility bills, Irish TV licence, broadband etc. Someone to keep an eye on the place – and hold a key, plumbers for burst pipes, gardeners to keep the house looking neat and lived in, builders for maintenance and extensions etc.
Things to do when you are there
Make the most of the area that you have chosen to live in. Getting involved in the local community, culture, entertainment, miscellaneous activities, keeping fit and healthy.
Renting out your holiday home:
You may plan from the start to rent out your holiday home for holiday use, or you may find this option more attractive at some point in the future. Your holiday home will then need to be kept in tiptop condition, with clean furniture in good condition and pristine crisp linen. Adequate holiday home insurance will be required which should include liability cover and loss of rent. If you are going to rent your home for holiday lets a freeview TV with DVD player may not be enough for today’s renters, particularly when unreliable weather confines people indoors. You might wish to invest in providing a full entertainment package, multichannel television and wi-fi. In that case you will not just be looking at a TV licence but the cost of on-going cable/ satellite packages, broadband. However these added facilities will hopefully enhance the income you could earn from holiday home lets.