herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Nightmare of gazumping, rudeness and queues ... but it was worth it in the end

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When we finally got the keys to our new house last week, it was with no small amount of relief Heavily pregnant, with a 17-month-old son, and a stressed-out hubby, the past year has been nothing short of a nightmare.

When we tentatively dipped our toes in the housing market, little did we know the mental gymnastics that lay ahead of us when it came to securing a new home.

Gazumping, rude estate agents, unscrupulous banks, lengthy queues at viewings - they all became commonplace to us as we tried to navigate the treacherous waters of the current property market.

Weekends were ruined as we spent every Saturday trawling around properties in the Dublin 3, 5 and 7 areas, hoping desperately that the house would match the glossy pictures in the brochure.

DEMAND

The drastic lack of supply is fuelling the demand and it's a situation that's getting worse by the day.

In one instance, the asking price of a house we wanted jumped €81,000 from the original asking price, all in a matter of weeks.

In another case, the estate agent refused to pass on our bid to the vendors as we weren't cash buyers.

One particular gem we found in Dollymount seemed perfect for us, until the vendor decided to take it off the market and wait another six months until the prices went up even more.

And let's be clear here from the outset - we weren't looking for the Palace of Versailles. Our hopes were of finding a three or four-bedroomed house with a garden and enough space to accommodate our growing family.

It seemed simple enough at the start. Until we realised that that particular kind of property was the one most in-demand among hard-pressed families hoping to upgrade from their Boom-time properties.

Finding out that we were expecting baby number two only added to all the fun with pre-natal Yoga classes an essential part of not losing my mind through the whole madness.

It eventually got to the stage where we had to move out of our old property, and we had to move in with relatives while we continued our trawl.

There was finally light at the end of the tunnel last June. We found a gorgeous mid-terraced property in Clontarf, an area we had originally ruled out as being beyond our budget. We previously had our hearts set on a semi-detached property to give us extra room to extend in the future.

But that was until we saw this house near St Anne's Park, with its two reception rooms, large kitchen, three bedrooms and converted attic space.

Best of all was the sprawling, south-facing back garden where this hormonally-filled reporter could imagine her two babies playing in the sunshine.

My husband Eoin and I both knew we had found 'the one'. And after all the hassle we had, it couldn't have been any easier to seal the deal.

We put in the highest bid possible without having to sell any kidneys and a mere ten weeks later, the house was ours.

And what is our Government doing? Nothing... sitting back and letting the situation get worse without any imaginative ways to tackle the issue, while the estate agents and the banks gleefully continue watching the prices soar.

We found our happy ending, but my heart goes out to the thousands of other families still desperately trying to get on the property ladder in the midst of what looks like a new property bubble.

hnews@herald.ie

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