I am often asked why we decided to move to Ireland. Friends wonder why when we could of chosen any other European country with sunshine we chose Ireland. It cant be the climate surely as this is the only place where you can have sun, rain, hail and snow in the space of 2 hours.
So it must be friends and family then they say. Actually it was not – we didn’t know anyone when we first came so perhaps that seems even more astounding. My go to story is that as we couldn’t afford land in the UK we simply stuck a pin in the Irish map and it landed on Limerick. As with all good stories it wasn’t quite like that but not far off. We had stumbled across an Irish property website and couldn’t believe our eyes, prices seemed so cheap – not just for the ruins we were looking at but for large finished houses as well.
At this point we did do research – as all good estate agents would tell you to do. We set our budget – 50,000 Euros and then went for it, weeded out the ones we felt didn’t suit us and eventually we had 2 areas left. We “travelled” the roads around Roscommon and Newcastle West on Google earth and saw the houses and single tracks leading to all the picturesque places, we investigated job markets just in case and finally settled on 6 houses to view in County Limerick.
So I can’t say we left it all to chance – you do have to do the research when you are looking into moving abroad, especially if money prevents copious trips to view properties in person. We actually came over from the UK twice but each time with prearranged appointments and plans for everyday of the week to maximise the time we had.
We met some characters along the way – one interesting estate agent told us it was only the feckin English who wanted the old stone cottages as the Irish wouldn’t be seen dead in them as they were all crap. Then another chap couldn’t even find the house he was selling and as we were following him we had a few amusing moments as he stopped every half mile or so, knocked on peoples doors and asked them if they knew where Paddy’s house that was for sale. We eventually found the small 3 room cottage after about 2 hours searching, needless to say we didn’t buy that as I wasn’t sure we would ever be able to find it again. The final viewing before we found our beautiful home was also disappointing as after being handed the keys, some very vague directions and a picture we set off for a promising house, we couldn’t find it anywhere – in the end we stopped and asked a builder if he knew of the house, I do he said – its the one behind me – I bought it 6 months ago, so it goes to show that life moves at a slower pace here and the office clearly had forgotten they had even sold the property – but hey that’s life.
We spoke to locals both Irish and English alike, one lovely lady Delphine explained about the sort of land we should be looking for and that was incredibly helpful. We chose a very rural location – as I wanted to be very isolated really but that might not be for you, think about what you need to survive:- Schools, Doctors, Shops, Work and once you know what you have to have then the rest will follow.
So what I love most about Ireland is that many towns still have lots of areas around them that are totally rural and properties are all so individual from the stone bungalow to the new mansion with land around it – and if you are really game perhaps the odd church or too, be prepared though as many are very derelict and need a lot of work. You dont have to stray to far off the beaten track unless you want to of course.
Check out this lovely lady’s website – she is investigating these properties for you and making videos so that you can see what you get.
Here’s a few to wet your whistle
Needs interior work but with views of the sea, 2.5 acres of land its pretty cool for 69,000 Euros.
A real doer upper this one but who could complain too much for 29,000 Euros.