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The Central Bank Mortgage Rules

Kearney Property, Central Bank Lending Rules

The Central Bank of Ireland has a series of lending rules in place for residential property which are reviewed on an annual basis.  For 2020, these rules remain unchanged.  Here’s a reminder of what they are:

Loan-to-Value Limits

The LTV limit requires you to have a minimum deposit before you can get a mortgage. The size of this deposit depends on what category of buyer you are.

  • First-time-buyers need to have a minimum deposit of 10%
  • Second and subsequent buyers need to have a minimum deposit of 20%
  • Buy-to-let buyers need to have a minimum deposit of 30%.

Banks and other lenders have the freedom to lend a certain amount above these limits. In any one calendar year they can give an allowance to:

  • Up to 5% of the value of mortgages to first time buyers
  • Up to 20% of the value of mortgages to second and subsequent buyers
  • Up to 10% of the value of mortgages to buy-to-let buyers.

Loan-to-Income Limits

The LTI limit restricts the amount of money you can borrow to a maximum of 3.5 times your gross income. So for example, a couple with a combined income of €100,000 can borrow up to a maximum of €350,000.

Lenders do have the freedom to lend a certain amount above these limits. In any one calendar year they can give an allowance to:

  • Up to 20% of the value of mortgages to first-time buyers
  • Up to 10% of the value of mortgages to second and subsequent buyers
  • Up to 10% of the value of mortgages to buy-to-let buyers

The measures are designed to ensure that banks and other lenders lend money sensibly. They are also designed to stop house buyers from borrowing more than they can afford and prevent excess credit from building up within the Irish financial system.

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Energy Efficient Home Heating

Kearney Property, Home Heating

We are all well aware that Ireland is consistently failing to achieve its carbon emission targets set by the EU.  Whilst major reform can only be brought about at Government level, we can all do our bit in our homes to reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy and help save our planet. 

More than 70% of the average household energy consumption is used by central heating systems.  The average homeowner spends €1,850 heating their home each year. 

But it’s November.  There’s a definite nip in the air and we need to heat our homes.  What are the most energy efficient options and what can we do to cut down on heating usage?

Insulation
Quality insulation reduces the amount of heat needed to warm our homes.  There are three types of wall insulation: cavity wall insulation and, external wall insulation and internal dry lining. On average, a home loses between 20 – 30% of its heat through walls. You can save up to €600 per year on heating bills through properly insulating your walls.  Grants for insulation are available in many circumstances that range from €300 for attic insulation, to €6,000 for external wall insulation.

Heat pumps
Grants are also available for heat pump systems.  These are electrical devices which convert energy from the air outside into useful heat, in the same way a fridge extracts heat from its inside. In well-insulated houses they are very economical to run. They are an extremely efficient alternative to traditional oil, gas, solid fuel and electric home heating systems. Once the heat is within the pump, it is distributed within the home through radiators, underfloor heating or warm air units.

Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems
These systems are best for new or renovated buildings.  The HRV System recovers heat from the air that is evaporated from the hot water used in bathrooms and kitchens and then transfers this heat into fresh air that is ventilated into your home.

Electricity Supplier
Switching to a renewable energy electricity supplier will reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions. Before switching, compare tariffs to get one that works for you.

Zoned Heating
Ensure your heating system has the ability to heat particular zones of your home independently of each other, for example, downstairs only.  One switch to power the whole house is extremely wasteful. 

Biomass Boiler
Biomass boilers use wood chips, wood pellets or logs as their primary source of fuel.  They need more space to install since they are bigger than the average oil-fired boilers.  Also ensure you can source a fuel supplier before installing. 

Under-Floor Hot Water Pipes
Hot water pipes significantly reduce the household energy consumption when you install them under the floorboards. Much easier to do when building rather than altering afterwards. 

Radiator Panels
Radiator panels are among the most affordable energy efficiency measures that can be taken in a home.  They are also easy to install and require little maintenance. Radiator panels work by reflecting the heat produced by the radiators to ensure that the heat warms up the room instead of the walls.

Thermostat
The higher you set your heating appliance, the higher the household energy consumption levels. At 18⁰C, your house is warm and comfortable.  Set your radiator thermostat and the individual radiator valves to maintain this temperature. 

Rearrange your Furniture
The layout of your furniture may determine the heat absorption rates of your house. For instance, a couch positioned in front of a radiator absorbs the heat and so more heat is generated to warm the room.  Moving the sofa away from the heater helps heat circulate freely. You should position furniture pieces with dense fabric away from your central heating appliance.

Curtains
Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to enter the house.  The heat from the sun will help maintain warm temperatures.  Close them when it starts to get dark outside as they add an extra layer of insulation at night needed to maintain warmth.

Small changes will make a big difference.

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Student Accommodation? Do Your Homework.

Kearney Property, Student Accommodation

With the new college year just upon us, there are still students finding it difficult to source accommodation.  At this stage, students may be tempted to take ‘anything’.  However, a rash decision will most certainly lead to regret in the long run. 

Here are our top tips for students around the country who are looking for accommodation.

  1. If you are using a letting agent to source accommodation for you, make sure the agent is registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority. Letting Agents, Estate Agents and Auctioneers in the Republic of Ireland are all required to register with the PSRA.  Unfortunately, this time of year usually sees an increase in bogus letting agents, set out to specifically target students.  Unlicensed letting agents are breaking the law and do not provide any consumer protection. 
  2. Never pay a deposit or rent online or over the phone without meeting the landlord or agency first.
  3. After viewing the property and if you are happy to proceed, pay electronically by bank transfer if possible, as cash isn’t traceable. If you have to pay in cash, make sure you always get a receipt.
  4. Before you move in, create an inventory list of the contents.  Take pictures of any damages so that anything that was already broken, chipped, peeled or damaged doesn’t get taken out of your deposit as a penalty.
  5. Make sure the contract you sign is for the period you intend to stay in the accommodation. For example, if you intend to leave for the summer, the contract should only be for the college term and not for 12 months. 
  6. Don’t just trust your gut instinct.  Be vigilant and use the supports available through the Accommodation Office of your college.  Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
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Oh I Do Love to Be Beside the Sea!

Kearney Property, Curracloe Beach

Who doesn’t love to be beside the sea in Summertime? The coastline of Wexford is at it’s most beautiful at this time of year, with an abundance of white sandy beaches and hidden bays where we can soak up the sunshine! Taking a dip in the sea is good for the mind, body and soul and the bracing sea air is a tonic after a day’s work. With long evenings and the sea within splashing distance, living in Wexford allows us to feel like we’re on holiday every day! Here are Wexford’s top beaches that we love to visit.

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New Year, New Beginnings

KearneyProperty, 2019

Have you been thinking about selling your house in Wexford but unsure when is the best time to make the move? A new year is always a good time to ‘get your house in order’! If you’re holding out for the optimum price or not sure where to start, give us a call and we will advise you on what’s involved and give you a free appraisal of your property.

Of course, if you sell your home, you’ll then need somewhere else to live! We can sort that our for you too. Phase 3 of Ard Uisce on Whiterock Hill will be launched later in the Spring. We also have many second hand homes across the county for sale.

So, new year, new move? Let us help you. Contact us here.

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Welcome to our 2nd Generation Website!

We have just launched our second generation website in order to enhance the quality and accessibility of our wide range of properties for sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants.

Check out our ‘Property Search’ function which enables you to find the ideal property for you – refine your search by location, property type or price range.

Our website now offers a fully responsive solution for desktops, mobiles and tablets, which means that you can easily browse through our current property listings, regardless of whether you are using a PC, smart-phone or tablet.  The content and images adapt instantly as it recognises the type of device being used.

There was a very real need to have our information easily accessible and mobile friendly for people on-the-go, as people love to ‘window shop’, even for property, on their mobile phones!

We plan to roll out more content and features over the coming month.  Watch this space. . .