AIB First Time Home Buyers Checklist

Piggybank & house on seesaw.

Navigating to buying your first home can be a tricky journey. Use our First Time Buyers checklist for things you should look out for when choosing your first dream home.

Get connected
Timing and information are everything when buying a home. To make things easier for yourself, set up search and property alerts on the top property websites. This will tell you when a property in your target area and price range becomes available and you can act quickly.

Also, to see how much properties in your target area are actually selling for, check out the Property Price Register.

Be organised
You will almost certainly have to view a lot of homes before you find the perfect one for you. Keep a record of the properties you view by taking your own photographs and recording the important details of each of these, ideally in a spreadsheet. Also keep notes on the property and updates on the bidding.

Know your area
It’s important to do research and get to fully know the area you are considering buying your house in. As with every region, there are often bad parts of ‘good areas’ and good parts of ‘bad areas’.

BER essentials
Nowadays, every house is required to have a Building Energy Rating (BER) certificate. This is a vitally important factor when you are deciding how much you should pay for your home as an energy rating that is low could result in a high heating cost. It is also important to look into any grants you may be eligible for in this area including the Better Energy Homes Scheme and Warmer Homes Scheme.

Be realistic
Accepting and being realistic about what you can afford, where exactly you want to live and adjusting your expectations can result in a better deal and a happier buying experience.

Never mind the decor
Try and look beyond dodgy paint colour choices and bad bathroom designs. All of these can be fixed once the place is yours. Plus, you may be able to get a better deal as less savvy buyers could allow elements like this to dissuade them.

Concentrate on what's important
Concentrate on factors which really affect the price of a house including: closeness to, schools, transport and shops as well as condition, location, size and potential to rent.

Don’t rush in
If you are really interested in a property, don’t be tempted to rush in and bid about the asking price. By doing this, you’re just driving the price up. However, at the same time, don’t be afraid to make an offer. At this stage, you are not legally bound and in the event anything unwelcome arises, you can opt out even if you have put down a deposit.

For the cost of a few hundred euro, this is a worthwhile investment. Not only will it bring to light any issues which may need your attention once you do buy the property, it may be required by some lenders as a lending criteria and it will be a valuable asset should you wish to resell and move up the property ladder.

If you’re a first time buyer considering buying your first home in Ireland, check out our AIB First Time Buyers Guide. Please also use our AIB Mortgage Calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an authorised agent and servicer of AIB Mortgage Bank u.c. in relation to the origination and servicing of mortgage loans and mortgages. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and AIB Mortgage Bank u.c. are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

For regulatory information, please see here.