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Top: The village of Newport, Co. Tipperary, and (inset) a similar house to the one April and her family are purchasing. Photo by: Google Images

The Irish Homecoming: The winding road to home ownership

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Top: The village of Newport, Co. Tipperary, and (inset) a similar house to the one April and her family are purchasing. Photo by: Google Images

They asked for my landlady. I said we were her tenants. The two men (Irish) looked at each other in confusion. I asked was everything okay. The taller of the two said, “It’s not really.”

 He explained that the house we had been renting since our return from New York last year had been – as of earlier that day — taken over by receivers acting on behalf of the Bank of Scotland. To say I was astounded is an understatement.

Did this thing really happen to people’s private homes?  Of course it did.  I had just recently heard a slew of people on the Joe Duffy radio show telling their own stories, but what did that mean for us as tenants?

When I asked the men that question they said they weren’t exactly sure but said protocol was that the house would have to be vacated sooner rather than later because it was going to be put on the market for sale and the estate agent dealing with it would need it vacant in order to show it to potential buyers.

My mind was racing. There was no way we could possibly move all our stuff into a short term rental – we had just been approved for the mortgage — for a few months and then move it out again. No landlord was going to rent an unfurnished house to us for three or four months, and besides, I was in the middle of launching my first issue of a wedding magazine and we have two babies.

After airing my concerns to the two lads standing at the door they said they would see if an exception could be made to accommodate our circumstances. They said they would get back to us.

A week passed, then two but true to their word they returned with a contract allowing us to remain in the house until December 8 (my birthday). We just have to pay them the €950 rental each month. 
The landlord was extremely apologetic to us about the situation and seemed as shocked as us to have her house taken away. She didn’t get into her financial troubles with us, but I felt sorry for her situation.

So now it’s the start of October. Our solicitor tells us we should be getting the keys to our first home in the next two weeks, all going well.  It’s all very exciting.

We have some minor cosmetic jobs to do to it before we move in – some painting, changing out carpets and floors and putting in a fireplace, but if all goes according to plan we should be into our Tipperary home by the end of October.

It’s been an interesting and at the same time stressful time shopping for a house but I’m sure when we turn the key to our home in Ireland it will have all been worth it. 

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