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Making the first step on to the property ladder

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Over the next few weeks we will discuss the steps involved in purchasing your first home.

This week Step 1 is The Deposit. Before we decide to jump on the property ladder we need to have sufficient funds together for the deposit.

Steps to buying that first home:

THE DEPOSIT

Saving the deposit for a new home has become one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. First-time buyers typically need a deposit equivalent to a tenth of the value of their home and with the average asking price of a home nationwide being almost €250,000, that is a significant hurdle.
Soaring house prices have added to the challenge - the longer it takes to get the deposit together for a home, the more likely a house hunter is to be priced out of a particular area.
So how do you save that deposit as quickly as possible?

MOVE BACK HOME

With rents soaring it could take decades to save up the deposit for a home and for this reason, it makes sense to move back home with your parents if saving for a deposit.

ASK FOR HELP

Many young buyers have turned to their parents for help with the house deposit. The vast majority of first-time buyers are getting gifts from their parents towards the deposit.
Lenders require you to have a gift letter from the donor. That letter specifies the sum of money being gifted, the name of the donor, and a signature from the donor confirming that you do not need to repay the money gifted - and that the donor has no recourse to the property.

START SAVING NOW

The earlier you start to save up regularly for your deposit, and the fussier you are about the account you choose, the better. Boost the amount you can save by cutting back on luxuries and leading a cheaper lifestyle. Save into an account which pays better interest than normal. Regular savings accounts typically pay better interest than lump sum deposit accounts - as long as you choose an account which pays more than one percent interest.

CONSIDER OTHER AREAS

Many first-time buyers have their hearts set on buying in a particular area - but are quickly forced to look elsewhere due to soaring prices. Moving to the satellite towns and villages could make it easier to afford a home, and get the deposit together. Know what you're getting into before making such a move though. Think about how you will commute to work - and how practical the commute is.
Be aware too that moving away from family and friends can be difficult. If you have children, or are thinking of having children, ask what kind of support network you will have around you in your home.

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Cost of agricultural land set to increase by 8% this year

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week. […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week.

It predicts an increase in land values by an average of 8% this year and an increase of 14% on average in rental values.

The report titled, ‘SCSI/Teagasc Agricultural Land Market Review & Outlook Report 2023’, analyses the agri sector performance over the past year and projects how it will perform over the next 12 months.

In all 134 agri professionals and valuers were surveyed, who expect the outlook for dairy farmers to ease and a challenging future for sheep and tillage farming.

Rental Land values in Munster increased by an average of 13% in the last year with a 9% increase experienced in Leinster.

The report indicates that the average non-residential farmland prices in 2022 ranged from €5,564 per acre for poor quality land – up five percent from €5,308 in 2021 – to €11,172 per acre for good quality land – up two percent from €10,962 the previous year. Strong demand from dairy farmers for good quality land is driving the market.

The majority of those surveyed believe there is likely to be an increase in demand from dairy farmers to purchase farmland in 2023.

One point to note however, is that changes to the European Nitrates Directive, particularly measures aimed at protecting water quality, may have an impact on land prices, especially rental prices.

In order to maintain current levels of milk production – and to comply with the directive – many dairy farms will need to either increase their land area or reduce milk production.

The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) is also coming down the line at an alarming rate, farmers have until May 1 to make a written appeal. Under the new legislation farmers owning currently zoned land face an annual tax bill of 3% of the market value of their zoned land.

This will result in countless numbers of landowners facing crippling tax bills from next year on. It is expected that this new tax may bring forward extra land sales later this year before the tax takes hold.

The IFA (Irish Farmers Association) have this week sought a senior counsel review of the legislation governing the Residential Zoned Land Tax.

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What is a Fire Safety Certificate?

By John Healy of Healy Insurances A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by the Building Control Authority, comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Fire Safety Certificates are issued by a Building Control Authority. The certificate confirms that the building has adequate escape facilities and that the building is designed in a way that prevents and limits the spread of fire. While all buildings must comply with the fire regulations, not all buildings will need a Fire Safety Certificate.

Which developments require a Fire Safety Certificate?

The Building Control Act (1990 & 2007) specifies the development types that require Fire Safety Certificates:

· Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a day centre, a building containing a flat, a hotel, hostel or guest building, an institutional building, a place of assembly, a shopping centre
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub-divided into a number of units for separate occupancy
· Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres
· A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.

Some developments are exempted from requiring a Fire Certificate and can include:

· Certain single storey agricultural buildings
· A building used as a dwelling (other than a flat)
· A single storey domestic garage
· A single storey building ancillary to a dwelling which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for any trade or business or for human habitation
· Works in connection with a Garda station, a courthouse, a barracks and certain government buildings.

If a building is inspected by a member of the building control authority and it transpired that no Fire Safety Certificate is in place, the building could be subject to closure. For more information see www.kerrycoco.ie/home3/building-control/firesafetycerts.

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