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Living In Portlaoise

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The Capital of County Laois, Portlaoise is situated within easy reach of Dublin – a short 60 minute drive away on the new M7 Motorway – while Kildare, Newbridge and Naas are just 30 minutes away. It s located just a short drive from Junction 18  to the M50 and Dublin Airport.


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Thinking of Buying a New Home?

Now is a great time to buy your new home. There was never such fantastic value and it is truly a buyer’s market, with houses selling at a fraction of previous prices.

Deciding where you are going to set up home is even more significant than making the most important financial decision of your life. Before you make such a life-changing move, make sure to do your HOMEwork.
Here are the things you must learn BEFORE you buy your new home. It may seem a bit tedious, but it’s well worth it in the end:

First, some HOME truths:

HOME truth No.1 – not all builders are reliable;
HOME truth No.2 – not all builders are reliable;
HOME truth No. 3 – not all builders are reliable!

The Development

  • Does the development you are looking at feel right? Does it look good? Are you pleased and impressed by the open areas, the layout and variety of house styles and decor? If the estate is cramped and tardy now before you buy, how on earth is it going to improve later?
  • By law, all developments incorporate a reasonable proportion of social and affordable housing. Ensure before you buy your new home that this aspect of the development is carefully and properly managed and supervised by experts in the field. This will guarantee responsible home ownership, as well as responsible behaviour, controls and protocols for best practice in the best interests of all homeowners in the area.
  • Is the development properly finished to the high standard that you are entitled to expect for roads, lighting, footpaths, greens, common areas, car parking and road safety and layout? If not, you are storing up problems that are simply going to come back and bite you, annoy you, make it difficult to settle in and settle down.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of being fobbed off with empty promises that the work will be done later; we’ve all seen the horror stories of unfinished and half-finished estates on television. If the estate is incomplete and badly finished it will never be taken in charge by the local authority and the problems will only escalate with no-one taking responsibility.

The Builder

  • Do your HOMEwork and make sure you’re dealing with a reputable builder, who has a good track record and a reputation for reliability. If word around the town on the builder is not good then take note, because that’s not good!
  • Half-finished estates or developments in liquidation are unlikely ever to be taken in charge by the local council. Homeowners in these schemes are trapped, prisoners in their own homes, unable to relax and enjoy the benefits a new home should bring, and unable to sell or move on due to crippling negative equity and zero buyer interest. Establish if the builder’s developments are taken in charge by the council.
  • Is the developer you are dealing with solvent or in difficulty? If they go bust, whom do you deal with? Who will finish off the estate properly, complete the rest of the houses, sell them to good neighbours and guarantee that the estate is well finished and properly maintained? This is a serious issue and one that you can’t afford to ignore. Builders are going bust every day and you can’t afford to be caught up in that mess.
  • Get your solicitor to check out that your developer has their tax affairs in order, it is a good sign that they are in good stead and in business for the long haul. This can be easily done by establishing that they have a tax clearance certificate or a C2, something your legal advisor can establish with ease – BEFORE you buy your new home. This critical information is available on request – free of charge.
  • Get your solicitor to check whether your developer has loans in NAMA, as this could be an indication of financial difficulties and raise questions of stability and reliability.
  • All building developments by law must have an insurance bond; this is important but don’t be deceived by its significance. Bonds are only valid for five years from the date of commencement of the development. Once they expire, they afford no protection to the homeowners.
  • At the outset, we warned that not all builders are reliable and not all developments are going to be finished properly to the highest standards. Indeed, some may never be finished at all. Given this, it’s worth repeating: check out the reputation of your builder, the word on the street about their developments and their relationship with their sub-contractors. If sub-contractors are out-of-pocket and work on the site has stopped, your estate will always be a building site and you could end up facing the nightmare that it may never be finished.
  • A good builder, developing good homes, will help you assess and answer all these critical questions. A progressive developer will have no difficulty in answering difficult questions and will gladly help you secure the answers and finance you need to help you settle in – and settle down – in your new home.

 The Location

  • Proximity and convenience to services, shops and schools is essential when it comes to saving time and money, not to mention quality of life. As for getting to work every day, what is the ease of commute and public transport? Ignore this important issue at your peril – you’ll also feel it in your pocket.
  • Choosing where to buy your new home is hugely important, not only in terms of its aesthetics, quality of life, security and safety, and the logistics of moving/settling in. For, by doing your HOMEwork wisely and well, you can have a better quality home for significantly less money.
  • New home hunters from all over Dublin, Kildare and the midlands are deciding in their dozens that, when you consider all the essential issues, Portlaoise is best located for access to the city, motorways, trains, schools, shops and services. It also offers non-stop bus services to Dublin and the airport, while its sports facilities and social life are big advantages.

 Value for Money

  • Value for money is not just an airy-fairy notion; once you are paying for and furnishing your new home your budget will naturally be tight. What you do not want is to be hit with the haymaker of hidden costs and bigger bills. A well finished, quality home will prove far more economical and it is crucial that you address these issues before you purchase.
  • Do your HOMEwork and check out the quality of finish, such as the number of sockets for appliances, as well as the insulation and method of home heating. These features will make your home easier, more efficient and economical to run on a weekly basis, as well as cutting down significantly on your household bills.
  • Independent studies and house price comparison websites now clearly show that quality homes in Portlaoise cost as much as €50,000 less than identical houses in nearby towns like Newbridge. So, for just 10 minutes extra on the motorway, you can save a great deal of money in the outlay on your home and monthly repayments, leaving you with much more to live on and enjoy each week in your new home.
  • Obviously, a factor of great importance in the current economic conditions is that you get good value for a quality home, but it’s equally imperative that you feel at home. When weighing up value for money, you also have to look to your surroundings, environment and neighbourhood – all are of central importance. If you are to settle in and settle down in your new community, the presence of good neighbours, equally committed to their families and new homes, are vital.

Just Ask the Neighbours ...

Finally, before you take the plunge and enjoy your new home, one last piece of HOMEwork: why not simply check things out with your prospective new neighbours? After all, they know what it’s like, they’ve made their choice and have moved in and so they are happy. What they are saying and how they feel about their new home might well be the most important information and most significant part of all your HOMEwork yet. What stories have they to tell, as they have nothing to lose and nothing to gain by filling you in on some HOME truths, helping you to finally decide to purchase your new house and helping to ensure that once you do, you feel at HOME.

 
 
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