Buying a House in Ireland while Living Abroad

If you are planning on buying a house in Ireland while you are still living in another country – it is possible but you might hit a few problems on the way.

If you are relocating to Ireland – the most sensible option might be to sell your current property then rent a house in Ireland . Once you are living in Ireland with a job, it will be easier to search for a house and to get a mortgage if you need one.

If you are lucky enough to have enough money to buy a house without a mortgage –  it will still be easier to search for a house once you are living in Ireland.

Protecting against exchange rate changes.

There can always be a risk in sending large amounts of money overseas because exchange rates are always moving.  A change in the exchange rate of just 2% would alter the price of a €400,000 house by €8000. We always recommend that for larger transactions – people should use a dedicated currency exchange company, rather than a bank to exchange and transfer money.  (The exchange rates are better.)

A currency specialist will work with you to devise a currency strategy that protects your property purchase budget, by reducing the risk of currency fluctuations.
For example – you could choose to have a “Forward contract”.
All the top currency brokers offer forward contracts that allow you to lock in at today’s exchange rate – but not for delivery for as much as two years’ in the future. It usually requires a deposit of about 10%.

What forward contracts offer is peace of mind.  Once you have had a firm offer it can take 2 to 3 months to complete a property transaction. So knowing that over that time you won’t be hit by moving exchange rates, you can be sure you’ll be able to complete the deal.

Some UK and Irish currency specialists that can help with large money transfers to Ireland are listed below.

Currency Solutions is a UK based currency specialist firm that is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. They have experience of dealing with people moving to Ireland and other EU countries for several years.currency solutions
You can call them on their UK number 0044 (0)20 7740 0000  or on their Irish number 01 431 1344  .
Ask for the Money Guide Ireland contact – Ernie Enver. He should be able to give you a quick response to any queries.
Or you can visit the Currency Solutions website here for a free no-obligation quote and they will call you back.

Fexco  is based in County Kerry, Ireland and is authorised as a payment services provider by the Central Bank of Ireland and is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business in the UK.   Fexco has dedicated dealers on hand to explain the options available to you and help reduce your exposure to fluctuating exchange rates.  You can get a quick quote online at the Fexco Website

FairFx are London based foreign exchange specialists and they also have an office in Dublin. FairFx has been operating since 2007 and is fully regulated by both the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the UK HMRC. You can get an initial quote for an international money transfer on their website or you can call FairFx on their  UK number (0044) 0207 858 2001 or their Irish number (01  5665546).

Getting A Mortgage in Ireland When Living in another Country.

It will not be as easy to get an Irish mortgage whilst you are not living here – but it is possible.
In 2016 a new EU rule was introduced restricting lending in foreign currencies. The “Mortgage Credit Directive” requires lenders to monitor exchange-rate fluctuations on foreign currency mortgages, meaning most Irish banks won’t even consider lending to people who don’t have most of their income in euro.

Some banks, including AIB and Bank of Ireland, have not entirely ruled out lending to people living in non-euro-zone countries such as the UK, Australia and Canada.

AIB says that mortgage applicants employed abroad and moving to Ireland  now (who plan to live in Ireland on a full-time basis) will be assessed as Primary Dwelling House (PDH) applications.  AIB says that applicants employed abroad and moving to Ireland in the future will be assessed as Buy To Let (BTL) applications. (This means higher rates and a larger deposit requirement)

PTSB will only offer buy-to-let loans to British and Irish citizens who are resident in a euro-zone country. (higher rates)

If you have already moved to Ireland – you will usually need to have been living here at least 6 months and been in employment for at least 12 months before most lenders will consider you for a mortgage.

Check the latest Mortgage Rates in Ireland here

Read more here about Legal Costs and Other Fees When Buying a House in Ireland

The Irish housing market has rebounded in recent years and house prices are increasing across all housing types and in all counties. and publish reports on the housing market and are offer a good resource for anyone thinking of buying a house.

You can also check out Ireland’s Residential Property Price Register where you can compare recent purchase prices on specific locations.