Buying a House in Ireland while Living Abroad

It is possible to buy a house in Ireland while you are still living in another country . Here are some issues you will need to consider before you buy.

If you are moving to Ireland – the best 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 to buy once you are living in Ireland.

Protecting against exchange rate changes.

There is always some risk when 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 recommend that 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 help protect your property purchase budget from currency fluctuations.
For example – you could choose to set up a “Forward contract”.
A forward contract allows you to lock in today’s exchange rate – but with the actual exchange not happening until maybe a year in the future.
It usually requires a deposit of about 10%.

A forward contract offers peace of mind.  Once you have had a purchase offer accepted it can take 2 to 3 months to complete a sale. Knowing that during 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

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.
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. They are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business in the UK.   Fexco has dedicated dealers 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 regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. You can get an initial quote for an international money transfer on their website . Alternatively , 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 when buying a House in Ireland while Living Abroad.
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. This has resulted in some Irish banks not even considering lending to people who don’t have most of their income in Euros.

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.

Allied Irish Bank will accept mortgage applications from people employed abroad who plan to live in Ireland straight away on a full-time basis.
For applicants employed abroad and moving to Ireland in the future , AIB will assess them as Buy To Let (BTL) applications. (This means higher rates and a larger deposit requirements)

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

After moving to Ireland – you will usually need to be living here for 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. House prices are increasing across all housing types and in all counties. and are good resources 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.