Favourite towns

Old Sep 27th 2021, 7:59 am
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Default Favourite towns

I really (really) need to move to Ireland asap, I'm in the UK and my living situation is increasingly untenable - I know I need to move to Ireland, my problem is that I don't know where and I don't want to make a rash decision. I'd be really grateful for any opinions.

I've read a couple of books about moving to Ireland but they focussed more on paperwork and that kind of thing, rather than location. What I need is...
- can get decent internet
- has shops/supermarkets/banks (don't have a car atm, so can't be too rural)
- not too long to an airport, ferries etc (so somewhere you can get a direct train to Dublin that takes under 3 hours would be good, for eg)
- relatively nice and quiet / not 'big city' expensive - don't want to be anywhere too big like Dublin or Cork.

My problem is that I don't really know where to start - should I book an (expensive) airbnb in Dublin for a couple of months, and take the train and visit various towns? Should I pick a town that looks good, book a hotel for a couple of weeks there, and just trust my luck that I'll be able to find a suitable place to let?

There are some towns that look like very enticing prospects (like Athlone, for example), but I don't know what the housing market is like in these places, it might be that there just aren't any suitable places to rent.

Does anyone have any towns they could recommend? Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.

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Old Sep 27th 2021, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Ireland is still a very rural country though there's nothing stopping you booking airbnb outside Dublin, be it one of the cities or larger towns.
Athlone is one of those places that has potential but was hit hard after the recession and most of the money went/goes to Dublin. They are slowly understanding that Ireland is not just Dublin and hopefully more investment will happen in the future. Things like the greenway and access to Shannon (location) could make the place a connection point in the future. It's still only a small place with a population of 22,000 and has 6,000 students, so finding rental might not be easy either. It might be considered boring for some and there's not really a large centre with things going on, actually seems quite spread out.
Most of the larger towns have a good bus connection and even from Galway to Dublin it's only a 2 1/2 hour bus journey https://www.citylink.ie/
https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/2021/08/11/local-rental-crisis-as-supply-shortage-sparks-price-surge/
The crisis in the local rental sector has been laid bare by dramatic new figures showing double digit rises in rent in both Westmeath and Roscommon over the last twelve months.

Figures released by Daft.ie as part of its quarter two 2021 rental report showed that in Westmeath, rents were on average 9.9% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than a year previously. The average listed rent is now €1,117, up 112% from its lowest point.

In Roscommon, rents were on average 16.1% higher in the second quarter of 2021 than a year previously. The average listed rent is now €829, up 68% from its lowest point.

Roscommon's increase is the second highest in the country, behind only Kerry, at 16.5%.

Nationallly, rents have increased by 5.6% - the strongest year-on-year increase since mid-2019.

Astonishingly, nationally, the report found that rental supply has hit an all time low with only 2,455 rental homes available across the country - this is lowest number on record.

The situation is replicated locally. On Tuesday morning (August 10) the dire lack of rental properties locally was evident as a search of the daft.ie website revealed just eleven listed in Athlone and surrounds ranging from €650 a month to €1,250.

In Moate, it is even worse with just two homes listed for rent on the daft.ie website, one of which is the luxurious eight-bedroom Bishopstown House, costing a cool €8,000 a month to rent. The other is a four-bed house in Tennis View costing €1,250 a month to rent.

In Athlone and surrounding areas, a one-bedroom unit in Portaneena, Ballykeeran is the least expensive listed on the website at €650 a month, while a two-bed apartment in St Peter's Port will cost €1,000 a month. A one bed apartment in St Mary's Square is available for €1,250 a month to rent.

Other areas listed include a one-bed unit in Auburn Terrace for €825 a month or a two-bed unit in Sean Costello Street for €900 a month.

Interestingly, there was just one house or family home in Athlone listed in the available properties to rent yesterday (Tuesday) at Castlehall Park in Bealnamulla listed at €1,250 a month for a three-bed terraced dwelling.

The most expensive listed is in the Jolly Mariner development along the Shannon. A two-bed apartment here is listed for rent at €1,275 a month on the daft.ie website.

Last edited by Moses2013; Sep 27th 2021 at 11:04 am.
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Old Sep 27th 2021, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Ireland is still a very rural country though there's nothing stopping you booking airbnb outside Dublin, be it one of the cities or larger towns.
Athlone is one of those places that has potential but was hit hard after the recession and most of the money went/goes to Dublin. They are slowly understanding that Ireland is not just Dublin and hopefully more investment will happen in the future. Things like the greenway and access to Shannon (location) could make the place a connection point in the future. It's still only a small place with a population of 22,000 and has 6,000 students, so finding rental might not be easy either https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/...s-price-surge/. It might be considered boring for some and there's not really a large centre with things going on, actually seems quite spread out.
Most of the larger towns have a good bus connection and even from Galway to Dublin it's only a 2 1/2 hour bus journey https://www.citylink.ie/
Smashing, thank you very much, this is exactly the kind of information I was after - I have looked at airbnbs, but they all seem to be either a) in Dublin, or b) in the middle of really nowhere ('beautiful isolated cottage 10 miles from nearest duck pond' etc), and as I say, I won't have a car when I arrive, and I'll have to be available for work as well so can't take lots of days off travelling around looking at places.

So would you recommend looking at somewhere like Galway, or Limerick, or somewhere like that? Or maybe even Dublin itself? The thing is, both my wife and I work from home, so it seems silly to pay the 'big city tax' when you have no reason to, especially as we don't need anywhere with the bright lights etc. Just so long as there are lights.

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Old Sep 27th 2021, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Both Galway & Limerick are fine and offer a frequent bus service to Dublin (2 hours 30 minutes). Of course the biggest challenge is the rental market and it was a different time when we arrived.
Also work from home and live rural, we are not renting and have cars though. Limerick feels more like a British city, especially the centre and has better infrastructure for cycling etc., house prices are cheaper than Galway. Can feel rough in parts but then again that's no different across the UK:-). Galway is very different and feels more Irish in my opinion and has a certain charm/vibe. You are close to the sea and have the prom in Salthill. Can be packed with tourists and traffic is mad but very walkable. At the end of the day it doesn't mean you have to settle in the place. With a car it's very easy to escape both places and have stunning scenery on your doorstep. But the biggest challenge remains the current rental market. .

Last edited by Moses2013; Sep 27th 2021 at 3:25 pm.
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Old Sep 27th 2021, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Both Galway & Limerick are fine and offer a frequent bus service to Dublin (2 hours 30 minutes). Of course the biggest challenge is the rental market and it was a different time when we arrived.
Also work from home and live rural, we are not renting and have cars though. Limerick feels more like a British city, especially the centre and has better infrastructure for cycling etc., house prices are cheaper than Galway. Can feel rough in parts but then again that's no different across the UK:-). Galway is very different and feels more Irish in my opinion and has a certain charm/vibe. You are close to the sea and have the prom in Salthill. Can be packed with tourists and traffic is mad but very walkable. At the end of the day it doesn't mean you have to settle in the place. With a car it's very easy to escape both places and have stunning scenery on your doorstep. But the biggest challenge remains the current rental market. .
Thank you, yeah, that is my worry, I'm sure that the rental market will pickup - because capitalism, supply and demand etc - but I really could do with getting over there into somewhere warm and dry before winter kicks in for real (yes, my current living situation is that bad), time isn't really on my side.

I could maybe just about even possibly think about buying rather than renting, but obviously trying to do that 'remotely' would definitely fall under the banner of 'rash decision' that I mentioned above. I am also mulling the idea of trying to get an airbnb/short term let for more like 4-5 months - there seem to be some that are aimed at businessy types - but obviously I don't want to spend all that money if it's at all avoidable.

I would definitely prefer somewhere slightly more expensive and slightly less 'rough part of Bristol'! (which is where I was born, so it must be rough). Again this is the problem I have with trying to judge places without visiting them - it's easy to make something look nice for a photo on the internet.

Somebody also recommended Skerries to me (might be a bit expensive as near Dublin), and Portlaoise. Really, I'd take anywhere comfortable and reasonable.
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Old Sep 28th 2021, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Originally Posted by jeanlenin View Post
Thank you, yeah, that is my worry, I'm sure that the rental market will pickup - because capitalism, supply and demand etc - but I really could do with getting over there into somewhere warm and dry before winter kicks in for real (yes, my current living situation is that bad), time isn't really on my side.

I could maybe just about even possibly think about buying rather than renting, but obviously trying to do that 'remotely' would definitely fall under the banner of 'rash decision' that I mentioned above. I am also mulling the idea of trying to get an airbnb/short term let for more like 4-5 months - there seem to be some that are aimed at businessy types - but obviously I don't want to spend all that money if it's at all avoidable.

I would definitely prefer somewhere slightly more expensive and slightly less 'rough part of Bristol'! (which is where I was born, so it must be rough). Again this is the problem I have with trying to judge places without visiting them - it's easy to make something look nice for a photo on the internet.

Somebody also recommended Skerries to me (might be a bit expensive as near Dublin), and Portlaoise. Really, I'd take anywhere comfortable and reasonable.
All you can really do is look for a B&B/airbnb to get your feet on the ground. In fairness, you will hardly see the roughness you get in Britain and this would only really be in the worst parts of Dublin.
Rushing into buying something would make no sense now, so maybe just look for a low cost option rental to get started. Even if it's in a smaller village, it's only temporary now.
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Old Sep 28th 2021, 8:59 am
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West Coast towns have a lot to offer eg Killarney. Especially Killarney...
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Old Sep 28th 2021, 9:05 am
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
All you can really do is look for a B&B/airbnb to get your feet on the ground. In fairness, you will hardly see the roughness you get in Britain and this would only really be in the worst parts of Dublin.
Rushing into buying something would make no sense now, so maybe just look for a low cost option rental to get started. Even if it's in a smaller village, it's only temporary now.
Yes, thanks, I think you're right - after I said that I did actually look at places online that are available to buy, and I did start thinking, 'hmmmm....' - it does seem more reasonably priced than the UK. But I should probably look at a long-ish term airbnb or one of those 'businessman in town for a few months' type places.
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Old Sep 28th 2021, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Favourite towns

Originally Posted by jeanlenin View Post
Yes, thanks, I think you're right - after I said that I did actually look at places online that are available to buy, and I did start thinking, 'hmmmm....' - it does seem more reasonably priced than the UK. But I should probably look at a long-ish term airbnb or one of those 'businessman in town for a few months' type places.
Although house prices have gone up considerably, even today it's still cheaper than a lot of England when it comes to detached properties with a bit of land in the countryside.
Even Killarney as mentioned by Islander7 is an option or places like Westport (has train), especially if you like outdoor activities.
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