Clicks and mortar
1 April 2005 | 0
THESE DAYS, you almost have to sign away your life and sell your first-born child to get on the property ladder. With demand for houses pushing the prices up, any bargains are sure to be snapped up before you’ve got your nose out of the evening paper’s property listings. However, with so many estate agents getting online, it’s possible to view property listings and make appointments to see the bricks and mortar version from the comfort of your own home.
Rather than visiting every estate agent individually, there are a few sites that combine the listings of several agents in one place. Perhaps one of the most well known of these is Myhome.ie (www.myhome.ie).
Myhome.ie comprises a number of estate agents, the main ones being Gunne, Sherry Fitzgerald and Douglas Newman Good, although others such as Lowe and GPK Properties have been known to make an appearance from time to time.
Details on the properties for sale are presented in an easy to access interface, and useful features can include a number of photographs of the property and floor plans.
If the facility is available, you can map the home, viewing its location on a map of the area with local facilities marked in, such as schools, churches, etc.
Myhome.ie doesn’t just stop at property listings though; it also provides some useful information on the legal aspects of buying a house, how changes in the budget affect prospective homeowners, and a checklist for those moving house.
The listings cover the entire country and new developments have their own section, in most cases complete with property brochures. One of the selling points of Myhome.ie’s new property section is the inclusion of virtual tours for some properties — so you can get a look inside before you even set foot outside your own front door. There is also a letting section included on Myhome.ie, so all bases are covered.
The main estate agents involved in Myhome.ie also have their own individual Websites: Gunne’s site is at www.gunne.ie; Sherry Fitzgerald is at www.sherryfitz.ie; and Douglas Newman Good can be found at www.dng.ie. However, Myhome.ie provides some comprehensive information on the properties that you may not find on the individual sites—such as extra photographs of the house interior or floor plans
Propertyeverywhere.com (www.propertyeverywhere.com) is another listings Website that spans the entire country. The site can be searched using a ‘quick menu’ facility on the home page — the listings can be searched at the click of a mouse button using categories such as price and district, or by using the ‘quick find’ option.
Renters will also find property to suit them here, as will those who aspire to owning overseas property.
In addition to providing property listings, Propertyeverywhere.com also has listings for solicitors, interior designers, architects, mortgage companies and removals firms. A calculator for new mortgages is also provided on the site.
Independent auctioneers online
Propertypartners (www.propertypartners.ie) is a network of 30 independent auctioneers around the country who have joined together to post their property listings online.
Potential house owners can search a specific area for suitable properties, or if they prefer, they can search a particular estate agent’s listings.
Although it may not be as comprehensive as Myhome.ie, there are sufficient details included to allow prospective house owners to make up their mind on whether a particular house is worth viewing.
The newspaper listings have also migrated online; Ireland.com continues to offer its property section free of charge, despite the recent introduction of subscription fees for part of the Website (www.ireland.com/property). Unison (www.unison.ie) also offers property listings online—users can buy rent or sell a home through the site.
Property agents such as Hamilton Osbourne King (www.cbhok.com) and Hooke MacDonald (www.hookemacdonald.ie) have property listings around the country. HOK also covers international and commercial property, while Hooke MacDonald includes letting listings, commercial property and market news online. Remax Ireland (www.remax-ireland.com) is the Irish arm of international property firm Remax (www.remax.com) and is worth a second look.
Let on the Net
If getting on the property ladder is still a hazy, distant notion for you, but you still need somewhere to rest your head at night, there are plenty of resources that will help you find your ideal home—at least for a year or two. Daft.ie (www.daft.ie) is a property Website that provides accommodation listings for those looking to rent, buy or share throughout Ireland. Users can search the property listings according to the city they wish to live in, the region within that city, and have the option of specifying whether the apartment should be furnished, how much rent they are willing to pay and how many people should live there.
Particularly useful is the accommodation finder for students, which allows them to search for accommodation close to the college they attend, and the commuter accommodation finder, for finding property along a bus route or DART line.
Accommodation offered for short-term letting is often difficult to find, but there is a Website dedicated to the very thing. Dialashortlet (www.dialashortlet.com) offers properties that can be let from a month to five years, according to the site. Listings are split into Dublin City property and nationwide listings.