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What to Look Out for When Buying Your Dream House

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No matter if your dream house is a modern apartment in a city centre or a restored cottage home in the suburbs, your ideal place is somewhere you envision you and your family growing old.

Nevertheless, finding a place where you can stay for the long term does come with its fair share of thorough checks, so you don’t end up with unpleasant surprises over the years. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb and don’t pull back on being picky because, at the end of the day, you are looking for your perfect home.

Though there are always some compromises you can make, we will help you with the key aspects you should be on the look for when buying your dream house.


When looking to buy a residential property, its surroundings will directly influence your purchase decision, after all, that neighbourhood is a social community you’ll be part of. Therefore, it would be best to think of it as an essential aspect when selecting a house for the future, so make sure it suits your living style.

It all comes down to your preferences: location wise, what is more important to you when looking for houses for sale in Dublin? To live in the vibrant but noisy city centre and be close to all the commodities it provides, or instead, choose to deal with longer commutes but live in a more peaceful surrounding area?

Whichever lifestyle you are looking for, do a little research about the areas and ensure they are exactly as you envision. Drive in the roads close by, visit local shops and restaurants you will be using and go for walks around the local park. Do all that you would find yourself doing once you move and get to a conclusion if you would enjoy living there or not.


Both older houses or recently built ones have their pros and cons and you should whey them carefully. Older homes have amazing potential and an undeniable character that you cannot replicate in modern constructions but may require some routine maintenance and repair work. A newer property does not require that amount of care, so if you dream of a completely turn-key home, a new build with modern security fetures like a CCTV system may be a better fit.


You want to make sure your home is one that you’ll feel proud to live in each day, so you need to consider all options available, and choose the one that feels right for you and your family’s needs. Are you looking for a detached or semi-detached property? A terraced house or an apartment? One or two storeys?

The property’s aesthetics is next on the list! Its curb appeal will be the first thing people notice about your house and should reflect your personality and taste. If you are a more minimalist person, you’ll hardly be fulfilled in a Victorian terraced house.

Think about the style of the properties that grabbed your attention while you were out and about and shortlist the ones you would fit in and write off the ones less suitable for you.


Figuring exactly how much space you need for your new home can be very tricky, especially if this is your first time moving.

A small property will leave you and your family stranded continuously for space. On the other hand, too much space will be useful sometimes but comes at a cost… its cost! Maintaining a large property can rack up expenses at an unhealthy rate for your family’s budget, so you should establish exactly what you need and not go overboard.

Luckily, there’s a simple trick you can use to help you with this – start from your current home and figure out what areas you need to grow. Are the current bedrooms big enough, for when the kids grow up? Is the living room suitable to invite some guests over? Do you need an extra bathroom?

Tick off these sort of questions for your specific property and go from there with every necessary information in mind. This way you won’t be scrapping for space nor breaking the bank. Ideally, you should purchase a house that still offers you room to grow without going overboard.


Four walls don’t necessarily hold the same interior. Floor plans differ from property to property, even those with the same square footage. Every house buyer has different priorities for their arrangement of rooms; for instance, some prefer bigger kitchens while others like an added living room space.

Idealise the layout you want and base your search in that. Imagine the way you and your loved ones can possibly use each space throughout the property’s life. If you like to entertain and organise the family get-togethers on holidays, a bigger more open plan leisure/dining area should be on your top priorities. However, if your family members enjoy staying in their own private space, a more traditional layout with bigger bedrooms might be a better option.


Not every property you will visit will be 100% to your specifications. So, another important aspect to look out for is on how much customisation and added costs would be required to get it done exactly to your likings.

If you’re comfortable around power tools and enjoy doing some DIY work around the house, then you can also consider leaving some upgrades or small repairs for the long run and making it a hobby for the weekends.


Ok, this isn’t the most exciting factor you can consider but just may save your dream move from being a financial nightmare. Having a hard budget cap is key, and ideally, you should try to maintain your spending under that limit since costs go way beyond the monthly mortgage payments and other bills. Local taxes, monthly utilities and house consumables will dig into your wallet so you will want to have extra pocket money for additional costs that may appear.

A good tip for having an idea of how much you’ll be spending monthly on utilities is to search around online for average costs in the area or, even better, ask your estate agents to see if they can find out how much the sellers are currently paying on a monthly or annual basis. And remember these will stay constant or increase with inflation, so make sure you will be able to maintain the costs in cases of unexpected situations.


As important as looking for the ideal architecture and dream features is to be able to know where you can compromise and where you can’t. The goal here is to steer your search away from particular characteristics in the property that can possibly make your homeownership experience less pleasant.

Any major choice in life comes with a compromise, be it bigger or smaller, but it will be there. Ideally, you want your dream of moving to a new house to be as small of a compromise as possible.

The unwritten rule on compromises on a new house choice is: if you find yourself, after a house show, focusing more on one particular aspect you don’t like in the property rather than the qualities you do like, then just scratch that one from the list. The compromise won’t work and that time you spent thinking about it will only enlarge by living with it day by day.

Let us help!

Property buying is an overwhelming process that should not be rushed or done alone. As Ireland’s top real estate agents for Kildare and Dublin, we know we can help you with your quest for the perfect property.

Get in touch and tell us everything you are looking for in your dream house. We will assist you in your search and get you into the home you envision living with your family.


    Lorraine Mulligan
    M.I.P.A.V. M.C.E.I. TRV
    REMAX Results
    Celbridge & Lucan

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