Cashback tales: Nothing but the kitchen sink
When Elizabeth and her family moved into their new home, she discovered that the built-in kitchen appliances that had been there the day before were gone. So she used the cashback she got with her mortgage to pay for a brand new kitchen.
Well, I’m Polish. I came to Ireland eleven years ago.
I grew up in a small village and that’s where I finished my primary school.
Most of the village works in a big concrete blocks factory.
At the age of 19, I moved to the big city, to Lodz, the second biggest city in Poland, and that’s where I went to university. I have a Marketing and Management degree. Before I came to Ireland in 2005 I worked for few years in corporation.
First we rented a room. It was really hard to rent anything.
Anything that was in Daft.ie or Myhome.ie was gone in minutes.
We met some Polish people in an internet café.
They told us of a room that would become vacant in a day or two so we went to the owner and we got the room. We were there in a double room with our own bathroom en suite but we shared the kitchen and living room. We stayed there for about six months in a house in Blackhorse Avenue.
Then we moved to Smithfield to a one-bedroom apartment and stayed there for eight and a half years.
But we had a daughter, Nicole, and a one-bedroom apartment was not big enough for the three of us so we decided to move to Castleknock. We rented a two-bedroom apartment in Farmleigh Woods where we stayed until we bought our three bedroom duplex this year which is also in Castleknock. My daughter Nicole is seven now.
When the Castleknock apartment came up for rent review the landlord wanted to put it up.
With the current rent market prices rising so quickly it was time to buy and pay back mortgage instead of rent. It was a lot of money for two bedroom apartment so that was the reason we decided to buy. I went to several banks but at the end decided to go with Bank of Ireland O’Connell Street. Why this bank?
Mortgage advisor, Brian, was very professional, he answered all my questions to my satisfaction.
He rang me or sent me an email several times with the updates. I felt that he treated every customer like they were his most important one. This is very unusual.
We saw many houses in Castleknock.
Some of them had huge interest. We saw new homes in Fairhaven and then new builds in Ashtown but the phase we were interested in wasn’t going to be available until September or October and we had to leave the place we were renting sooner.
Then we looked at secondhand houses but most of them were in really bad condition.
The one we eventually bought, in Collegewood, needed total refurbishment so that took time and energy. It had to be completely done up which is why maybe there wasn’t as much interest in it. It had been rented out for fourteen years before we bought it.
We had to redo everything.
The three bedrooms, three bathrooms and the kitchen all had to be redone and a new boiler had to be put in. We had a member of family coming over from Poland to help with the painting and then we had to hire people to do all other jobs. We moved in at the beginning of July because we had to. We lived in the rented house for a month and a half longer than we were supposed to and we were grateful to our landlords for allowing this.
The grandparents decided to take Nicole for three weeks back to Poland for holidays during the time when the work was done.
She had a good time meeting all the new cousins that she never met before. We speak Polish with her and she goes to Polish school on Saturdays. We are trying to keep the tradition so she will have two native languages and she can communicate with the other part of the family. We always speak Polish to her and she replies most of the time in Polish.
Living in the house and doing it up at the same time was a nightmare and I would not recommend it to anybody.
First of we had someone who didn’t do a great job then we had to get somebody else to correct it. We were living there and we could watch and see what they did. We had to wait for the kitchen – ten weeks, that’s a long time.
When we went to view the place before the money were transferred all the appliances were there but when we signed the contract and came in next day in the kitchen everything had been taken.
They took all the built-in appliances in the kitchen – even the washing machine. They cut the pipe under the sink instead of just disconnecting it. When one of the guys went to wash his hands he flooded the kitchen. I guess it was just quicker. They left the sink that was the only thing they left.
We didn’t cook. How would I cook?
So we had takeaways – I know all the takeaways in the area now! Quick, easy not the best fix but this was only temporary.
I’ve had the new kitchen and appliances for a few weeks now. It’s beautiful. I love cooking so I bought an expensive kitchen. It’s what we spent the cashback on, all of it. It’s a high gloss white kitchen from Kube.
The first thing I cooked was a leg of lamb in my new ‘sixth sense’ oven.
It’s really cool because if you put a chicken in there it knows you have put meat in the oven.
Nicole likes her new room. It’s all pink. She just told us she wanted pink walls so we painted it a very pale pink which goes with the white furniture.
We made so many mistakes choosing contractors, which end up costing us more than we originally planned.
We are very happy having our own place.