Make your move
3 MIN READ
‘I think I’m in shock to be honest,’ says Susan O’Leary, immediately after winning €25,000 in our Make Your Move competition to help get on the next step of the property ladder.
We bought at the height of the boom
Susan and her husband Rodí bought their home in the Liberties, Dublin, in June 2007. ‘The height of the boom,’ Susan says.
The couple originally planned to be in the house for 5 years then move to a bigger house. But it didn’t turn out that way.
They moved into the house then took out a top-up loan to help pay for renovations and for their wedding, held in autumn the following year.
‘Then, two weeks before our wedding…
…the financial crisis hit’.
This impacted the value of their home and meant the couple could not move as they had planned to when their children were born.
The house is too small now
That was 11 years ago. Susan and Rodí now live in an immaculate terraced home with their children Rían (8) and Carys (6).
But the young family have now outgrown the house. Rían and Carys share a bedroom and have bunk beds.
‘They would love to have a bedroom each,’ Susan says.
‘We have a roof garden but you can’t play football up there’
‘We don’t have a garden, Susan says, ‘and the kids would love to have a garden.
The back yard ends about five feet from the end of the kitchen extension.
Storage is another issue. ‘We just don’t have enough space for all the toys, clothes, everything you have,’ Susan says.
And there’s no room in the attic to extend into the loft space.
No room for family to stay when they visit
If Susan’s mother comes from the States to visit – Susan was born and grew up in Nashville – then there’s no bedroom to put her up in.
‘I mean there’s the couch,’ Susan says, ‘but she’s in her seventies. We always offer her Carys’s bed but she always insists that she is happy sleeping on the couch.’
Not minimal enough
Susan’s husband, Rodí, is a designer who likes the house to have a minimal look.
‘If he had his way,’ Susan jokes, ‘he’d leave the kids with just three toys and there would be Pantone references for all the colours of everything.’
We need to make our move
‘That was one of the reasons for entering the Bank of Ireland Make your Move mortgage competition,’ Susan says.
Another reason was their 18-year-old car with its NCT due soon.
‘The day before I won the competition, I had to get a new tyre, I had to get a light fixed on it and there was another tyre that had to be changed.’
‘I had the money spent in my head (even though I was trying NOT to think about it)’
‘Of course the minute I heard we were down to the final five, I kept saying ‘I’m not going to think about it, I’m not going to think about it.
But I couldn’t help thinking ‘this is what I’m going to do (with the money)’.’
The loan, some savings, a car
Susan and Rodí plan to pay off their top up loan with the money they won. ‘We have two years left on that.’
Then they will try to put a little into savings.
‘And then a car, to be honest,’ Susan says. ‘A car is a more urgent need than a moving home, right now.’
Three bags of jellies & a chocolate croissant
Rían and Carys got their ‘winnings’ after Susan discovered she’d won the Make your Move mortgage competition. Rían got a chocolate croissant ‘and my sister gave me some of hers because she didn’t like hers.’
While Carys got three bags of jellies. She didn’t eat them all because ‘I had to share some with my brother.’
A history of winning
I ask Rían and Carys if they thought their mum was going to win. ‘No,’ says Carys then she changes her mind. ‘Actually, I did think you’d win because you’ve won lots of other things.
‘I won an Easter basket in a raffle up at the hurling pitch,’ confesses Susan. ‘And the I won a colouring competition,’ Carys adds.
‘She won the Butlers colouring competition,’ Susan explains, ‘and we got a pass to the Chocolate Experience. Rian also won a colouring competition at Eddie Rockets.’
But nothing compares to winning 25 grand!
‘It’s a lot of money so it’s a huge help. We really appreciate it,’ Susan says. Susan was one of 5 Make Your Move finalists who each had to choose a key to open a door in the Bank of Ireland branch St. Stephen’s Green.
Only the finalist with the winning key could open the door. Susan was the second finalist to try.
‘When I tried it, I felt it give and I thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’!
Find out more
Thinking of moving home? Find out more about Bank of Ireland mortgages for people moving home here.