MortgageSaver: David, Nina & Ollie’s story
David lives in Tallaght with his parents. His girlfriend Nina and their son Ollie live in Celbridge with Nina’s mother. Living back in their family homes is the only way they can afford to save for a deposit for their first home with a Bank of Ireland Mortgagesaver. They have a plan. But living apart is hard.
I finished school at 17 and went on to do a plumbing apprenticeship during the boom which was great at the time.
Who knows what you want to do when you’re 17? I did my apprenticeship and when I was a year out from my apprenticeship I decided to go to Australia for the year with my friends. I came home in 2010 right in the middle of the recession and I decided it wasn’t my calling to be a plumber.
I’d encourage anyone if they’re not happy to go back and get some education because it leads you to so many good paths.
I thought I’d go back to college as a mature student to do a Building Services Engineering degree at DIT. I graduated a year and a half ago – it was a 4yr course but I skipped 1 year because of my plumbing background – and it was the greatest thing I ever done.
I was twenty-six when I went back to college.
It’s not a well-known engineering subject so a lot of people in my class were mature students. There were two other plumbers, an electrician, a welder – there was just all sorts. It would have been a lot harder if the class was full of fresh-out-of-school kids. The tendency with the younger ones would be to go out at night on college days.
When I graduated it turned out that Ireland was in recovery again so there were lots of job offers.
There were companies just looking for students at the college to employee. Before I done my exams I think I did six interviews all at different companies.
I work for a multinational company specialising in air treatment and movement.
It’s literally from here to the front doorway from my house. I really wanted that. I know the impression that you’re just a number in a large multinational but that’s not true. They’re a HVAC company (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and a fire safety and fire strategy company. I’m going to the University of Ulster in Belfast at the end of September for 3 years part-time, a day a week, to do a Masters in Fire Safety Engineering. I’m delighted to be doing it.
I’m a Mechanical Design Engineer
So I design ventilation heating and cooling. And then, on the fire safety side of it, no building can be put up without a fire cert so we design the solutions. The consultancy comes to us with floor plans and we fit the services into those plans and it gets signed off.
My girlfriend Nina and me we had a baby and we were renting for six or seven months in Tallaght but it was very expensive.
It was a house we shared with another couple and it was €1,200 a month plus the bills between the four of us. We couldn’t rent and save at the same time. So we made the decision to go back to live separately in our parents’ houses. She moved back to Celbridge with Ollie. I stayed in Kilnamanagh.
I didn’t want to put the burden on my Mam and Dad of living there, the three of us.
Nina stays over three or four nights a week at my parents’ home with Ollie. He’s just turned two. They always say it’s no problem and love to have him.
It’s hard enough not seeing them every day.
Unfortunately, we just can’t do anything else. It’s either do that or we’re going to be out renting again which’ll probably add another 3-4 years on to getting a house which is not at all in the plans, not ideal.
Nina is in college at the moment, Ollie’s in a crèche during the day.
She finishes at college and picks him up and she comes home to her parents’ house. If she’s tired or he’s not in a great mood then I’ll go over to Celbridge. It usually works like that.
It’s 20 mins if there’s no traffic but when is there no traffic on the M50?
You can go the back roads and you’re probably looking at 40 minutes depending on the weather. She’s only after learning how to drive which has eased the burden because it was all on me to go over and bring her back. She’s happy out now.
All the prices are the same – they’re all extortionate!
The plan is we want a house. We hope to stay around Tallaght but maybe a little further out in Newcastle or Rathcoole. The estate I live on in Kilnamanagh there was a house for sale. It was the same it was in the 1980s and it was going for €215,000 – for a 3-bedroom house. If you bought it, you were gutting it. €215,000 for a shell. There was another house on my road, starting price €300,000. Where do you get €300,000 from?
We had a plan when we moved out of the rented accommodation to buy within two and a half years.
We’re still two and a half years away now. But with the company I’m at we do get pay increases. Nina will have finished college and will get a job so we’ll have two incomes. We’ll have a good bit but you still need to save just to get near the deposit.
We’re both now 7 months into the MortgageSaver.
We were saving into just a normal savings account but one of my friends works at Bank of Ireland and he told me about it. I’d say we need between €25-30,000 for the deposit. The ideal is to live in Kilnamanagh but the prices are a bit higher than they are further out from Tallaght. Celbridge is more expensive again. It’s a tough market.
Look we should have put more away but you don’t think of that when you’re twenty-three.
A three-bed semi-d is ideal. It’s not too small, not too big. It’s what I have now but it’s not within our budget right now. I was thinking of buying something smaller just to get on to the property ladder but, no, I want something that’ll suit us for the foreseeable future. For the young fella, you want him to be able to settle down, get his friends, get into school, you don’t want to be uprooting him. It’s not fair on him.
My mam doesn’t ask for anything, she knows the story.
The fridge is always full. So we’re saving on the rent for a start. Nina is studying hairdressing in Crumlin College, starting this year, it’s perfect for her and it’s what she wanted to do. She had to put it on hold when she had him. Ollie wasn’t planned, he was a nice surprise.
We’ve kept an eye on prices but it breaks her heart when she sees them because we know we’re some way away from buying.
Friends in the same situation, they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage so they give us feedback. It’s not easy. They had a bid accepted and the seller pulled out of the deal and they later found out another couple put a bigger bid in. It’s crazy.
Obviously the economy is after getting a lot lot better so when houses do come along you might have five or six people bidding going up and up.
I’m 30 now so I don’t want to be cooped up at home for too long with them on the other side of the city. When you have a plan that’s a start.