Mortgage rates in Ireland for 2020

At first glance, mortgage rates in Ireland might look much like those in England. But Ireland has experienced a different economic trajectory in the last few years, so the range of mortgage rates will likewise be different.

In Ireland five-year fixed mortgage rates can be a full percentage point lower than those in England, even though they are still among the highest in the Eurozone. These rates are not available for everyone but would be an option for certain groups who have an existing mortgage of over €300,000 and can offer at least a 20% deposit or similar equity on any existing property, using a calculator will make this clear. Ten-year fixed rate mortgages are also available, although at a higher rate of interest, naturally. Switchers and home movers will enjoy a better rate to some, as is always the case with these mortgages.

For those who don’t have access to equity or whose deposit is lower, there are other options including fixed rate mortgages for five or more years. Even though they may not be the best value, they are still affordable. The Central Bank’s loan-to-income rules apply unless a lender can show a very good reason why they should be exempt, so most lenders should expect to be subject to these rates.

Fixed rates of anything more than seven years for mortgage rates in Ireland have been rare, although they have been popular where they can be found. At least new buyers could budget for five years of mortgage payments and know what they were paying every month. Now they have a few more years’ grace. Ten-year fixed rate options are now an option; although buyers should be aware that this may mean a major hike in payments after the 10-year period is over. Cashback offers are not always the best option although the immediate lure of these offers may be strong. The savings offered by long term fixed rate offers are better, where they are available.

Fixed Rate Popularity

Fixed rate mortgage rates in Ireland remain popular because they mean buyers can budget effectively for a fixed amount every month. For those on a lower or fixed monthly budget, being able to know how much recurring bills may cost is imperative, so a fixed rate mortgage of any length is equivalent to a direct debit in that sense – everyone knows how much needs to be paid every month. For that very reason, variable rate mortgages have fallen in popularity. Simply, they are more difficult to budget for effectively, especially on a lower wage job where income may be variable. They can be manageable, but a fixed rate term, renegotiated every few years, is preferable.

Fixed rate mortgage rates in Ireland seem to be the way to go, for budgeting reasons if nothing else. Many lenders are now offering such mortgages, which are easier to apply for as long as the applicant can show they have adequate income every month to meet the required payment. At least house buyers should ask about the availability of such deals with their preferred lender or financial adviser, if only to ensure that they consider all options.

4 Common Mistakes When Buying Broadband

Okay, so you’re sick and tired of internet that’s barely faster than dial-up speed, and you’ve decided to take the plunge and start shopping around for a new broadband package and provider. This is all well and good, except for the fact that shopping for broadband is like wading through quicksand at waist height. There are so many variables to consider, so many providers, so many deals, so many packages, and so many pitfalls to watch out for that you may wish to quit before you’ve even started and stick with your super-slow internet instead. To make your broadband shopping experience that little bit easier, here are 4 common mistakes people make when buying broadband. Make sure you don’t make these same mistakes, and everything will run a whole lot smoother.

Not shopping around

Nobody wants to pay more for something than they have to, and if you’re looking for broadband that doesn’t cost the earth, you’ll need to shop around and take your time. Virtually every household now has broadband, and when you consider the fact that the internet plays such an important role in everyday life, it’s easy to understand why. Because of this, there are now more broadband providers than ever, and each one offers their own unique deals and perks.

Going for the cheapest option

While it pays (literally) to be savvy with your finances, sometimes it’s worth spending a little more when looking at the bigger picture. You see, some people that shop around for broadband, literally base their search purely on the cost of the broadband deal itself. You get what you pay for in this world, and if you go with super-cheap broadband, there’s a strong chance that it will not be up to scratch. Competitively priced broadband is one thing, but if it’s ridiculously cheap, it will likely be plagued with issues. You needn’t spend a fortune, but don’t base your search purely on price alone.

Not considering data usage – If you’re a large household, or if you stream a lot of content and download a lot of things, you’ll get through a lot of data. Therefore, an unlimited broadband data plan will be more beneficial to you. If however, you don’t download very much, you might be okay with a data allowance. These packages will likely be cheaper than unlimited data packages and so you’ll save yourself a bit of money in the process.

Not considering bundles

If you have Sky TV or Virgin, it might be cheaper and more beneficial for you to go with a bundle deal instead of an individual broadband package. Bundles tend to include line rental, the TV package you’ve purchased, and the broadband, all rolled into one. If you need all three things anyway, it could be cheaper and easier to go with a broadband bundle deal instead.

How to find the best deals on car finance

Buying a new car isn’t like going to the shops to purchase a new outfit. A new car is potentially a very big purchase, depending on what you’re looking for of course. We all decide to buy new vehicles for different reasons. Some of us look for a new car because our old one decided to stop working, while others look for a new car as a way of upgrading and treating ourselves to something nice. The amount you spend on a new vehicle is entirely up to you, but if you do want to make the process a little more affordable in the short-term, you may wish to go with finance. Rather than paying one large lumpsum, you instead spend a much smaller amount each month, over the course of several years, until the price of the vehicle has been paid off, plus interest of course. If you know where to look, there are some great car finance deals to be had. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Make sure you have a strong credit rating

Before you even consider trying to finance a car, you should first take the time to ensure that you have a strong credit rating. Your credit rating will not only affect your eligibility for getting car finance in the first place, it will also affect some of the deals that you could potentially access. If you have a poor credit rating, your likelihood of obtaining car finance will be very low. What’s more, to add salt to the wound, if you do apply for car finance but are unsuccessful this will actually make your credit rating drop even further. To build a strong credit rating, never miss a payment, don’t apply for unnecessary credit, don’t take out too many loans, and don’t get careless with your money. The stronger your credit rating, the more likely you will be to be approved for car finance.

Use the internet to your advantage

If you’re looking to save money and want to finance a new car, the internet is a great resource to have at your disposal. There are websites and forums out there listing some of the best deals and companies offering said best deals, as well as offering helpful advice on what you can do to improve your chances of being approved. There are sites telling you when to apply, how to dress, how to act, what to ask, what to look out for, and much more besides. There really is a wealth of knowledge out there at your disposal, so use it wisely.

Use a credit card

If you’re not sure about the interest payments associated with car finance, if you have the funds on your credit card, you could use that instead, and essentially create your own car finance deal. If you have a credit card with 0% interest on purchases for example, you won’t pay any interest. You will of course need to pay at least, the minimum amount each month, but that will still likely be cheaper than most interest rates offered by car finance companies.

Fun Facts About Mortgages

If you’re looking to get on the property ladder for the first time, there’s a lot to know about mortgages. Buying a property nowadays is decidedly more complex than it was two decades ago, not to mention the fact that it is also much more expensive as well. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as buying your first property will likely be one of the best investments that you could ever wish for. Today we’re not going to talk to you about numbers, we’re instead going to take a more light-hearted look at mortgages and will be sharing some interesting and fun facts about mortgages that you may not have been aware of.

It is possible to purchase a house without a deposit

Decades ago, buying a property without a deposit/down payment was surprisingly easy. These days however, it’s the deposit that most people struggle with. Generally, it’s around 10%, which is a lot of money to save up. Despite this however, it is still possible to purchase a house without a deposit, although it is very rare.

First time buyers are quite rare

Given the state of the economy and the market, this probably won’t come as that much of a surprise, but either way, here it is. Nowadays there are far fewer first time buyers than in the past. Typically, you’ll find that first time buyers make up roughly 40% of the housing market. Lately however, that number has dropped. It might not sound like much, but by 2013, first time buyers made up just 38%. This 2% drop may not sound like much, but in the grand scheme of things it’s quite significant. It’s estimated that that number could now actually be even lower still.

Mortgage debt is quite high

For the purpose of transparency, we need to tell you that by ‘quite high’ what we actually-mean is ‘astronomically high’. At the end of the final financial quarter of 2013, in the US alone, mortgage debts totalled $13 Trillion.

The word ‘mortgage’ is quite solemn

The word mortgage is derived from the French word ‘Morgage’ which was sometimes spelled ‘Mort Gaige’. This literally translated to ‘dead pledge’ in French. The meaning behind this was that, once you pay the mortgage off or fail to make payments, the mortgage dies.

Most people don’t understand mortgages

Mortgages are incredibly complex, and buying a property is certainly not simple or easy. According to market research however, around 33% of people admittedly do not understand the basic fundamentals of mortgages. There are of course, mortgage advisors and other property and lending experts you can talk to who can help, and they’re certainly well worth speaking to, especially if you’re looking to get on the property ladder for the first time.

4 Things You Didn’t Know About WIFI and the Internet

Although there are arguments to be made for the internet slowly turning us into slaves to technology, for the most part, broadband and the internet has been a truly remarkable invention that has revolutionized modern life as we know it today. Without the internet, you wouldn’t be reading this fun article today.

Without the internet, you wouldn’t be able to read your friend’s pointless statuses on social media, or watch funny videos of people slipping over when you’re supposed to be working. On a more serious note, without the internet, life as we know it today would come grinding to a screeching halt. We owe a lot to the internet, but are you a self-proclaimed ‘internet buff’? Unless you already know these fun facts that we’re about to share with you, we’re going to recommend that you hold off on referring to yourself as an internet buff just yet. Here are 4 things you didn’t know about WIFI and the internet.

WIFI doesn’t stand for anything

Some of you reading this article will now be getting pretty hot under the collar, as the general belief is that WIFI actually stands for ‘Wireless-Fidelity’. That, however, is not the case. An early WIFI advertising slogan incorrectly stated that WIFI did indeed stand for ‘wireless fidelity’ and things took off from there. The truth however, is that WIFI doesn’t really stand for anything. It’s just a fun-sounding technical term used in the tech-industry.

The internet is not as new as you think

If you’re like us, you probably connected to the internet sometime in the mid to late nineties, as that is when the world really jumped on board the whole internet saga. The internet, however, was not invented in the nineties at all, it was actually created much earlier than that, way back in 1966 in fact.

The internet is water-based

Water and electricity generally don’t mix, but in the case of the internet, this is an exception. You see, the internet works thanks to a series of underwater ‘submarine communications cables’ which are laid underwater on the sea bed between various stations located on land. In the past, the internet has been disrupted thanks to these cables sustaining damage from numerous things, including ship anchors, and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Broadband gets its name from physics

Nowadays, all households get their internet connectivity thanks to broadband. But what precisely is broadband? Well, broadband is a term used in the world of physics, to describe a form of radiation which gives off a ‘broad band’ (see what we mean?) of continuous frequencies. Technically speaking, the sun is a form of broadband, although don’t worry, we’re confident that the sun isn’t in fact a giant glowing broadband internet router that some superior alien species forgot to switch off. Or are we?

Car Finance – How to Purchase an Affordable Car

Owning a car is not only liberating, it also helps make everyday life so much easier. What’s more, with fantastic car finance deals available to more people than ever before, nobody is missing out. Car finance is one way to purchase an affordable car, and we’ll be looking at that in more detail a little later on, but what else can be done?

Buying a car is generally not cheap, and it’s certainly not like calling in at your local supermarket for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread. Buying a car can be an expensive ordeal, which is why we’ve compiled this article. If you’re on the lookout for a car and want to keep your costs low, here’s a look at a few tips on how you can snag a great bargain and buy an affordable car.

Purchase a car at least a year old

If you’re looking to buy a brand-new car, you should ask yourself whether it really does have to be brand new, or whether you could cope with a car older than one year old. You see, according to recent research, cars that are at least one year old are considerably cheaper than cars that are brand new. The second you drive a brand-new car out of the dealership it begins losing value. Cars, other than classics, are probably the worst investments you could make in terms of finances. Within the first twelve months, cars lose as much as 27% of their total value. Therefore, if you buy a car roughly a year old, it will still have very few miles on the clock, but will now be a great deal cheaper and more affordable. We’re not talking hundreds of Euros here, we’re talking several thousand.

Car finance

We touched on car finance earlier on, but now we’ll elaborate. Car finance is seen by some people as a rip-off, but that’s not true. Sure, once upon a time, car finance interest rates were extortionate, but times have changed. Now, finance companies have to be more competitive than ever, which means offering low interest rates so that people go with them in the first place. If you want to buy a reliable and fairly-new car, rather than a clapped-out old banger, car finance is ideal. Car finance lets you purchase a fairly-expensive car and pay a small amount each month over several years, plus a little interest.

Choose the right time to buy

If you are buying from a dealership, it may be worth planning your visit carefully. You see, dealership salespeople have targets to meet in order to snag bonuses, and typically they are based upon sales made quarterly. December, March, June, and September, towards the end of the month, are typically good times to visit. During this time, the more cars they sell, the more commission they will earn so they will be likely to do a better deal with you. Needless to say, don’t be afraid to haggle, especially as you have nothing to lose, while they have everything to gain.

Bizarre Mortgage Application Questions Revealed

People are quick to chastise millennials as being ‘self-righteous’ and ‘overly-sensitive’ with a false sense of entitlement, but when it comes to buying a property, especially for the first time, people in this day and age are right to feel hard done by. Their parents likely purchased their first property for less money than is now required purely to put down a deposit on a house. Ever since the credit crunch and the global financial crisis where the banks needed to be bailed out, lenders have really clamped down on their lending policies. It is now harder than ever to get a mortgage, though there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Lenders are becoming slightly less-strict nowadays, and there are plenty of resources and schemes available to help buyers get on the property ladder for the first time. Mortgage lenders do of course need to be cautious with whom they lend their money to, but some of the questions being asked are downright bizarre. If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, here’s a look at some bizarre questions you may find yourself being asked during the application process.

What do your children receive for pocket money?

If the person/persons applying for a mortgage happens to have children, this is indeed a genuine question. Yes, really. Now, bear in mind that the average price for a semi-detached property in Ireland is currently €271’000, it’s pretty safe to assume that the average child in Ireland will not be receiving anything close to that in weekly pocket money. If they were, the parents probably wouldn’t need to apply for a mortgage in the first place. Are the lenders really that strict that they’re genuinely worried about how much money a child is getting in pocket money each week?

How often do you eat steak per week?

This is another common question asked by mortgage lenders, and we can only assume it’s because they consider steak to be a luxurious and highly expensive food. In reality, steak prices nowadays are very reasonable, especially if you go for the less expensive cuts like rump. The lenders obviously want to figure out whether their mortgage repayments would be safe or whether or not the recipients would be out squandering their mortgage payments on Ribeye and sirloin steak instead. This question is flawed for many reasons.

To begin with, not everybody eats the same meals every single day, so some people have no idea when they’ll eat steak next. Then of course, there’s the fact that the recipients could simply lie. We’re fairly sure the mortgage police won’t be round every week to inspect the contents of their fridge.

How much do you spend on your pets?

Okay, there are some people out there that spend an astonishing amount of money on their pets, especially if their pets happen to be horses. Generally speaking, however, most people purchase the bare essentials needed to keep their fur-babies happy, clean, healthy, and fed and so we aren’t talking life-changing amounts of money.

Do you plan to have any more children?

This is a very personal question and it’s not really anybody else’s place to ask it, but some lenders do. Bear in mind that a mortgage is a long-term commitment that normally lasts decades, how can anybody give an answer for a future scenario? A couple may not be ready for kids when they apply for a mortgage, but three years down the line, perhaps they will be? You can’t expect them to tell the lenders that they want kids in three years because at the time of applying they may not have done.

4 Car Finance Mistakes to Avoid

4 Car Finance Mistakes to Avoid

Okay, so the time has finally come for you to take the plunge and buy yourself a new car. Your old banger has finally given up the ghost, and you’re looking to treat yourself to something a little more upmarket and expensive. Unless you have a few grand laying around the house, car finance may be your only option to make your monthly payments more manageable. Before you apply for car finance however, there are some things you need to know. Car finance is not a given, and you aren’t guaranteed to be accepted and approved. To help give you the best possible chances of success however, here are 4 car finance mistakes to avoid making.

Failing to check your credit score before applying

Before you even consider applying for car finance, the first thing you need to do is check your credit score. There are a number of websites online that offer this service for free, and while they aren’t generally 100% reliable, many of them are pretty accurate and so they will give you a rough idea of what your score and rating is. If you check your score beforehand, it gives you an idea of what your chances will be of being approved. If for example, you check your score and your rating is low this means you will likely not be approved. If your rating is good, your chances of being approved increase. It is worth knowing your score because if you are rejected, your credit score will actually drop further, and vice versa if you’re approved.

Not shopping around

The car finance market in Europe is incredibly lucrative, which means that there are plenty of companies out there that want a piece of the action. This is good news for car buyers because it allows them more choice and more options. Before you consider applying for car finance, read reviews online, post in forums, and do your own research to try to find out more about the different options available to you. Yes, we know it’s time-consuming and how you’re desperate to get behind the wheel of your new motor, but if it means you save a few hundred Euros each month, surely it’s worth doing?

Not setting a budget

When you buy a new car, you need to set yourself a maximum budget well in advance. The issue with finance is that, because the monthly payments are often so manageable, people forget how much they’re actually paying for the car. Before buying, give yourself a maximum budget and don’t forget how, over the years, when your car finance deal has ended, you will likely have spent more money than the car was valued at, at the time of purchase. It sounds unfair but that’s how finance works. Make sure you factor the interest payments into your total budget.

Beware of early payoff penalties

This sounds bizarre, but if you suddenly decide that you would rather pay off the price of the car in one lump sum, and therefore pay off your car finance in one go, often there may be hidden penalties. That’s right, for paying off the car early, you are sometimes charged a penalty, as it means the lenders may make less money from interestover the coming months/years. Be crystal clear on all terms and conditions when buying a new/used car.

4 Ways to Purchase a Car Without Breaking the Bank

Car Finance – 4 Ways to Purchase a Car Without Breaking the Bank

To some people, cars are nothing more than a way of getting from A to B. To others however, cars are an enormous passion, with some literally earning a living from them. If you’re a self-proclaimed ‘petrol head’ you’ll no doubt have spent many a Sunday afternoon daydreaming about one day owning the sports car you’ve always wanted. Rather than day dreaming about owning your dream car however, why not make it a reality? Thanks to car finance, personal loans, and other means of buying, buying your dream car, whatever the price tag, is now easier than ever. Here’s a look at a few examples of how you can purchase a new car without breaking the bank.

Cash or savings

If you’re serious about buying your dream car, you may have decided to start saving up for it years ago. One day, the time will come when you have enough savings to be able to head out and buy your new car in one go. The benefit of using your own cash/savings is the fact that once you buy it, you then own the car and you can do with it whatever you like. Sure, there’s the tax and insurance to pay for, but once you own the car and have paid for it that’s it. If you can afford to buy it outright, buying it there and then is certainly going to work out cheaper in the long run. There’s also the bonus of you owning it, so you could always sell it if funds were tight.

A personal loan

Another way of buying a new car without spending a fortune on car finance is to get yourself a personal loan. A personal loan can be obtained from a finance provider, a building society, or a bank, as long as you have a fairy-impressive credit rating. Once you are approved, you then borrow the money and can pay it back in monthly payments over the course of several years. The longer you spread out the cost, the less you will pay each month.

Personal Contract Purchase

Personal Contract Purchase, or PCP, for short, is a type of car finance where initially lower monthly repayments are made. Rather than obtaining a loan for the full cost of the car, you instead obtain the loan based upon its value now, and the estimated value at the end of your hire agreement. This is often estimated based upon your predicted mileage.

It is worth noting however, that like most other forms of car finance, at the end of the agreed hire period, you will likely have paid more for the vehicle than it is worth, thanks to the interest payments. After all, the PCP providers have to profit some way, otherwise they’re getting nothing in return. At the end of the term you have the option to pay the difference and buy the car if you really liked it, or you can start the process again with a new vehicle, or simply give it back to the dealership and pay nothing else.

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Mortgages – Tips to Sell Your Home

Okay, after many happy years, and countless memories along the way, the time has now come for you to sell your home. Before you start looking into mortgages for your next property, that is indeed, if you require one, there is first the matter of selling the home you currently reside in. Selling a house isn’t like listing something second-hand on the internet, with a ‘buy it now’ option. Selling a house can be a stressful, complex, time-consuming, and even expensive process. That’s right, before you can sell your home there is a good chance that you will have to part with money yourself. Needless to say, not only do you want to get the best price, but you will also want to get the sale done and dusted as quickly as possible. That’s why for today’s topic, we’re looking at mortgagesas we list a series of tips to help you sell your home quicker.

Spruce it up

If you’re looking at selling up, comparing mortgages on a new property, and moving on, the last thing on your mind will be redecoration until you’ve purchased somewhere new. However, as the saying goes ‘you have to spend money to make money’. Unless you can honestly say that your house is immaculate, it is well worth spending some money and redecorating the house, or at the very least, giving the walls a neat new coat of paint. The nicer the house looks, the more likely it will be to sell. This also means tidying up the garden, cutting the grass, removing the weeds, and perhaps even painting the exterior. The nicer the property looks, both on picture, and in person, the easier you should find it to sell.

List on a Friday

Okay, this may sound like superstitious nonsense, but there is some truth to it. You see, according to recent statistics, the best day to list your property for sale if you want rid of it quickly is on a Friday. This is because people are generally happier on a Friday as it’s the weekend and it gives them time to relax and have fun. It also means that people will likely be free over the weekend to come and view, plus they may even have had a drink or two, which always lifts the spirits.

Cover all bases

Remember, when people are looking to buy a new home, they want as close to perfection as you can get. Although you might have been happy to live with that blown lightbulb in the corner, or that annoying paint chip on the wall, a prospective buyer won’t. All of those tedious maintenance jobs that you have been putting off for months, even years, will unfortunately need to be taken care of if you want to increase your chances of a quick sale. Basically, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself if you’d be happy to buy the property in its current state.