At the moment I am looking for a new place to call home. When I originally planned to move to Ireland I had it all sorted out in my head; I love being outdoors and wanted to learn how to sail so I was going to move to the village (or what an Australian would call the outer suburbs) of Malahide. I arrived in Dublin and under the stress of living in a hotel, I quickly found a house share arrangement in Malahide to live. I was not entirely comfortable with my new housemates from our brief meeting but I was in a hotel and needed to get out fast.
I moved in and very quickly realised my mistake in making such a rush move:
The location – I had wanted to work and am working in the city center. The hour commute each way into the city is already driving me insane. I am also finding that I spend a lot of my evenings in the city center so by the time I am getting home its 10.30/11pm and I am up at 6am to catch the first bus of the morning. This means the active exercise full lifestyle I am use to is being lost. The house is also not close to any of the main bus or train routes so I am walking 20 – 40 min to public transport.
The house – the house is a cheap new build, the door knob to the bathroom fell off the other day and the second bathroom has not worked since I moved in. The house is also very cold, the heaters are too small for the bedrooms and it take 40min for the hot water to heat up so you can have a shower (the timer does not work). In the houses defencee it does look very pretty and the rooms are quite large and bright.
Cost – I pay €500 a month for my double bedroom plus bills, there are house shares in the city centre for €500 – €600 and I would not have to pay to commute in everyday (which cost me €30 – €40 per week).
Housemates – Getting along with my housemates is important to me. My housemates are nice enough, but we have very different views. I am quickly running out of patience as one of my housemates in particular rules over the house, opening doors to let the cold air in when we have just spent an hour with the heating on trying to warm the place up, changing the television channel on my other housemate because he wants to watch the soccer, and turning the bloody hot water off on me while I am in the shower. My house mates are also all married and settled, or married and sending money home to their family overseas. For someone who has just moved to Dublin, this type of home environment can make it difficult to feel comfortable in your home and to build a friendship network.
For some people not getting along or having a social connection with their housemates is not as important as other things, such as a new fashionable home. But for me it is up there on the list of ‘high priority’ items. So within a week of moving in the search for a new place began again. I am not on any official subletting agreement so I am not too concerned about moving on.
Current Rental Environment in Dublin
Renting in Dublin at the moment is in crisis, new laws have been recently put in place to stop landlords increasing rent on existing properties for the next 2 years and new anti-discrimination legislation has been enacted to stop people being discriminated against when applying for rental properties. However there is not enough housing to meet demand and for every property I apply for there are 100+ other people applying for that same property. It also means that there are a number of rental scams going around with people asking for deposits for properties that do not exist, and some people giving you keys when you pay a deposit but the keys not fitting the locks to the property you were paying a deposit on…
Knowing all this I have delved back into the share house search, so far I responded to over 40 advertisements, and received responses back from six of those inquiries. I have viewed four properties to date. One property was a complete dump – landlord trying to make a three bedroom apartment out of a two bedroom apartment by turning the lounge room into a bedroom and no improvements have been done on the property in at least 10 years. The second property was an older apartment as well but it was workable, however I quickly got the feeling from the male housemate that he ruled the roost and we would not get along at all… Apparently the feeling was mutual as the property was re-advertised the next day.
I fell in love with the third house I viewed. The house itself was in a good part of town, it had that warm and cosy feeling, and I felt I got along well with the other housemates. However it was not meant to be and for a day or two I was devastated that I did not get the place. But from that experience it has helped me reshape my idea’s on the type of place I am looking for and the type of housemates I want to live with. Now when I respond to an advertisement for a property I am interested in I give people a better idea on who I am, what I am looking for and why they should pick me to be their housemate.
So for now the house search continues. Since my last rejection I have found a further 5 properties which meet my criteria… hopefully I will get to view at least one of them and find my new home soon!