Whilst the idea of retiring to the remotest of remote places in the Cork countryside – for example, Crosshaven, Glangarriff, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Youghal to name but a few – may seem like a good idea at first, if you can’t, or don’t want to drive then you could be in trouble.
Public transport in many rural areas in Cork can be a hit and miss affair at best, where older people could be left to take long journeys by bus to hospital appointments with not a cab service in sight. You should also think about how far away you’d want to be from Cork airport or Cork City.
And if you’re still working, whilst the major conurbations such as Douglas, Wilton, Middleton, Togher and Carrigaline may only be a 20-30 minute drive away from the airport or Cork City, what job opportunities might be available outside of the larger towns? Also, what kind of schools would you like your children to attend (many Irish schools are Catholic) and how far away from the bigger stores, banks etc. you’d like to be.
Calculate Your Budget Before Moving
Cost is a huge factor within this. Accommodation in county Cork varies enormously. Rentals can be extremely costly everywhere – with rents of E1,300 – E1,500 per month not uncommon. However, many rented places can also come furnished in Cork so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Asking prices for available properties can also vary enormously. From several million euro for the larger detached houses in and around Kinsale & parts of Cork City to the perhaps more affordable asking prices for a country cottage around Bantry, Mallow, Glangariff and Skibbereen. Costs also reduce accordingly for smaller, semi-detached and terraced properties in the larger urbanisations around Cork such as Carrigaline, Douglas, Wilton and Middleton.
Note: You may have to spend a lot more on petrol if living in the countryside as you’ll have to drive a lot more. Weigh up which lifestyle would suit you best before making a final decision.
While it’s a good idea to have visited the village or town you wish to move to at least once before you take the plunge (to line up accommodation, assess the neighbourhood – as well as the neighbours!) temporary accommodation could be an option whilst you’re investigating in greater detail. A downside would be, of course, how difficult this could be to co-ordinate if you plan on bringing most of your possessions with you when you eventually make the move.
(Do you really want to move twice within a short space of time?)
Again, with the present dearth of good quality homes available throughout the whole of County Cork, with at least two, three, or more cash buyers bidding on any decent property that does come available – even if you’ve already moved to the Cork area – can be a very fraught and time-consuming experience. And, if you’re still living abroad and trying to line up a rental or purchase from afar, then you may as well forget it, you’ll come last in the race every time!
Appointing an Independent House Hunter
By far the best option is to appoint a reliable, independent `house hunter’ to act on your behalf. A professional house hunter will take all the `drudge’ out of doing the rounds of estate agents/auctioneers and/or searching the Cork property websites into the wee small hours in the hope of unearthing that `property jewel’ before anybody else finds it and snaps it up.
Appointing an independent house hunter to act on your behalf – who has also experienced the house-buying process in Ireland themselves – will also pay dividends down the road as they will be best placed to save your precious time and money when negotiating the best possible price for your dream home.
Moving – how much will it cost?
If you plan to bring all of your possessions to Cork with you when you come to Ireland you will have to pay to ship them. Best to get a number of comparative quotes from reliable, well established firms who have plenty of experience moving furniture and household goods to Cork in Southern Ireland.
Investigate too, if you’re not bringing too much stuff with you and/or you’re not tied down to moving into your chosen property immediately you arrive in Cork, the possibility of having a `part-load’ (e.g. where the removal firm can transport the contents of more than one household to the same, or nearby, area in Cork). This could save you a tidy sum indeed!
But if you leave your treasured possessions behind whilst you investigate the property scene in Cork, you’ll need to judge how long you can last without them in Ireland. One other big cost to take into consideration is the possibility that you may also need to buy a car, depending on the area in which you chose to live.
What to bring with you?
It will again depend on where you’re living, how long you think your savings are going to last and how long you think can survive in Ireland without the precious things you may have left behind.