Under the Floorboards

2015-08-19 10.44.51This morning the linoleum in the hall came up. Yet again, the case of the lazy (or frugal?) painters! There must have been a carpet runner at some point, and the floor is painted around it. Same as in the bedroom. And the sitting room window trim is only painted up to where the valance/cornice would hang!!! It doesn’t really matter as every single one of these spots will be repainted or replaced, but it drives me a bit mad meanwhile.

Our wonderful electrician, Colm Quinn, and his team have started the rewire of the kitchen, dining room, bedroom and master bath today. Floorboards are coming up and new wires are being run. Under the floorboard s is where the spiders live. Fortunately, Irish spiders aren’t poisonous.

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The best news we’ve received this week is that we fully own our house! In Ireland, the last step of purchasing a home is registering with the Property Registration Authority. We got a letter from our solicitor, Eoin Joyce, telling us this is now complete! If you are in Cork and need a solicitor, I would not hesitate to recommend Joyce & Co. Both Michael & Eoin are a pleasure to deal with and are extremely reliable. (For my Americans, Eoin is the Irish for Owen, and is pronounced the same)

Here are some things I learned about buying property in Ireland (feel free to skip this section):

  1. It can take a long time. And not necessarily for any good reason. We put an offer on the house at the end of January, but didn’t close until early May. This timing actually worked out really well for us in the end though, so no complaints.
  2. Auctioneers (real estate agents) are dodgy. The one we delt with, especially.
  3. If you are buying a property abroad it is essential you have a lawyer you trust.
  4. Engineers are your one stop shop for assistance. In the US, your pre-purchase property surveyor only tells you what’s wrong. Officially, they aren’t supposed to estimate what it might cost to fix it. And generally, once you have their report it’s the last you see them. But in Ireland, a building engineer sees out the whole process with you – from initial building survey, boundary check, and map revisions before buying to planning, design, and project management on after purchase renovations. It makes a lot of sense. I’m certain you’ll hear more about our engineer, Anthony Kenneally, soon enough!
  5. There is a 1% fee called Stamp Duty that you pay when you buy a house. I’m not exactly sure what it’s for, but I had to get a PPS (social security) number in order to pay it.
  6. Property taxes in Ireland are pretty new – only about 3 years old – and the amount would make anyone in the tri-state area of the US green with jealousy!

Sorry if that bit was dull.

We’ve been doing a bit of gardening. It’s a daily battle of Jess vs. Slugs & Snails in the window boxes, but the roses are in bloom and healthy. The orange & yellow one was a welcome gift from Killeagh’s Tidy Towns.

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Just for fun, here’s a snap of our favorite barman dressed to impress (the kiddies) at a fundraiser a week ago. It makes me giggle. Happy Wednesday!

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