It’s been a whirlwind three and a half days since arriving in Dublin.
On Wednesday we were picked up at our corporate housing by the relocation agent Adrienne and spent the afternoon touring properties. We started by viewing two houses in an affluent suburb of the city that very much felt like a great place to raise a family but maybe not somewhere you’d want to hang out. Because we don’t have kids it was more than a little sedate for our tastes, although one of the houses was quite nice (if not laid out oddly). From there we viewed some new build homes in a development located on the perimeter of a large park and absolutely *hated* each of them. The first was a townhome and though the listing agent described it as being close to 2000 square feet it felt much smaller than our old 1500 square foot craftsman. The other was a standalone and while it was huge, it wasn’t nice. At our max budget, there was no way we were going to take it. By the time noon rolled around I was somewhat despondent because the market doesn’t have a lot available right now in terms of houses, and I really don’t want to wind up in another apartment having lived with pounding above my head and bongo drums at my feet for the last 2.5 years.
After grabbing a really great sandwich at a little cafe called Toast in the village of Rathmines, we walked down the street to view a place that I had emailed to the agent a week prior with a note indicating that on paper it was perfect for what we wanted. I had high hopes for it based on the listing information and the photos and I wasn’t disappointed. We walked from the cafe down a leafy street off the main road, and I was in love. Not only was it close to Rathmines, but it’s also walking distance to Harold’s Cross. In terms of transportation into Dublin’s city center, it’s walkable (25 minutes) but there’s also a bus stop about five minutes away. Alan could drive to his office in the suburbs in 25 minutes, or walk to the LUAS line and ride the train in.
We were met by the listing agent and within seconds of walking in the front door and into the entry foyer, my jaw was on the floor. It’s a perfectly restored Georgian property (although I’m having trouble reconciling that description given when the Georgian period technically ended and when the first house on the street was built) that was purchased with a need for a remodel earlier this year for €1.290.000. I can’t even begin to guess how much money the owners put in to restoring it, but they didn’t scrimp on doing the job right (contrast this to the final property we viewed that afternoon that was more money per month and had been shoddily updated.)
When we walk in to the left is the formal dining room and parlor and the stairs up to the landing where there’s a small office and then a switch back for stairs up to the bedroom level, which includes a master suite, a good sized bedroom, and a smallish bedroom. If instead of going upstairs you go downstairs, you enter an space that is one large open plan living area, complete with a chef’s kitchen and a conservatory area. I don’t think I can do it justice explaining how awesome this level is – much less the whole house – so let me just show you some pictures from the original listing we saw.
Before leaving we told the listing agent that we were interested in the house, which is when we learned that two other couples had already expressed interest in the property. Of course they had! That’s when our agent went to work pitching us and working her connections so that we were well positioned in the mind of the agent who was working with the landlord. That evening we heard that the landlord’s wife had given us a verbal okay, but couldn’t count that since her husband would need to agree and he was traveling. The next day while we were in line at the PPS building waiting to get some official documentation taken care of, Adrienne heard back from the listing agent letting us know that we got the house! When we got back to our temporary accommodations Alan provided all the paperwork they wanted and made a transfer from our U.S. bank to them for the security deposit and now we’re scheduled for a Wednesday walkthrough to take pictures and document the condition of the house. My understanding is that’s also when the utilities will be switched to our name. After that we can move in anytime.
Now I’m busy figuring out where to buy a couch and chairs and how to get them delivered. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to spend a lot of time at Ikea in the coming weeks.