Welcome to my blog!

This blog tells my experience with buying a house in Dublin, Ireland, and renovating it. 

I wanted to share everything I learned along the way, my misadventures and any tips and tricks!


What are the best areas and those that you should avoid

What are the best areas and those that you should avoid

MAP LEGEND:

> Green areas - Ideal location and / or wealthiest areas (es: house prices are the highest)
> Light green areas - Ok locations that are not the most recommended or best serviced by train/LUAS lines
> Red areas - Not recommended locations, because of resell value and crime or anti-social behaviour
> Light red areas - Less not recommended locations: while not the best areas, they are still livable
> Blue diamonds - Train stations
> Red pushpins - LUAS red line
> Green pushpins - LUAS green line

* Grey area - I have no information on this area. 

 

The most difficult part about buying a house in a foreign country? Choosing the location. 
Especially in a counterintuitive city like Dublin, where the wealthier areas are not located in the city center, but mostly in the Southeast part of the city (Ballsbridge, Sandymount, Rathmines, Blackrock etc).

And the worst part? There is very little information on the internet, and interviewing locals can provide very discordant opinions. What someone might consider a livable area, others will consider it pretty dodgy.

With all the information I collected, I tried to create a map which would include not only a clear view of all the areas of the city, but also color code them based on how 'recommended' they were. Additionally, I wanted to have a clear overview of which areas were serviced by train and LUAS lines (bus lines are not included, as they are very developed and all areas are serviced). 

* Here are factors that I used to label a location as 'ideal' in this post:
- High value properties (which you can easily resell or make a profit on)
- Stable / wealthy neighbourhood
- Well connected with public transportation

** Please note that these are not maps based on science and stats, but they are based the fragments of information I found on the Internet and on the opinions of the Dubliners I've spoken to.  

*** Please keep in mind that this is a personal blog and I just hope that my experience might be of use to others: this was a map that I initially created for myself in 2015, and that I'm now sharing with you. I'm not a professional data scientist, and I did my best to collect this information.

This map was created thanks to Google Maps

IDEAL AREAS
Rathmines
Ranelagh
Rathgar
Dundrum
Knocklyon
Ballsbridge
Sandymount
Blackrock
Ringsend
Smithfield (apartment)
Stoneybatter (Avoid area near the military hospital or prison - suggested Palatine Square)
Phibsboro
Sandyford (and all the area around the Sandyford Industrial Estate)
Glasnevin
Clontarf
Castleknock
Clonsilla
Clonee
Lucan
Howth
Sutton
Bayside
Kennington Road area in Templeogue. 

OK AREAS
Crumlin
Kimmeage
Kilmeihn
Ashtown
Cabra
Kingswood
Clondalkin - areas of Newlands Cross and Saint John's. 
Raheny
Baldoyle
Chapelizod
Inchicore
Finglas North

NOT SUGGESTED AREAS
Finglas South
Blanchardstown
Ballyfermot
Clondalkin
Tallagh
Rialto (especially around St. James hospital)
The Coombe
Cathal Brughal St. (and the area around it)
Mountjoy
East Wall

Please take the list of 'Not suggested areas' very loosely: these are simply the areas that have a bad reputation (which might not be still true) and that are not the top locations for more up-scale properties. For example,  I personally lived in Finglas North and walked around East Wall, and while they are certainly not as pretty as Rathmines or Ballsbridge, they do have quite nice areas too. 

Another thing to consider is that the perception of 'dodginess' varies from person to person; I'll always remember a friend from Brazil describing the area where they live in Ballyfermot: for Irish standards it might be 'rough', but given his personal experience in a big Brazilian metropolis, it's fine (this is only to emphasize how our personal experiences color our opinions). 

While not listed, Swords, Malahide, Bray etc are also great areas to look for a property, if you don't mind a longer commute to the city center. 


If you find a property that you like, the best advice that I can give you is:

 

Ask your friends who live in the area (or whose friend of a friend lives there) what they think of it and if there are any streets you should avoid. *Don't* listen to rumours from people who've never lived there.

Try to ask a couple of questions to your new neighbours or people who you find strolling in the area.

Call the local Garda to ask about crime rates, break-ins
etc, and post on Boards.ie to ask for the community's opinion.

 

The first and second houses I made an offer on, were located in the Dunsink area, Finglas South. I visited the area multiple times during the day, and while some streets were more littered than others, most of the houses were very nice, well kept and had children playing in front. 

I had also talked with one of my possible future neighbors and he had told me that the street where I wanted to buy the house was fine.. however the one right below was pretty rough, with 'drug' problems (I'm not sure if he meant drug dealing or drug using.. but I guess they go hand-in-hand).

By coincidence, a friend had just bought a house in Finglas North, and I asked him what he though of the area. He gave me his honest opinion, he was very happy with his neighbourhood in the north part but he suggested that I avoid the Dunsink area in the south because of criminal behaviour. 

To be sure I wasn't giving up an opportunity, I also asked a couple of more people (with the same result), and I called the local Garda station for more information on the street where I wanted to buy a house. This is what the Guarda told me:

The area [Dunsink area] is full of criminal and anti-social behaviour. There are also some travellers. I personally wouldn’t live there.
— Garda officer

* As a note, I don't share the Garda officer's implicit bias against travelers, nor do I think that being a traveler equals to being lumped in with criminals. I'm simply reporting what I was told*

I also posted on the Boards.ie community (this is the thread), and I received even more honest opinions. My favorite part is this:

Needless to say, I didn't buy the property in Dunsink Drive. 


Dos and Don'ts when viewing a property

Dos and Don'ts when viewing a property

Making a bid. Best practises and what to avoid.

Making a bid. Best practises and what to avoid.