“A local builder assessed how much work could be done. The property is a listed building.
“I was lucky that my cousin, uncle, and my younger brother are all electrical wizards,” says Saoirse.
“So I had them check the electrics for me to see if there were any major issues.” Saoirse did her sums.
“Normally, people bid about 10-15 per cent under the asking price, although in the cities, especially Dublin, it can go much over. I made up my mind how much I could afford to bid.”
She got sound advice.
“I have a friend who was able to give me solid advice on buying overseas, and her bank, EBS in Athlone, offered the best rates for a ‘holiday home mortgage.’ Saoirse agrees the piggy-bank needs to be kept intact to buy that dream house.
“If, like me, you are not living in the country you wish to buy in, then you will need to have been taking care of the piggy-bank that is all but forgotten for most of your 20s,” she says.
“Although I am a first-time buyer, I am classed as a ’foreign investor’. That meant I needed to be in the range of 30-50 per cent deposit. In my case, just over 40 over cent deposit was required. Gulp!”
Saoirse jumped through a few hoops, getting life assurance and income protection.
“The income protection is in case you get sick and you are unable to cover the mortgage repayments,” says Saoirse. “I thought: I never get sick. But my dad reminded me that it is better to be safe than sorry in the case of large repayments. So I included that.”
Did Saoirse enjoy the whole process of securing her beautiful domain?
“Yes, I did,” she says. “Sure, there are lots of decisions to be made, but when you get through them, you end up with a home that you can call your own.”
Saoirse has grand plans for her new acquisition.
“The lighthouse got a new lick of paint,” she says.
Renovations are beginning on the house.
“I am installing a new heating system,” she adds.
“And because it’s on the side of a cliff, the house is a bit damp. So the walls need dry-lining. And the floors need sanding and varnishing.”
Saoirse is oozing with enthusiasm about her new project.
“And I’m adding a conservatory to modernise the house a bit,” she says.
“I’m not allowed to change too much. I’d like to keep it the same, but open-plan. I’ll take my time. It is not going anywhere.” There are many advantages to the house sitting on top of one of the finest vantage spots in Ireland.
“I hope people will come and stay,” says Saoirse. “It will be a huge novelty.” There are other novelties too.
“In the bedrooms, you can hear the waves crashing,” says Saoirse, dreamily.
She is not disclosing how much she paid for her dream home, but she thinks it was a steal now she is the sole owner.
“I am thrilled with it,” she says.
Mat Damon, eat your heart out.