What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Easily what my husband and I wish we had brought for our retirement new home, and still hope for, are our two sons, grown and on their own, our grandkids, growing quickly, and our friends. Although they are missed dearly, hi-tech gadgets allow us face to face chats so it's not too difficult being without. The number of things we wish we had left in the States include too many pots and pans, too many electronics requiring adapters and transformers, and clothing! We had read stories online about the cost of such in Ireland and found that not to be true where we live, on the western side in a more relaxed locale with easy access to major stores. We have found all of the above items to be less costly than imagined.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Advice before moving is DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The things you pay for in your current home will be very much similar and yet some will be different, like the required annual TV license fee here. We made a list of everything we paid for in Florida; groceries, medical and dental, rent, utilities, clothing, personal care like hair cuts, transportation, etc, then did a comparison by communities in our new intended home area. In searching for a home don't rely on real estate sites and photos, like even on a good website like daft.ie. Check with the local Garda (police) and the local papers to do a historical check on the area. We do not recommend renting or buying anything unless you have first seen the neighborhood. What appears "picture perfect" on the internet can be quite a rude awakening when seen first hand. Look for a temporary housing like can be found TripAdvisor.com so you can explore a number of locations. Priority for us was transportation hubs like bus, which is great, or train.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We found a lovely detached single family 4 bed, 4 bath home which is less common in a lot of Ireland. Most housing is semi-detached and we stayed in such our first month here while waiting for our present home to become available to rent. Homes in Ireland are very sturdy and are very similar in design.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
Originally we sought a retirement area south of the USA to live that was going to give us a good life for our retirement income (social security and savings).. Having discovered expatexchange.com over three years ago we found Ireland ranked highly in a listing there for cost of living affordability and we speak the language! In our additional research we found a gent and his wife who had preceded us to Tobercurry in County Sligo, who had retired and relocated 7 years before us. We struck up internet chatting and with the friendship that developed, our move was especially easy.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Remarkably our 4 bedroom home is about half the cost of the 2 bedroom apartment we rented in Florida and our home is private, in an upscale neighborhood with a backyard and abutting a large pasture. Depending on the location, renting and purchasing can vary significantly. We opted to avoid city life, like Dublin, where cost of housing is considerably more. Our location averages €650 per month where in Dublin similar could run €2500!