Finding Housing in Ireland
Finding housing in Ireland while you are still in the States is very difficult but it can be done. If you are looking for housing in the Greater Dublin Area, where 39% of the population (1.8 million people) of Ireland lives, it will prove even more difficult. The majority of rentals come furnished, so leaving your furniture behind is not such a big deal. The issue is that most realtors will not lease to you unless you have physically seen the property and you cannot see the property without an appointment and usually, an already approved lease application. Additionally, there is a housing shortage in the Greater Dublin Area, so they turn quickly. Finding a home or apartment to lease can be an agonisingly long process. For us, we were landing in Ireland with 4 kids and 2 dogs and I did not want to try and tough that out in a hotel until we found a place to live. I also did not want to spend a week or more in Ireland while trying to pack up and move a family without any assurance of being accepted for a particular property.
The expense of travel and the time lost was just too great a risk for me. My only requirements for a house was that it was in decent shape, had enough rooms, was easily accessible to motorways and would allow my dogs. First thing you have to understand is that here in Ireland, no one gets in a hurry about anything. If you go to real estate websites and email them about a property, they may or may not contact you back for a few days, if at all. Having pets is a double whammy. Just like with the job hunting portion, you have to be diligent, dedicated and determined. Your options get a little better the further you go out from the Greater Dublin Area. We poured through realtor sites and listing sites like Property.ie, DoneDeal.ie, MyHome.ie and Rent.ie and we contacted countless realtors until we found a few that would work with us. We finally settled on a beautiful 9 bedroom, 7 bathroom home that used to be a Bed & Breakfast about 50km outside of Dublin, with a straight shot there on the motorway and only 5 minutes from Mullingar and Kinnegad. If you do not mind driving, then it is both cheaper and quieter to live outside of Dublin. You have to keep in mind though, there are pitfalls to this as well.
Greater Dublin Area vs Outside Dublin