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First Time Buyer - Carrick A Good Investment?

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Hi all,

Have been reading these forums for a while and am really hoping some of you may be able to impart some of your wisdom on our situation

We are a young couple in our mid-twenties looking to buy our first home. We have a 10 percent deposit saved up and have our mortgage agreement in principle at the ready (as a result of unsuccessfully bidding for a repossession).

We have lived around the Malone area for the past few years, paying a ridiculous amount in rent each month (£700). In an ideal world I would love to buy in this area of Belfast, it's where I grew up, but it's obviously quite a bit out of our price-range (might be forever). We are however very keen to get on the ladder, and realise our first home isn't going to be where we live forever. We really need somewhere which is a good investment, or at the very least, will hold its value while we build up our equity.

There are two houses in Carrickfergus (detached, 4 bed, 2 reception room) which we would be very happy living in. We don't know Carrick terribly well, but feel its changed a lot in the past few years, with lots of nice restaurants/bars. And there's the work being done to widen the A5 which will make it a better commute. We would be offering 10 percent below RV on one house (10% below asking price), and 5% above RV on the other (10% below asking price).

My concern is people's general perception of Carrickfergus, i.e. as a paramilitary stronghold. Has this changed much in recent years? The housing market there seems to move quickly enough which would persuade me to think that it has become a popular enough commuter town, in particular for young families.

Any insight at all would be very much appreciated

Thanks,

Laura

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A four bedroom detached starter home? Sounds like it should be you proffering advice......I speak from that place where the streets are paved with gold and studio flats are the norm for newlyweds......if they are lucky.

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Carrick is a typical satellite town to Belfast and as such will always be popular due to its location, some of the properties also have sea views which is desirable. The new road expansion will only make it more popular as the main thing that put people off Carrick was the commute to Belfast.

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Hi all,

Have been reading these forums for a while and am really hoping some of you may be able to impart some of your wisdom on our situation

We are a young couple in our mid-twenties looking to buy our first home. We have a 10 percent deposit saved up and have our mortgage agreement in principle at the ready (as a result of unsuccessfully bidding for a repossession).

We have lived around the Malone area for the past few years, paying a ridiculous amount in rent each month (£700). In an ideal world I would love to buy in this area of Belfast, it's where I grew up, but it's obviously quite a bit out of our price-range (might be forever). We are however very keen to get on the ladder, and realise our first home isn't going to be where we live forever. We really need somewhere which is a good investment, or at the very least, will hold its value while we build up our equity.

There are two houses in Carrickfergus (detached, 4 bed, 2 reception room) which we would be very happy living in. We don't know Carrick terribly well, but feel its changed a lot in the past few years, with lots of nice restaurants/bars. And there's the work being done to widen the A5 which will make it a better commute. We would be offering 10 percent below RV on one house (10% below asking price), and 5% above RV on the other (10% below asking price).

My concern is people's general perception of Carrickfergus, i.e. as a paramilitary stronghold. Has this changed much in recent years? The housing market there seems to move quickly enough which would persuade me to think that it has become a popular enough commuter town, in particular for young families.

Any insight at all would be very much appreciated

Thanks,

Laura

Been a long time since I looked at the prices in Carrick so I can't really comment on the value for £'s. I did live there for a while and had the same concerns as you re: paramilitary issues. There are a couple of estates in Carrick which are 'known' for activity, however we never encountered any problems or concerns at all. Unless you plan to live in sunnylands I would not envisage any reason for concern at all.

It used to take a mind blowing 70 minutes to travel the 12 miles into Belfast for a 9am start. That was the reason for leaving. The new road should lower this considerably.

There are practically no shops, barr Tesco with the town centre looking fairly empty at the minute - but you have the Abbey Centre just a few miles down the road. The restaurants are good and always busy. There are some good schools also, not just the grammar but the integrated school Ulidia is very popular.

I quite liked Carrick, and can think of a whole lot of worse places in which to live.

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By your various reference to housing ladder, equity and investment I would be concerned that you have not read this forum for very long.

It is dangerous to consider a home as an investment and you really should reconsider your attitude unless you intend to do this for a living.

If you intend on moving again in a few years then it is likely you will be better off continuing to rent. £700 will rent you a very nice house in East/South Belfast or North Down which would be considered a lesser location downgrade from Malone, balanced by an upgrade in property. Drastically downgrading just so you can buy could well lead to problems later.

Granted paramilitary activity has reduced but the people and mindsets havn't gone away you know ;-)

Why don't you rent in Carrick for a year?

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