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Possible Purchase In West Ireland

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I currrently own 2 properties in UK (when I say own I do mean own, not indebted to bank baring a small outstanding payment on 1 of them <10K, equity around £250 K).

Wife & I are thinking of having kids but we are both Professionals and earn decent money (even if 1 stayed at home to look after kids).

We are looking at potential properties in West Ireland (Mayo) having become disillutioned (like many others) about the state of Britain. Whilst we are looking at using it as a holiday home in the short term it would give us a potential bolt hole should we require it in the future. Wife has an affinity with Ireland having had a Irish grandmother and spending much of her youth out there.

We have recently seen a small farm (5 acres plus 5 acres of bog) with a 3 bedroom cottage for 160K euros asking price (although I am sure we can negotiate and would be looking at no more than 150K).

I have a dilemma and would welcome views.

We can easily afford the mortgage by borrowing against one of the 2 houses over here so we would be victim only to UK rates. A repayment of £700 per month would be easily managed as no other mortgage.

The West of Ireland still seems cheaper compared to the rest and this house seems quite cheap in comparison to other like properties (old people moving in with family and wanting a quick sale).

With a falling Pound vs Euro is it a good time to buy (a drop to 1.3 euro to pound would make a 10K difference itself) in case exchange rates become less fouvorable or do we wait and see if house prices fall or stabilise in the short term and save a deposit, as they seem to be in the rest of Ireland.

This is not an investment in the grand scheme of things (i.e not wanting to make a killing on the property through increased value of property (although there is potential to build another house on the land at some point) but don;t want to lose my pants either.

Has anyone got experience of what house prices have been doing in the West of Ireland over the past 3 years as on previous visits I don't recall that they have gone up stupid amounts like here.

Views welcome.

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