5 questions you need to ask yourself when looking for accommodation in Dublin
Photo: Matteo Grando
Housing can be expensive in many Irish cities, especially if you’re planning to live in Dublin. You’ll want to consider the type of work you’ll be doing and what your commute might look like. It’s also helpful to know what you might be getting paid so you can budget accordingly! Here are five things you should consider when looking for accommodation in Dublin.
1. Do you want to live alone or with other people?
This one is down to lifestyle preference. If you’re moving abroad for the first time you may be looking for a really social experience. A great way to make friends, and get a decent apartment at a fair price, is to join a flat share. While the idea wouldn’t have jumped out to me back home, it’s very common in big European cities to use rental websites to find rooms in shared apartments.
If you’re at a place in life where you’d prefer your own space, you’ll want to make sure you know how much money you’re likely to be making after tax each month. Rent is very expensive in Ireland, particularly in Dublin, so living alone is seen as quite a luxury. There are more and more studio apartments popping up, but you’ll want to make sure you see them in person before committing. Many studios are so small you can reach the kitchen counter from the bed, and those sneaky wide angle camera lenses don’t help!
Websites like Daft.ie and Rent.ie will help you find options available. You’ll want to use their ‘advanced search’ function so you can set your parameters according to your needs and budget.
2. Do you want to live in the city or in the suburbs?
If you’re a serious city slicker then you’ll want to make sure you live in Dublin. I mean right in the heart of it. The city can be lively, but it has more of a town feeling than many other European capitals. So, if you need city life to be fulfilled, stick to the city centre. Start your search south of the River Liffey in zones 2, 4, 6, and 8.
If you want a bit of space and calm you can keep going outwards. I would suggest you keep going South if you don’t know much about Dublin. There are lovely places to live North of the river, but it takes more work to understand where it is safe and where you need to be a bit more careful. Heading South from the city centre, look at places in Dundrum, Sandyford, Booterstown, Blackrock, and Dun Laoghaire. These are all commuter areas that you could easily live in while commuting into the city every day. A bit further out are places like Bray and Greystones, just over the county lines into County Wicklow. This would be a more significant (but doable) daily commute, or ideal for someone working remotely.
3. Do you mind older buildings and appliances?
One thing you’ll notice quickly about Dublin rentals is that a lot of them are really poor quality. If you come from somewhere where the buildings are all newer, it can be a bit of a shock. From strange colour carpet, to makeshift walls, to half-built kitchens, you can find some pretty creative setups if you’re trying to keep to a small budget.
Photo: Micaela Parente
For some, the look may not matter as long as the shower runs and the stove heats. Great! You won’t have much of an issue. For others, you will need to keep this in mind when you note your ‘maximum budget’ on the search websites. If you’re looking for a new building, or even just a renovated kitchen, you may need to increase your spend.
4. Will you have a car or will you use public transportation?
Dublin isn’t the most accessible city. They’ve been working on new bus routes for years, and they finally connected the Luas tram to run through the city centre, but it’s still not as easy to get around as it is in other cities. And no, here is no underground metro system.
If you plan on purchasing a car, you will be in a much better position to live further into the suburbs. By doing this you can increase your chance of living alone, having a bigger place, and maybe even a yard. You can do things like drive to the large grocery store rather than relying on the closest EuroSpar to your house.
If you’ll be using public transportation, don’t worry, you’re helping the environment! You’ll just want to make sure you consider the location of bus stops and other transport hubs when you’re picking your place. Walking half an hour to the train seems like a great way to get your steps in in the morning, but don’t forget it rains. A lot.
5. Can you work remotely or do you need to be in the office regularly?
Photo: Mikey Harris
One positive thing coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to work remotely. If you’re one of the lucky ones (and you enjoy being home), take that into consideration when house hunting. Is there a designated space for you to use to work? Do you want to set up a full room as an office to help with work/life balance? If you’re going to live with others, are they comfortable with you working from the kitchen table?
Another thing to think about as you’re getting yourself settled is whether or not your employer offers a stipend for you to be working from home. Companies who are asking staff to work remotely are saving a lot of money on facilities.
Found a place to live in Dublin? Congratulations! Now, on to the fun stuff. Here is my guide on where to buy homewares in Dublin.
Let’s get decorating!
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