Purchasing an apartment during COVID’19 is not a very convenient situation. You have hurdles in making choices, escalated by uncertainty and restrictions of movement.
Adding to the mobility limitations, the market of rents has been unexpected. Anyone would have predicted massive cuts in the rents this year but it turned out differently.
Renting costs, in general, fell by a very small percentage in Dublin even though there has been a high supply of rental ads this year.
According to the July report published by daft, there were 50% more rental ads compared to the same period last year.
But even with high supply, Dublin is a metropolitan area and extremely valuable for businesses. It has had a very high pent-up demand for accommodations since 2010 and increasing ever since.
Secondly, the nature of Rent Pressure Zones does not allow landlords to openly advertise rent cuts because what rent they put now will determine their lettings in the coming year.
Though these factors combining with rising unemployment might make it difficult to hunt for a suitable apartment, the leases are continuing to expire and people have to move in and out.
With the newer restriction in Dublin due to the latest increase in Covid-19 cases, the real estate market is coping to make home hunting more accessible.
To make your apartment search easier, here are some tips that can help you to look for an apartment in Dublin pandemic.
Start Research Online
Nothing can undermine the importance of technology, which is improving every single day. Google search engine has become more directed and area-specific when it comes to apartments and houses. Before you conduct online research, make a mind map.
Open the notepad on your mobile phone, write about all the aspects that you are looking for in the area and the apartment.
Start by Asking Yourself
- What is your topmost priority in the zone?
- Is the apartment complex close to local amenities, schools, supermarkets?
- Do you have late working hours and would it feel safer commuting alone at night?
- Do you need a good apartment building that has several amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and cafes?
- Are you the kind of person who loves to be around nature and would prefer living in areas with lots of tree lines and parks?
After sorting out your priorities, enter keywords in Google to search for that area in Dublin which suits your answers.
Yelp.com is another useful way of knowing more about nearby bars, cafes, restaurants.
After completing your initial research, take the next important step that will save you from going the extra mile for the apartment hunt.
Take Apartments Virtual Tours
In Ireland, some real estate businesses have completely ended physical visitations and have started 3D virtual tours.
According to a recent Matterport survey report, over half of the people would purchase a property sight-unseen if there was a 3D virtual tour available online. Needless to say, many businesses are growing technologically and adapting to new methods of visitations.
During a pandemic, most people have switched to virtual tours, as well as a walk-in video tour in which they ask the building managers to walk them through the building.
It is also a good way of avoiding scams because you can ask the apartment owner to show you every nook and cranny of the apartment, such as cupboards, balconies, and laundry spaces.
Most listings do provide virtual and 3D tours, for other apartments that do not have a virtual tour, you can ask the landlord or building owner to show around in a video call.
Visit the apartment with Full Protection
Although virtual tours, online search, and real estate agents may save you from visiting too many apartments and avoid risking your health, at one point you may have to go and see a few shortlisted apartments yourself.
In that scenario, with very limited commute around Dublin these days, you can decide to see one apartment in one day to avoid health risks.
When you are inside the apartment, avoid touching doorknobs and switches. Do not shake hands with anyone or touch your face. Wearing a mask and keeping a hand sanitizer are important possessions for every visitation.
Be Vary of the Rental Scams
Be Vary of the Rental Scams
Rental scams are always a possibility because most people cannot visit the apartment building during a lockdown and may sign a lease without knowing much about it.
The best possible protection against a scam is to consult a real estate agent. Other than that, it is important to notice for the telltale signs of a rental scam. These include
- If the apartment owner isn’t answering your questions properly
- If they aren’t providing a virtual or video tour
- If the price seems very low for a good apartment
- If they are asking for a cash payment or asking you to rush the lease
- If their apartment description isn’t grammatically sound or vague
These red flags will stop you from making a rushed decision. A general rule of thumb in the rental market is that the landowner wouldn’t ask for payments before handing you the keys.
Finding and Moving into a new apartment may be a risky job to do. There are dozens of things to consider, from the safety of health to avoiding scams, most importantly making the right choice for yourself and your family. But if you completely divulge yourself in the process of looking for an apartment by doing your research, hiring a rental agent, and see more virtual tours, you will make a good decision despite all the hurdles.