Q I am a doctor employed by the HSE and my husband is a journalist (employee). Our total income is €150,000 per year. I expect to qualify as a consultant in two and a half years. We saved €45,000. With the housing crisis we are not sure if we should continue to save and buy knowing our fixed location as I don’t know where to get an appointment yet. Or should we be buying in Dublin now to get up the property ladder?
A You could borrow at least three-and-a-half times your combined income, which equates to a loan amount of $600,000, said Joe Sheahan, head of lending at online broker MyMortgages.ie.
You could potentially get an exemption provided you are both high earners, which means you could qualify for a loan amount of perhaps four and a half times your income, which would equate to €675,000. However, you would need to increase your down payment as you would need 10 percent of the purchase price, he said. If you are currently renting,
Mr Sheahan said you should seriously consider buying now as the rent you will be paying in Dublin over the next two and a half years will really add up. The average monthly rent in Dublin is around €2,000.
If you multiply that by 30 months, it means you could pay at least €60,000. The monthly repayment of a €525,000 mortgage over 35 years at an interest rate of 2.2 percent would be much less at €1,793. If work dictates you have to move to the county, you could rent out your property in Dublin and the rent should cover mortgage repayments, subject to any tax obligations, the agent added.
Q My son will study abroad for at least 12 months. Is health insurance coverage sufficient for this or should we insure it additionally?
A According to TotalHealthCover.ie’s Dermot Goode, the health insurance offers limited coverage for temporary stays abroad and as such may not be adequate for his needs.
You might consider a backpacker policy such as that available from Blue Insurance. Mr. Goode recommends that you contact VHI International for a quote on one of their policies.
The advantage of VHI is that you can switch directly from domestic health insurance to international insurance. Such a plan is specifically designed for this type of longer overseas trip and on his return to Ireland he can switch directly to a domestic plan without a break in coverage.
Q I have been a member of my employer’s company pension plan for the last 17 years and before that I was a member of another employer’s pension plan for 15 years. I’m retiring next year so I’m wondering what my options are where to put the money from each fund?
A Changes in pension legislation (the Finance Act) mean that transfers from one or more occupational pension schemes to a Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) are now permitted for members with more than 15 years of service, according to Glenn Gaughran of the independent trust.
This would give you the ability to set up multiple PRSAs so you can time draw down different funds, meaning you don’t have to withdraw each of them at the same time, allowing you to keep more money invested longer, he said.
Similarly, you can pool all of your pension pots to maximize the tax-free lump sum at any given time, if you so choose.
Q I am looking for a new van insurance policy. I have a question about windscreen damage or replacement as it can be expensive on a large van. If I claim this, will it affect my no claims bonus?
A In general, most insurers will assume that windshield damage and replacement, fire and theft claims will not affect your no-claims bonus, provided you have comprehensive insurance.
According to Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of Insuremyvan.ie, making a claim should not put your bonus at risk. However, it is always best to check with your broker or the relevant insurer when inquiring about a new policy.
If you do opt for liability insurance, the windshield cover can sometimes be included in your main policy or as a separate add-on, Mr Hehir said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/your-personal-finance-questions-should-we-buy-a-home-now-or-wait-until-i-get-a-permanent-position-41413732.html Your Personal Financial Questions – Should we buy a home now or wait until I get a permanent job?