After 11 weeks living out of our suitcases, we’ve made the jump and set up in our first Irish home. We’ll start with some quick snaps from last Friday when we got the keys to our little terrace house just 48 hours after applying on the spot at the viewing. Needless to say with the rental market in Ireland being epically competitive when you find somewhere that hits the budget, location and specs trifecta, you find you’ll move heaven and earth to try to make it yours!
Prior to getting this place, we had been on the property hunt for a solid two weeks before we were successful in applying for this place — I say successful because I’d honestly lost track of how many properties we applied to look at, how many we managed to book a viewing for, how many we actually got to see, and then how many we applied for. Like I say, a very competitive market and if you’d told us this time a week ago that we would have a place let alone a place we like so much, we would likely have scoffed a bit and gone back to trawling the Daft app hoping that a property in our range had listed.
As Simon was up in Dublin for his first three days of work (training in head office), I traversed the city going to viewings and hammering out preliminary EOI messages to property agents. The moment I walked into our home I knew it would be perfect for us. It was adorable on first sight and easy walking distance to St Patrick’s Quay (20 minutes on the flat — so the same as a walk to James Street from our past Bowen Hills house), plus it had a surprise ground floor bedroom for Simon’s studio. Despite this, I’d learned after our first application disappointment that surviving the rental application game is 100% more about mental fortitude and odds-playing than anything else. You’ve got to be in it to win it and do the legwork of getting to as many viewings as possible. I knew better than to get too excited even with things looking so promising from the first seconds in the door.
And of course, this is where things hit a bit of a hitch with this seemingly perfect home: the third floor attic bedroom had a staircase so small even I have to crouch to get through the doorway. Adorable and perfect, yes. An absolute physical hazard for one Simon Lane, also yes! To combat Simon (or ‘My beloved’ as he referred to him) not being there in person, the property manager very kindly suggested I video call Simon from the house and so I walked him through the house from top to bottom, knocking my head a little along the way, then ultimately paid a deposit on the spot!
After a nail biting 24 hours, we received word on Thursday that the house was officially ours and then picked up the keys on Friday afternoon. A totally joyful and unreal whirlwind that’s wound up our second month here in Cork. My Uncle Barry and I collected Simon from the Friday afternoon train, then we headed to sign the lease before moving in on Saturday with help from friends. With only our suitcases plus a bit more ‘stuff’ we’ve acquired in the interim, it was the easiest move of our adult lives and we’re already trying to work out how to minimise our overall ‘stuff’ so that every move can be two carloads that are unpacked in an afternoon.
The area is historic and the house itself feels like a wee lighthouse with the stair bannisters reminiscent of a ship, little light portholes in the galley kitchen and a huge skylight in our bedroom that opens out over the street and water. It’s newly renovated and we love all of the furniture that’s part of the rental. The location itself is also magic: we’re right near the river, a 10 minute walk from the train station for both our jobs and about 25 minutes from Lidl (ahem, priorities). We also walked past a very cute bakery in the Victorian Quarter (about 15 minutes walk) on Sunday that I can’t wait to check out.
We will probably send a video through privately however here are some initial photos. To give an idea of the overall feel of the place, it’s a terrace home spread over three levels and with a view of the River Lee. It already feels like our own home and it just had a positive vibe the moment I walked in. It’s equally great that Simon has wound up loving it, too!
My final thought is that we wouldn’t be here in our new home without the support of our family and friends here, in Aus and NZ, and all around the globe. It’s bittersweet to be here in our new home (although Simon is back in Dublin for the week training again) and to dream of having people visit us from all over here all while not knowing exactly when that might be. It’s a bit strange to have that sense of the in between right as life starts to take up the shape of normal routines again. Another part alongside this is that while we’re so grateful to have this wee home, we are already missing our housemates we were living with initially, Rob and Rebecca, and all in all we so enjoyed our time together at Jacob’s Island. With this in mind, we hope to have them round for a Sunday Roast as soon as we’ve a table as this was a tradition introduced to us in our time living together.
We’ll have more updates soon as I have my first day of work tomorrow and we’re hoping to book some warm weather sale flights for another adventure in the coming months. Until then, wherever you might be, happy spring or happy autumn. The days here are still cool while the daffodils are blooming and the days are getting brighter and longer. It’s going to be a glorious stretch ahead that we’re in just the right place to enjoy most thankfully.