Many of you have read my various mortgage posts/forum topics, etc, that are sprinkled throughout the site. On a couple, I have written about the various hoops I had to jump through to secure a mortgage in Ireland. IT WAS NOT EASY! Far from it.

Back then (3 years ago - ish), I was reluctant to share bank info. I did not want anyone thinking that I supported one bank over another. I did not then, nor do I now. However, with the passing of that time, I don't mind sharing bank names. Maybe the negative experiences I had back then, do not apply in today's lending world. Is it possible that the silliness of applying for a home loan has improved? Maybe, haha 🙂

Today, you have Stephan B. to thank for asking a probing question related to bank lending. Here's what he had to say...

Hi Liam: What a great site. I'm looking for a mortgage for a home in Co Tipperary. You mentioned in your post to contact you to provide a few banks who are easier to work with for foreigners. Would you mind sending me that info? Cheers, Stephan

Hi Stephan,

Thank you for the email, and the kind sentiments. I appreciate the positive feedback.

Much of what I wrote on the site regarding mortgages is approximately 3 years old at this point. Most of that information is still very relevant, but I'm sure some of it has changed as time has passed. For that reason, the banks that I found favorable in 2014 may not be so anymore. However I'm quite happy to share the information with you.

ireland mortage, Bank of Ireland 1890 1900
Bank of Ireland 1890 1900
AIB were most receptive to foreign earnings when it came to proving repayment capacity. BOI were further down the list, and quite frankly, did not want to consider my impeccable earnings record, over the course of a decade or so. PTSB, to some extent, were good to deal with. I had a great contact there in Cork, and she kept checking in, and reassuring me of a loan on the horizon, however I think the delay with them caused me to lose out on a house or 2.

All in all, it was a quite stressful experience. I remember that PTSB were my preferred lender, as they had the possibility of a 35 year loan (age permitting), while the others restricted the lending term to 30 years. Again, these things are likely to change over time, as bank policy and lending criteria are updated.

Your other main route of finance is via a mortgage broker. You'll find plenty to choose from with a quick web search, or a flick through an Irish phone book. I'm not sure what you're used to where you are from, but what I had been used to in the USA, was that a broker would act on your behalf, with no extra fees. They were paid a referral fee from the lender. This was not the case in Ireland. Brokers levied a fee of approx 200 Euros. The few that I spoke to indicated that this was a refundable fee in the form of a rebate, if I were to take out various insurance policies with their institution. I guess that's fine if their rates are good, but if not, then it somewhat restricts your ability to shop around for other deals.

If you're looking for impartial comparison information on this topic, has a very useful set of mortgage tools.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions.


photo credit: Flickr/wikimediacommons