Ask anyone at this time (Q1 2022) and the sentiments are that rental housing is in critical shortage and there is a waiting list for some schools. This is the fact we have to accept as we relocate to Ireland at this time. The situation has been growing acute for many years, there was a report saying property rentals and prices has gone up almost 30% since Nov 2021.
When I first accepted the offer to relocate to Ireland, my hiring manager already said we need to look at places we want to stay. Other colleagues also said the same thing, to faster find a place we want to settle.
Looking at the prices and practicality, we know we could not afford Dublin and was looking to even more remote areas. Lastly, looking at google map, we settled for any are near the train track between the office and city. Have to pay a bit more for rent but having the convenience staying near the train station will help since we think we would only get one car (petrol and taxes are expensive). I can take the train to work, especially if it’s on the same line that goes to the office.
We have been asked to also look at property prices and locality using www.daft.ie.
We gave our budget and where we want to stay to the relocation agent. Her strategy, through her contacts, is to get a place to rent before the property comes into market. So what happened, she called me last week to say that she has found a property in the area that we wanted within our budget. The place is still has a tenant, if we want it then I need to place a security deposit. That’s how we got the permanent place sight unseen. We can view the property AFTER the tenant leaves in a couple of weeks, if we don’t like it then we can get our deposit back and find a new place. However realistically that’s not possible since we would need time to find a new place and our time in the temporary resident would have ended then. So I committed to the property, they will draft the agreement and we need to pay the first month’s rental after we see the agreement. They will only give us the keys once we pay the first month’s rent.
The relocation agent gave me the banking details of the rental agency, it’s just a short walk to the bank in and deposit the money into their account. Then take a photo of the stub as proof. Now we wait for the agreement, then wait for the house to be handed over to us. Apparently with the tight market, you need to secure the rental before the unit is available, something that is very uncomfortable for us.
The relocation agent’s strategy to get school, is to write in to the schools around the area at the same time of finding the house. We take whatever that comes our way, if lucky we get a couple of responses and can choose. She did warn us that we may get a school that is in a different area of town, maybe half hour drive away. This is the risk we need to take since there are a lot schools with a waiting list. We also had thoughts of what kind of schools to send the kids while in Malaysia. All their public schools are free, but most of them are run by churches. There is a non-denominational school called “educate together”. For us, we prefer if they go to church run school, but their system here sounds better than Malaysia so we have opened our minds to take whatever comes our way.
We were lucky that the school near our new residence replied that they have a spaces for both kids. For at least one year, they are both going to the same school. We did a visit to the school, it is in a small temporary compound where the have small “cabins” for each class. There is a new building under construction beside the school but Gabriel will not get to use it.
The school is half hour drive away from our temporary accommodation, this is just temporary. It’s only 3 mins away from our new place. Better news is that the kids get to start on Monday. We were thinking they will start school in September, giving them 6 months of holiday! Good that they get to start early.
Overall, we like how the housing and school is coming together on the second week. Those are the items that are top in my anxiety list.
To make things better, the relocation agent took us to meet the administrator for the school. She then showed the children their classes. They get to interrupt the class and students say hi. Emily was shown her table. Right now the school is in a multiple cabins, each class in a cabin. Each class is about 28-29 students, pretty cramped into a cabin. The toilets are in the classroom. No dresscode, no uniform. They are waiting for the phase 1 of the school to be completed, so half of them will move in to proper building next door by September.
Although school is free in Ireland, you do need to buy the text books. We were provided with a website and a school code where they will load what needs to be purchase. Once paid online, we go to a shop to collect the books.