Relocating to Dublin experiences

This blogpost is a modified version of the guide/report I wrote about relocating to Dublin for my company’s internal wiki (I stripped all sensitive or too specific information and cleaned it up a bit). There are a few co-workers which were quite happy about it, so maybe it helps somebody out there in the wild as well 🙂

Introduction & Background

This page sums up a few of the things I have learned during my relocation from Germany to Dublin. Everything here is based on personal experience, so take it with a grain of salt! Needles to say that I am expressing here a lot of biased and not always well supported opinions.

It is my first time to go somewhere abroad for more than a month. Before I was living in a student accommodation, so I had a very easy and cheap live 😉

Accommodation

“The Hunt” – How to find an apartment

It is called “hunt” for a reason ;). Note, that I only looked for lettings. The search took me a bit over 2 weeks. During that time I increased my search intensity steadily.

What to expect / General Notes

  • Compared to Germany (even supposedly expensive areas like Munich) accommodations are ridiculously expensive
    • Expect 1.1k -1.3k per month for a moderate place for single or couple
    • Neither electricity nor heating nor water is included in this price!
    • Therefore, many people share a place
  • almost nobody writes how big an apartment in sqm is
  • BER is a notation for energy efficiency of an apartment
  • all accommodations I’ve seen…
    • had furniture and kitchen
    • had a mattress
    • had a couch
    • had a washing machine in the kitchen
    • security deposit = first month’s rent
    • expected you to move in immediately
    • included refuse collection
  • it seems to be much easier to get an apartment if you are a couple
  • you can reach many places by foot – going by bus/luas is often not much faster. Also you see more of the area on the way.
    • … but that may depend on my search filter which included: Dublin 1, 2, 4, 6, 6w, 8 and later on also 7 and 14
    • dublin-postal-code-map

Where to look

  • Daft.ie has the most entries and is the most popular
    • login from the very beginning
    • create an E-Mail alarm!
    • use the “Save this ad” and the note feature to organize your search
    • the map search feature is not that good, since not really up-to date
  • myhome.ie has less entries for renting BUT the reply quota is much higher
    • create an E-Mail alarm
    • use the “Save this ad” feature
    • the map search is actually really good here!
  • In general..
    • do not apply filters other than price and area
      • Agents/landlords know that their apartment will be taken anyway, so they often don’t bother to enter infos like “has washing machine”
    • actual addresses of apartments may be different than presented on the website

How to get a viewing

  • Prepare a short piece of text for reuse. It should contain…
    • you have stable job at company X
    • you are interested in a viewing
    • please make a suggestion for an appointment
  • Most agents won’t reply.
    • BUT you still should look at a replied add multiple times a day, since they might have edited the text and added a viewing date!
      • On Daft there is a special field for that, but almost nobody uses it! A appointment date might be hidden in…
        • .. the contact details/times
        • .. the description text
  • Be as quick as possible!
    • adds last only for days or hours. If an add is older than 4 days, you might as well not even try
    • sorting adds by date entered/modified is your friend!
  • If an add is nice, maximum a day old and has no “only replies per mail” then call in addition to the mail-reply!
    • I did this only the last 4 days of my search. Likely my biggest mistake.
  • If it looks super nice, has a good price and replies in a relatively long mail, then it is probably scam.
    • happend 2 times to me. First time I was disappointed and a bit impressed how elaborate it was. Second time I saw the pattern in the ad.
  • Sidenote: Neither Daft nor myhome support line-breaks in their replies. So don’t bother to write a neatly formatted letter.

The Viewing

  • It takes a lot of viewings before you have the chance to get an apartment
    • I had about 12 viewings
      • 3 never happened because spontaneously cancelled or taken before I could take a look
      • 2 I was actually able to get (= declined only one)
  • How to recognize where a apartment viewing is going on in Dublin? Easy, just look for lines of people! ;D
    • People are usually friendly and you always find something to talk about (like how terrible those pesky lines are)
  • BE PREPARED. Take the following things to every viewing.

    • ask your HR dept. to give you MULTIPLE work reference letters. You will need them, since often you are asked to give them to an agent that may contact you later
    • They loooove “landlord references” and some landlords insist on them! If you have such, take them with you!
      • I wasn’t even familiar with the concept and had none
    • Some even require your PPS number on top of all that
  • Be ready for spontaneous viewings!
  • Different “viewing systems” I encountered
    • one person at a time, first person who has everything ready gets it immediately
      • variation: Everybody else still gets to see it (for whatever reason)
    • all/groups with either:
      • write name and phone number in notebook for later. References usually handed to agent immediately
      • short private conversation with agent, get business card for later
  • Try to be the first one there.
    • 10-15min in advance are sufficient if it is not too crowded
    • sometimes there are viewings scheduled before yours (list system); then you are out of luck

Facilities

  • Electricity
    • It may happen that you have to choose your own provider. bonkers.ie is a good starting point to compare
    • There are different discounts depending on where you order it
    • In general much cheaper than in Germany
  • Broadband
    • eir fiber seems to be the best option if it is available
    • otherwise Virgin Media (via cable) seems to be the best provider speed-wise
      • 41.50€ per month – advertised as 45.00€, but there is a self-service fee you can get back if you register online.
      • once they have proof of your identity and living place, delivery is blazingly fast
      • .. as of writing I am still trying to figure all the details
    • other services are not much cheaper but considerably slower
    • may be different if you also want TV
    • again bonkers.ie is a good starting point
  • Other stuff to buy
    • there are some bigger malls just north the river, west of O’Connel Street and not far of the city center

Papers Please!

Being an EU citizen makes things super easy. Cannot speak for everyone else but seems to be much more complicated.

PPS

  • You need an appointment
    • Once you have it, everything is easy and fast
    • just do what is written on the documents 😉

Banking

  • Salary needs to be paid to an Irish account despite of the ubiquitous, European IBAN system
  • Bank of Ireland
    • .. has a lot of fees and there might be better alternatives!
    • Online Banking
      • You cannot reach the activation line with a foreign number
      • You need to activate online banking separately
        • and then you need to activate your mobile phone for TANs extra ..sigh

Transportation

  • walk! 😉
  • bus drives everywhere
    • but only to the center and back
    • It often near to impossible to get from one outside area to another outside area directly
  • Luas=Tram, Dart=Train
    • Luas is about to be extended
  • use google map public transportation mode

Other

  • mobile
    • keeping your German mobile number is cheaper than every irish pre-paid card I have found
      • yes, even with roaming
      • however, there are good contracts and all pre-paid providers have sensible top-up-options
    • There are some websites/services where you need to register with an irish mobile number
    • http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Ireland
  • for moving smaller stuff from Germany, DHL is surprisingly good.
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