1980's house in need of repairs and upkeep.

The True Cost of Buying a Home in Ireland: What You Need to Know in 2024

When embarking on the exciting journey of buying a home, especially in the charming and sought-after neighbourhoods of Ireland, it’s crucial to look beyond the surface. At HomeCheck, we understand that purchasing a home, particularly an older one inevitably requiring repairs and upkeep, involves more than meets the eye. 

Older homes often carry a certain allure, nestled in desirable locations. However, it’s vital to consider not just the valuation tied to its location but also the potential hidden costs that come with second-hand properties. Here’s what you should be aware of:

Understanding the Lifespan of House Materials

Materials such as block, brick, and well-maintained timber can stand the test of time, but other components like roofing, windows, electrics, and plumbing may not be as enduring. Before sealing the deal, a pre-purchase survey is strongly recommended to evaluate these elements’ conditions and lifespan to anticipate future upkeep expenses.

Roof and Chimney Upkeep

The condition of the roof, whether it’s made of tile, natural or synthetic slate, or if it’s a flat covering, significantly influences maintenance needs and costs. Older roofs, particularly on houses built before the 1980s, may require substantial repairs or even full replacement. Similarly, chimneys can be a source of heat loss and dampness. Assessing these aspects is crucial, with chimney repairs potentially ranging from €2,000 to €10,000.

Plumbing and Electrical Systems

In homes built before the 1980s, original steel pipework, which can be prone to leaks, may necessitate a complete plumbing overhaul. Even homes with newer copper pipes might need updates. Remember, the average boiler lasts about 15 years, so factor in the possibility of needing a new boiler. For electrical systems, a thorough inspection is recommended every five years, with older homes likely requiring significant upgrades or even a complete rewire.


The durability of carpentry depends on the initial quality and subsequent maintenance. While century-old woodwork can remain in prime condition with proper care, newer, less durable materials might need replacement sooner. 

Energy Efficiency and Retrofitting

Energy efficiency, measured by BER ratings, is another crucial factor. Older homes, particularly those built before the 1980s, may lack effective insulation, leading to higher heating costs and the need for potential retrofitting.

Additional Considerations

Don’t overlook external factors like sewer conditions, which can impact structural integrity, or the presence of hazardous materials such as asbestos in homes built before the 1980s. Awareness of radon gas risk is also essential, with checks recommended for all homes, especially those built before radon barriers became common in 1998.

At HomeCheck, our mission is to empower you with the knowledge needed when buying a home in Ireland. By considering these factors, you’re better equipped to make an informed decision, ensuring your dream home remains a source of joy, not unexpected expenses. For more insights and professional surveying services, turn to HomeCheck, your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of home buying.