To recap: We moved to Ireland. We need to find a place to live before our household belongings arrive on the slow boat.
Ready. Set. Freak Out!
The first house we viewed was in the town of Raheny. The second home we viewed was located much farther north in a college town called Maynooth. This quaint village is home to St. Patrick’s College and Maynooth University.
(Mayooth Harbour with train station in the background.)
People. I big, fat LOVED Maynooth. I was ready to settle down with my afternoon tea and my new Irish accent and make that place my home.
Maynooth is about 40 minutes via train from Dublin’s City Centre. The landscape is definitely more rural and a lot how I pictured Ireland would be in my mind.
Approximately 12,000 people live in Maynooth. After living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where the population is one gajillion people and they are all on the interstate at the same stinking time, 12,000 sounded like a refreshingly small number.
Much to our children’s delight, our realtor arranged for a taxi to drive us from the train station to view the property, which was a “terraced” home on 3 levels. These terraced homes are what Americans would commonly refer to as townhomes. You own the little patch of land under your home, but your home is connected to 3 or 4 other homes in a big block.
House #2 was the most modern home we’d seen to date (roughly 10 years old) and a great example of how newer construction in Dublin has mostly embraced the concept of an open floorpan.
The owner of the house was still living there and I didn’t feel like I could discreetly sneak away to snap photos while she showed as around. If she didn’t see me taking photos, her 3-year-old definitely would have ratted me out. 3-year-olds have no mute button. At all.
Since there were multiple homes (with the same floorplan) available in this neighborhood, I grabbed a few of those photos to give you an idea of what we saw. Please sit back and enjoy this fictionalized tale based on a real encounter.
Here’s an example of the kitchen in these terraced homes.
Not too shabby! This is a HUGE kitchen in Ireland and arguably for many homes in the United States too. It was definitely modern and streamlined. Yet, the washer and dryer were still in the kitchen. I can’t decide if this common occurrence in Irish homes is brilliant or horrific. It does take multi-tasking to new heights though.
The living room opened into a dining area and the kitchen was just off to the right of that space. The home we viewed had hardwoods in the living room, which was a big plus. Carpet makes me twitch.
Perhaps what endeared me most to the home was the green space outside.
When we pulled up in our taxi a large group of neighborhood kids was outside playing soccer/football on the lawn.
This was one of those “hope springs eternal” moments for me. The neighborhood was overrun with kids, which meant plenty of opportunities for my kids to make friends. Yay!
While I intellectually know this move will benefit our children in the long run, I still feel mom guilt over ripping them away from all of their friends back home. Again.
Well, was 2 our lucky number? Nope. House #2 ended up being snatched up by someone else before we’d even left town. Between an influx of foreign workers and a housing shortage, the process of leasing a home in Ireland is very competitive. While I don’t think we’ve experienced it, there is definitely some discrimination at work. Plus, the policy of “first applied, first considered” is only followed when convenient.
I definitely wasn’t happy that I was going to have to take my afternoon tea and Irish accent elsewhere, but it was probably for the best. Our first and second choice of schools in the area were all full. I’ll have to tell you all about the school situation in another post. It’s a doozy!
Stay tuned for my report on House #3.
P.S. I don’t really have a new Irish accent. Yet.
If you are moving, visiting or want to know more about life in Ireland, here are a whole bunch of posts for you!
Thinking about visiting Ireland? Read on!