Moving to Ireland from the UK: moving home checklist
The improving jobs market, or wanting to be closer to friends and family may be the motivation for returning to Ireland from the UK, but once you have made the decision, where do you begin?
We have created a moving home checklist of 10 things to think about and actions to take if you are planning a move home to Ireland in 2018.
1. Research jobs
The first step is to make sure you can find a job that is similar (or better) to your role in the UK. There are a number of sectors with skills shortages in Ireland at the moment so it should be easier to find a role if you are trained in one of those. If you have been away a few years some of the best websites for researching jobs include:
2. Research housing
This is where things might become trickier. If you have been keeping up to date with Irish news you will know there is a housing crises in urban areas, particularly focused on Dublin (and commuter towns) where property is in short supply and comes at a premium.
Outside of the greater Dublin area property prices are more reasonable, so if a return to a location away from the capital is feasible for you, it could be worth considering.
If you have accumulated some savings while in the UK or have a property to sell, it may make better financial sense to buy rather than rent, once you are certain about the area you want to live in. The best places to look for accommodation to rent or buy are:
• My Home
• Local Estate Agents
3. Apply for jobs
Although few of us cherish the thought of job hunting, it is likely to be a necessary evil if you want to make the return home. There are a few things you can do to make the search easier:
a) Update your LinkedIn profile with your achievements: it is often the first port of call for head hunters, recruitment agents and companies looking to fill specific roles
b) Register with recruitment agents who specialise in your industry: although recruiters can get a bad rep, registering with two or three who specialise in your industry may be worth it
c) Speak to friends, family and ex colleagues in related fields: do they know of any relevant vacancies? Is there a referral scheme you might both benefit from?
Although many employers will allow you complete first round interviews by phone or skype, budget and allow for travelling to Ireland for final round interviews.
4. Find a place to live
If you haven’t had much luck with the traditional sources mentioned earlier, speak to friends and family to see if they know anyone who may have a home to rent or buy that hasn’t been listed yet. Or research locations that have good train links to the place you want to live. Commute times from locations like Naas and Newbridge into Dublin city centre are much shorter than you might imagine. Finally, if you are still searching for the perfect place to live, see if family or friends have a room you could stay in until you find the right property. It is worth noting, this may not suit if you are returning with a family. Be prepared to spend a few months or more looking for a place to live in Dublin particularly.
5. Give notice on your UK home, job and utilities
Once you have secured a role and place to live it is time to get the ball rolling on the move. Before you begin it is worth working out a schedule. Begin with your start date for your new role and work backwards, allowing a day or two flexibility here and there as things often take longer than your think. Items you need to include are:
- Hand in your notice to work
- Hand in your notice to your landlord or arrange to rent your home if you own it
- Make a list of utilities and their cancellation policies
- Give notice within the required period to each one
- Create a list of the institutions, companies and retailers who may have your UK address: (we’ll admit this is not likely to be the most fun job but it is worth doing so a statement for your savings account doesn’t end up with the new tenants/owners of your UK home). Remember:
- Little used savings accounts
- The tax office
- Reward cards: Debenhams, Boots etc.
6. Sort out tax
One of two guarantees in life, don’t leave this until the last minute. There is some reading and work to be done so make sure you allow enough time for it all. Gov.ukhave a useful page with links to the forms you need to complete. On the Irish side Citizens Information has a great section for Irish citizens who wish to move back that is worth consulting early in the process for information on things like tax, banking and healthcare. If you are reading this as a UK citizen interested in moving to Ireland, Citizens Advice offer advice on moving to work in Ireland
7. Book Stena Line
Don’t forget your ferry tickets! In line with your itinerary, book tickets for you and your worldly possessions with Stena Line, it couldn’t be easier. It’s worth remembering, if you book online you will get the cheapest ticket.
8. Declutter and clean
Before you start packing, it is worth spending a few evenings or weekends decluttering so you aren’t hauling the hardback book you never finished back across the Irish sea with you. An easy way to declutter is to decide if the item is of value to you and do you use it regularly – if the answer is no to both these questions put it in one of three piles:
3) Throw away
For the sake of the environment, try to keep the third pile small if you can!
Top tip: some animal shelters take old bedding if you have pillows, duvets or sheets you don’t want to bring.
Once you have worked out what you want to bring, it’s time to pack. If you have only been in the UK for a few years you might get away with the suitcases you have and a few plastic storage boxes. If you have been there many years, packing might be more elaborate. Tips for packing include:
• Label all boxes accurately – it’ll make it easier to find essentials on the other side
• Consider numbering individual items and listing them in a Google Sheet if there are specific things you know you will need to get your hands on quickly
• Wrap breakables well in bubble wrap and paper
• Avoid overfilling boxes
• Bring valuable items on your person
10. Keep expectations realistic
Thoughts of moving home can be filled with idealism, reconnecting with friends and family, friendly faces and back to the fold. The reality can often be very different when you realise friends and family have moved on, your best mate how has a partner and child, and the nights out that happened when you were visiting aren’t as forthcoming when you are back for good. It might take longer than you think to settle back to life in Ireland, more than 6 months, but hopefully, in the end it will be worth it!