IT could well be the property sale of the century.
House prices have plummeted, but could you imagine getting the keys to a new four-bedroom home for as little as e115,000?
The dream is about to become reality thanks to Cork County Council which is to run a pilot scheme with 40 new homes up for grabs.
Marion Salter, senior executive officer in the council’s Western Division, said the homes would be available at Ise Alainn, Coronea, Skibbereen.
Ms Salter said all existing council tenants in west Cork and in the town council areas of Skibbereen and Clonakilty would be eligible to apply.
“That would total around 1,000 people,” she said.
In addition, all approved applicants for shared ownership schemes and affordable housing could also be eligible, providing they were in a position to pay back a mortgage.
That would include another 800 people.
“It’s a brilliant idea because it will free up more of our houses for rental.
“We will be writing to all those who are potentially eligible within the next week.
“We then intend to hold an information day. We hope that people will be in these house before the end of the year,” the senior council official said.
The 40 houses are a mixture of two, three and four-bedrooms, and they were built by Cluid on behalf of Cork County Council.
Cllr John Collins of Fine Gael said applicants would have to pay a percentage of the cost price, depending on their income. “On average it would be 50%, but it depends on their financial means.”
A person who pays 40% of the cost would gain ownership of the house after 30 years. If they pay 50% they’ll get it after 25 years, and 60% would entitle them to it after just 20 years.
Ms Salter said the average price of a four-bedroom house in Skibbereen was approximately e300,000.
Under the discount scheme one and two-bedroom houses could be purchased for a song.
Mr Collins said west Cork’s experience of the Shared Ownership scheme was a disaster because of the cost to the purchaser.
“In that scheme they bought a percentage of the house, which meant they deferred the payment on the remainder. But the major catch was that while they waited to afford this balance they paid rent on it to the local authority. We in west Cork had little or no take up on that scheme,” the councillor said.
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