Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Incredable value.

Most days I hear  reports of the housing crisis in the UK, people wanting to own their own homes but can't due to the high cost of housing over there or wanting to downsize into a county area but are unable to sell their homes as they are too expensive for the younger generation to afford. Many end up emigrating to Spain, Portugal or France, mainly people who have taken very early retirement, want a debt free life and a little bit of land. At one time these countries did offer real value for money but for a cheap property you will normally end up with one that needs extensive work doing. Spain and Portugal are hot in the summer but can be very cold in the winter, insulation is virtually unheard of and there is also the language problem. More and more people are choosing a place much nearer to home. Ireland, easy to get to, easy to go back to the UK to visit friends, no language problems and a fantastic cheap housing stock.
Fantastic value.
 I wonder where else you can buy a three double bedroom house with a fantastic kitchen dining room, one and a half bathrooms, two living rooms, full central heating, needing no work, orchard, vegetable garden, lovely views, set in three quarters of an acre?
The asking price for this gem is just 130.000 euros, less than £100.000. There are many properties like this around Ireland, especially in the West of Ireland.

http://www.daft.ie/1985714
Anyone who might be interested in this house just leave me a comment and will put you in touch with the owner.
Peach tree is looking set to deliver a good crop.
It seems as though spring has finally arrived, in just four days all the daffodils have burst into bloom, and buds are swelling on the trees, even the peach tree is now full of blossom and has had it first hand pollination done, this will be repeated in a couple of days, there are still a few buds not fully open. Although we lost one third of the tree last year, it was so heavily laden the top third snapped, we still have over fifty blooms on it so look forward to a good harvest again.
The two rebuilt beds.
The tunnel  now resembles some order, two of the  beds have been reduced in width and increased in height, making them easier to work, they had previously been the strawberry beds,
I couldn't bear to throw out these plants.
well one still is, despite my good intentions. Although the straw bale bed so far is looking good I want to make sure that we end up with a good crop of strawberries, so the plants have been severely thinned and cleaned and replanted in one of the new raised beds.
Looking fine.
Not that I think I needed to worry, the plants in the straw bales have all taken,
Ten days ago.
Ten days on.

produced incredible growth
and many of the plants now have flowers, all in the space of ten days.   I think it must be the increased warmth from the bales. We should be picking the first fruit around the middle of April, only a couple of weeks later than normal.
Set for an early crop of new potatoes.
 The first early potatoes in the tunnel are growing well, another couple of weeks and they will be ready for the first earthing up.
The spare new bed in the tunnel will be for  calabrese and cauliflowers, all the seeds geminated and are now at the second leaf stage and will be ready for transplanting in a week or so, the first mange tout are ready to be planted into the tunnel but will only need half a bed so they can share with the half bed of onions, the outside onions will get planted tomorrow, this leaves us with one spare bed in the tunnel, I will probably plant some French beans in this to give us an early crop.
Four out of the five tomato seeds germinated, which is fine as we only needed four plants, but for the price of the seed I would have expected 100% germination, it works out to fifty cents a seed which I think is expensive, these are Sun Gold, a lovely cherry tomato and an excellent cropper, but pricy!

29 comments:

  1. Interesting post, when we first started visiting County Cork in about 1999 we wouldn't in a million years have been able to afford a house there, as you say how times have changed. I LOVE it out there, around Crookhaven and Goleen particularly but we simply would not be able to find local work so it will have to be a pipe dream for us I'm afraid. Still we can always visit your beautiful country
    Twiggy x

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  2. Yes Ireland is a beautiful county to visit as well as live. It's hard to find work in any country that is not your own but here there is not the language problem. We saw far too many people arriving in Spain who suddenly became builders/ estate agents with no experience, all out to rip off their fellow Brits.

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  3. Oh, wouldnt that make a lovely home though ive never had stairs before. You call our homes bungalows (so funny). I dream of having a home with any sort of land but alas, we are also priced out of the market. In Oz, going from the city to the land is called a "tree change" and it now has its own real estate market for that purpose. Its becoming trendy and more and more want to escape the rat race. Im not sure if its any cheaper and yes, employment would be an issue. I guess its ideal for the retirees that can purchase the land with their superannuation and then make it as self sufficient as possible. Im trying to do the same thing on my suburban block. A tree change for me is only a dream.

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    1. Our home started life as a traditional Irish cottage, just three rooms all on one level, it was once a farm but the land gradually got sold off for forestry. The previous owners extended the cottage to three time it's original size, but it is all on one level which is what we wanted. Our last house in Spain was big and on three different levels far too many stairs. Do you have such things as allotments or community gardens in Oz?

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  4. Oh, the bale strawberries are looking so healthy. Im thinking of miniature poly-tunnels over my raised beds this winter. Just to experiment.

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    1. We are pleased with the way the straw bales are going so far Lynda, we have frost warning for the rest of the week we hot the heat from the bales will protect the flowers on the strawberries.
      Do you get frosts in the winter where you are?

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  5. Everything in the greenhouse is looking splendid! What are your preferred sources for seed? I need to find parsnips.

    Whilst bramble-taming, I´ve discovered a flowering shrub being crushed under a fallen beam that reminds me of your peach tree. How exciting!

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    1. We get our seeds from Chase Organics which is now the Organic Gardening Catalogue, they do post to Spain, we have used them for many years and find their seeds good. Before planting your parsnips put the seed packet in the freezer part of your fridge for a few days, it helps with germination.
      How big are the flowers of your discovered shrub, peach and nectarine are quite small, about half an inch, it might also be quince but the flowers are much larger, I also seem to remember that they flower later than the peaches.
      Looking forward to an update on your garden taming Cole.

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  6. It looks a wonderful house, Anne. Rural Ireland is beautiful but very difficult to make a living here like most rural areas.

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    1. Yes it is an immaculate place, owned by someone who carved out his own living in the countryside, he is a baker and sells his breads at the farmers markets, he and his partner make a good living from it. It really is a question of finding the right niche market and set up your own employment.

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  7. I have that property in my file Anne. Thanks for a good post. Still don't have a date for coming over (work commitments and animal care) it will have to be a rough and ready, as and when trip.

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    1. I'm sure you will enjoy the trip when it finally happens Irene, the offer still stands if you need accommodation in this area.

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  8. What a lovely house, I can't believe the price. I've never visited Ireland, though I'd like to one day, it does sound a beautiful place. Your polytunnel certainly brings everything on early, my strawberry bed needs a good tidy up.

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    1. Yes Ireland does offer incredible value for money Jo. We have used tunnels for years, and would be lost without one. Our strawberries were very overgrown they needed radical work on them, still it's done now, must not let them get away like that again. You can be quite ruthless with strawberries in the tunnel, I removed all the old leaves and was left with just the fresh new growth, but this is in the tunnel, I'm not too sure if that would be right for outside strawberries.

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  9. Impressive 'top end' houses there. As you know we went for one of the "needing work" end (complete gutting below the roof) and we were amazed at the time to get the house plus the original 1.5 acres for €50k - we thought WE had done well. Your readers might be amazed to learn that a couple we know have just put in an offer for a single storey place in 2 acres at onlt €26k ! They have not been in it yet but the roof is sound and looking through the windows it looks almost live-able - the dresser is still in there full of crockery, there are chairs, good fireplaces and even a stack of old newspapers and a calender from the late 1990s. They will gut it, but it looks like you could open the front door, light yourself a fire n the hearth and get the kettle on! It's up just into county Sligo from here.

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  10. We have seen a couple of nearby cottages sold in the last year or so that would have been around that price Matt they needed work but the roofs were sound, in each case they have been extended by the new owners by the 40m2 that you are allowed to extend without planning, that is about a 100% increase in size of a normal Irish cottage. There was one cottage sold a few weeks ago with a couple of acres for 18.000 somewhere in Co. Roscommon.
    The problem with places that need renovation is the time it takes to do and however much you have estimated it will cost nearly double your best estimate, even if you do most of the work yourself.

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  11. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment I have just finished pollinating our apricot tree and am now hand pollinating our nectarine, the peach isn't in full flower yet. It's my first attempt so I hope I get it right.

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    1. We always repeat the hand pollination two to three days after the initial pollination Sue, just to make sure. I'm trying your tip on another blog regarding germination of Larkspur, I have failed to grow it for the last four years so have now reseeded and put the tray in the fridge, thanks for the tip.

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    2. I am maybe overdoing it and am pollinating every day. It took just over a fortnight for the first larkspur seedling to appear. Now they are germinating well

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    3. Did you keep them in the fridge for the two weeks Sue, did they start geminating in the fridge or after you had taken them out. We have found that two or maybe three times hand pollinating is quite sufficient for the peach tree, last year we would have had over 70 fruits, until the fruit was too heavy and the top third of the tree broke. We have around fifty blooms this year, I will keep any eye that it does not get too heavy for the branches.

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    4. I popped the seed packet in a plastic bag in the freezer for two weeks and then sowed the seeds, Anne The sown seeds were kepy on a windowsill in a spare room.

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  12. What a beautiful house and so cheap! Houses are extremely expensive in Cornwall making it very hard for our young people to buy their own homes. My heart is very firmly in Cornwall though, I could never contemplate leaving.

    The plants are really coming on. I would love to have a poly tunnel one day

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    1. We both love Cornwall but the house prices were far too high, we did consider moving back to Devon when my mother in law died, we could have taken on her cottage where my husband was born but there is just too much traffic, even in rural Devon. I'm pleased your seedlings are doing well and that you can now get upstairs again.

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  13. It just goes to show how much you can gain by having a polytunnel. I only wish we had the space for one. I am growing Sungold too, or at least I will be when I get round to sowing the seed! It's the only variety I ever grow. Pricey, yes. But worth it!

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  14. A polytunnel is a real boon Jessica, we would be lost without ours for early crops. In the end five out of five Sungold germinated, now I have to find room for the 5th plant.

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  15. I was at a house warming party yesterday and was amazed at the house which was bought for €55,000. A big square stone house with proper fitted kitchen, 2 bathrooms and amazing views over a beautiful lake. Astounding!

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    1. There are certainly some incredible bargains around Bridget, far cheaper than Spain.

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  16. I'm looking forward to seeing how your crops progressed, what a gorgeous atmosphere for them to thrive in!

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