Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The other type of water: rain and flooding

With the current torrential downpours across Ireland I though it a good time to point out another thing that should be checked before buying a house in Galway (applies across the country too): flooding.

Galway and it's surrounding counties get a fair share of rain and this is something you should take into account when buying a house. If you are viewing in the Summer it is a good idea to walk right around the plot and see if there are swampy bits of the garden. If there are, then imagine how they will be when it has rained solidly for six weeks!

Watch out for other tell-tale risk signs - is there a river close to your house that has a soft margin (is not walled in)? Are you close to a lake which has history of flooding?

A handy way to find out about past flooding in the area is a simple google search for the place name and the word "flood".

In general you are pretty safe if your house is on an elevated site, and this usually means you have a better view too! Of course, an elevated site can be more exposed to wind too, so balance all the factors and be sure you are getting the house you want.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Water water everywhere...

..but not a drop to drink. So goes the saying, and it is something to consider when moving anywhere rural.

Living in cities we can be forgiven for forgetting that the nice clean drinkable water we enjoy is not available countrywide. Due to contamination of water (by either animal or human waste) there is a boil order in place for some parts of County Galway at the moment (Summer/Autumn 2008). You can find specific details here: and here

I use this as an example only to emphasize that it is important that you ensure you have a good quality water supply. If the house you intend buying is going to be part of a group water scheme contact the scheme administrator/secretary and ask if there is any upgrade work due to happen, what quality the water is, and if there is or will be meters put in. And of course you will probably want to find out the annual cost, and include this in your sums to work out if you can afford to live there.

If the house has a well, it is well (sorry!) worth the cost of taking a sample and having it tested for quality. If the current owner is reluctant to let you do so, then this should raise your suspisions!

For €85 (at time of writing) you can send off the sample to this crowd for testing :