Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to find a house in Galway online

Lets take it you have decided to buy a house in Galway, and you have looked and followed our steps (see list in left pane). You have four main options to use when searching: use an estate agent, use property page in newspapers, use online search, or drive around looking for for sale signs.

In this post we will just look at the option of searching online.

A number of estate agents have online websites which list their current properties, and a list of some of these is at the end of the post. There are also some big sites which list for both auctioneers/estate agents and also for individual sellers.

The first step is to decide on an area where you want to buy. Even a number of areas. If you do a search for all property in Galway you will have to trudge through a huge number of unsuitable adverts which can be both tiring and disheartining - imagine the perfect house, perfect price, and then discovering in is on an island two miles of the western coast; big let down -unless that is what you are searching for, of course!

Once you have decided on the area, it is often good to widen this slightly to include the neibouing townland or villages (or suburbs if searching in the city). Some listings are not entered correctly and it would be terrible to missout on your dream home because it is listed in the wrong village.

Next decide on the type of house - detached, semi-detached, farm, bungalow, apartment.

Finally, work out the upper limit you can afford. It is a good idea to put this higher than your budget, as with the current credit crunch you may find that the listed privce is above what the seller is willing to make a sale for. Who said there was no 'up side' to a recession!?

You are now ready to make a start on the search. Using one of the sites listed below enter the criteria you have listed and click to search.

If the results are too large you can narrow the search by deciding the maximum and minimum number of bedrooms. No point getting a one bedroom apartment for a family of five! Be sure to factor in how long you think you will live in the home. If you plan on staying for a decade, ask yourself if it will be large enough for planned children, or other changes that may happen.

Some sites will allow you to register, and we recommend this as it allows you to save properties to view later. You can also set up email alerts which will email you all new properties and on some sites will also allow you to be mailed the results of a search too. This can be very handy and save you time logging onto the site a searching yourself.

Once you find somewhere you want to view you can usually email directly to the seller or agent to arrange a viewing (be sure to include reference number or full address as most agents will have a number of properties in an area).

If you find a property in an area which is similar to what you want, but not ideal, it is a good idea to contact the agent and ask them what similar properties they have.

Sites that might help you:

Auctioneer websites:

Happy searching!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shopping in Galway at Christmas

Galway city is renowned the world over as a vibrant, warm and multicultural city. It's a popular destination for Christmas shopping in Ireland, as it has everything - lively pubs, gourmet restaurants, plenty of accommodation, a weekly market, lots of shopping arcades and a terrific range of shops, so you'll have no bother finding those Christmas presents and last minute stocking fillers!

Galway city is especially welcoming over Christmas. It's located beside the sea surrounded by some of Ireland's most spectacular landscape, which helps to create the perfect scene.
When it comes to Christmas shopping, Galway has just as much to offer, as any other large city in Ireland.

Shopping in Galway is a pleasant experience as much of the city center is pedestrianised and you'll stumble upon quirky little shops, small boutiques and beautiful craft shops as you roam around its cobbled streets. Of course, you'll find all your usual high street stores and labels too.
When you visit Galway on your shopping break, be sure to visit the local market. It's normally open on a Saturday and Sunday all year round, but is usually open for about 10 days prior to Christmas and a visit here will definitely put you in the festive mood. Don't miss the opportunity to mingle with the locals as they gather to chitchat as well as do their shopping. This market has been taking place for centuries and is located next to St. Nicholas Church at the bottom of Shop Street. It's best known for its exclusive arts, crafts and mouthwatering foods prepared while you wait. Handmade chocolates, delicious crepes and Japanese Sushi are just some of the foods you'll find here.

Many of the shops in Galway city are situated on streets in the key shopping area in the centre of the city, while the shopping centres tend to be on the outskirts of the city.

Eyre Square Shopping Centre
Eyre Square Shopping Centre (found in Eyre Square!) has up to 100 shops offering everything from fashion, gifts, jewellery, books, sport, department stores and restaurants.
The shops pull out all the stops at Christmas with elaborate window and shop displays.
(Even if you don't buy anything - take a stroll through this shopping center and see the remains of the old city walls, which have been incorporated into the building!)

Shop Street - Galway City
Don't pass up the opportunity to saunter down the bustling Shop Street where some of the best shops are to be found. The street is a bit touristy so if you're looking for craft shops, hand made jewellery and art shops, then this is the place to go.

Latin Quarter
This street is known as High Street and the quaint cobblestoned street is filled with fascinating exclusive shops. You will find original and once off gifts here.

The Corrib Shopping Centre
There are lots of shopping centres in Galway. The Corrib Shopping Centre is not very big but is ideally located and within walking distance of Eyre Square. It has a good range of shops including Roches Stores - a large department store with everything under the one roof!

The Galway Shopping Centre
Situated on the Headford Road is the Galway Shopping Centre which has well over 100 shops including Penny's - a big hit for its trendy clothes at bargain prices. A car is recommended especially if you plan on doing lots of Christmas shopping so it's good to know there's loads of parking. If you have the kids in tow, then there's plenty to keep them occupied with the onsite Leisure Dome which incorporated a bowling alley, laser games, a play area and lots more.

Terryland Retail Park
Another shopping centre located on the Headford Road and catering for people looking for specialist shops and unique gifts.

Galway at Christmas

If you are thinking of moving to Galway, the ideal time to dip your toes in the water is right now.

With Christmas around the corner the city is buzzing. You really get the feel for how friendly everyone is, be it the shop assistant who still as time to chat to you (unlike the impersonal rush in the capital), or the craic on Shop Street and the surrounding pubs. You can experience first hand the way Galway offers the ideal balance of life in a city, while still in the countryside.

All the small towns in the county are coming alive and welcoming back home their sons and daughter who live or work away. Pubs roar with the craic of friends and familise sharing tales of shared experiences, old and new. See Headford with it's main street lit up, Claregalway full of shoppers and Athenry with the bustle of old friends returned to visit.

A few of the events on in the city this Christmas are listed here:


Galway Bay On Ice1st December 2008 - 11th January 2009

Galway Bay On Ice is back and its even better than last year. Visitors can expect to see Galway's Spanish Arch transformed into one of Ireland's premier Christmas attractions with one massive 700m2 ice rink and a festive Christmas Market to enjoy.
The kids can even fine tune their skating skills at this year's "Skate School," and become the envy of all their friends. This magical event is ideal Christmas fun for the whole family. They have full catering facilities on site too!
Open 7 days a weekWeekdays 10am - 10pm

Weekends 10am - 10pm

Nimo's Pier, Spanish Arch, Galway.


Open Traditional Irish Music Session - The Western Hotel Galway

Every Thursday between 11 Dec 2008 and 18 Dec 2008
33 Prospect Hill, Galway City


Trad on the Prom Christmas Cabaret Dinner & Show at The Ardilaun

The Christmas Cabaret which takes place on Wednesday 10th December includes a mulled wine reception drink on arrival, 4 course buffet dinner, and 2 hours of music, song and dance, and it makes for one great evening. All for just €65 per person, tickets now available for sale at the Ardilaun. Join up with your colleagues and friends – parties of any size can be catered for, special discounts apply for group bookings and a night to remember is guaranteed. Why not check in and stay overnight with a special rate of just €105 per person sharing to include a luxurious nights stay with a Hearty Irish Breakfast to follow, or if you prefer two nights for €149 per person sharing. As space is limited, please call the Christmas Party Line on: 091-519794.


Traditional Music Session - The Shamrock Bar, Roundstone

Every Saturday between 06 Dec 2008 and 28 Feb 2009
Venue: Roundstone, Connemara, Galway
Phone: +353 95 35760


NUI Galway Arts Office Lunchtime Christmas Concertfeaturing the ConTempo Quartet and NUI Galway Choral Society. Admission free.

Date: Thursday, 09 December 2004

Location: Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway

Time: 13.10


Galway is such a fantastic city to visit and when you arrive here on your pre Christmas shopping break you'll know what we mean. It's a paradise of lively pubs, shops, and restaurants, with friendly faces and a warm atmosphere. And when you're finished your Christmas shopping in Galway city, you can explore top attractions like Connemara, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher.