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Laura and Ronan moved into their new house last month. Supplied

'I fell in love with the town': One young couple's journey buying their first home outside Dublin

Laura and Ronan viewed their new home in January and got the keys in May.

“EVERY TIME I walk into the kitchen, I think ‘I own this house. This is amazing.’” 

For Laura Scanlan and her fiance Ronan, their house-buying journey was a whirlwind. The pair started saving in January 2020, viewed their home in The Hawthorns – a Glenveagh Homes development in Tullamore, Co Offaly – one year later in January 2021, and moved in last month. 

“I’m from Dublin and my fiance is from Wicklow,” says Laura. “We were looking at houses in the countryside, as for us Dublin was way too expensive. I always said I wouldn’t live down the country because I was so used to Dublin, but when we went to Tullamore and drove around the town, I fell in love with it and knew I could see myself living here.” 

When the pair went to Tullamore to view a showhome at The Hawthorns, they asked what properties were available in the next phase. However, a three-bed end-of-terrace home from the previous phase was still available – and it was in the young couple’s budget and included their ‘must-haves’. 

image Houses in The Hawthorns, Co Offaly. Glenveagh Homes Glenveagh Homes

“We had said we’d need a three-bed because we want to start a family, so we needed a house that’s going to be able to support that,” says Laura. “We also wanted somewhere with a back garden so our dog has room to run around.”

With those two boxes ticked, a utility room was the last thing on Laura’s list. “I wasn’t buying a house without a utility room. Ronan said we could build one, but for me it needed to be there from the start.”

Making the move

After going sale agreed on the property, “everything happened so fast” as Ronan, who’s in the army, was set to be deployed in May. “Everyone from our solicitor to the Glenveagh team were so helpful getting us in,” says Laura. “I thought it would be December by the time we got in.”  

Although the couple had looked at secondhand homes in their house-hunting journey, it was the Help to Buy scheme that added to the appeal of a new-build. “It meant that we could get into a house faster than if we were to continue to save (without the Help to Buy scheme).”

image8 A utility room off the kitchen was a 'must-have' for Laura. Supplied Supplied

Having moved in last month, Laura has already settled in to her new home. “When we moved in, Ronan only had about 10 days in the house, then he was shipped overseas. We’re slowly starting to decorate now, so every week when something else comes in for the house, I send him videos.”

As for leaving the capital, Laura says she’s “very happy” she moved out of Dublin. “It takes me an hour and 20 minutes to get to work now. When I lived in Dublin, sometimes it would take me over an hour to get to work with the traffic. 

There’s a sense of a tight knit community in Tullamore. Everything is there in Tullamore town. We have everything we need.

 At Glenveagh Homes, our vision is that everyone should have the opportunity to access great-value, high-quality homes in flourishing communities across Ireland. We understand that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. Click here to find out more about Glenveagh developments.