Get a structural survey. Any local reputable engineer can assist you with this for a nominal fee.
Check the Building Energy Rating “BER”. This will provide a good indicator of how much you will spend to heat the home to a comfortable level. Bear in mind that upgrades to insulation, windows and doors can be added or changed after the fact to improve the BER rating and make the home easier to heat.
Get to know the neighbourhood and the neighbours… seriously! If you are really serious about a property, drop by their home with a bottle of wine or a batch of muffins to get a feel for them and also to ask them how they enjoy living in the neighbourhood.
Factor in all the relevant costs such as: A.) Stamp duty- Stamp duty is not included as part of your mortgage loan by your lender so you’ll need to save it up in addition to your deposit. Stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price of a residential property up to €1m, and 2% on the balance above. B.)Solicitor- You’ll need a solicitor/lawyer to look after all the legal aspects of transferring ownership of the property to you. Costs vary; some solicitors charge a flat fee while others charge between 1% and 2%. C.) Surveyor- I absolutely recommend that purchasers find a good surveyor, who will look over the property for you for your own peace of mind. Things like structural defects, subsidence, damp, dry rot or pyrite. D.) Home Insurance- Before you get the keys to your new home, you will need to show your solicitor proof of building insurance. Insurance premiums vary depending on the condition and location of your home and the value of your possessions you’ll put inside it. Its always a good idea to shop around. E.) Renovations- Depending on the condition of your home and your personal tastes, you might need to budget for a few changes.
Shop around for building insurance. Do not just grab the first quote that you are given. I recommend at least 3-5 calls/emails for quotes.