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Moving to Northern Ireland - Yes or No

(60 Posts)
Corcory Sat 17-Feb-18 15:38:36

We are considering all areas of the UK to move to and have seen that NI is particularly cheap to buy property. See we could get our dream home for under £300K. What's the catch? What is the job situation? Does the legacy of the troubles still hang over the province?
Is it more expensive to live there?
Loads of questions can of you can answer?

IPokeBadgers Sat 17-Feb-18 15:58:09

The job situation is pretty shit (but if you say what areas of work you are in others might be able to advise better). My husband came here 8 years ago as a (young) 52 year old because I wouldn't move to England. He has never managed to get settled work wise. ...with no long term work history here he has had to settle for sort term contracts, been made redundant twice and has had long periods of unemployment.

House prices considerably cheaper than other parts of UK but salaries also lower. Not sure how cost of living compares? There isnt the same sort of competition with regards to utilities etc so I imagine good deals harder to get....particularly if you are away from the greater belfast area.

If you like travel, holidays etc are more expensive as we are that bit removed, although depending on where you settle, Dublin airport is easier to access than it was 10-20 years ago.

There is still a massive us and them mentality in many parts, and our politics are a joke. We are supposed to have a devolved government but the power sharing fell apart over a year ago and probably every part 0f society is suffering because of it: no functioning executive means no decisions/progress with regards to departmental budgets for health, education etc. However, we have come a long way and I believe things will not go backwards....people are used to this better standard of lIving, access to entertainment and a developing tourism/hospitality industry.

On the plus side, people are on the whole friendly, there are some good schools nd it can be a beautiful part of the world....when the sun shines, which isn't often. Husband is from the south of England and the weather here really depresses him.

Lots of research needed.....really so much of it depends on what areas of work you are in.

Corcory Sat 17-Feb-18 16:40:56

Thanks so much Badgers for the great reply. My DH and I are in our 60s so would be looking at retirement but we have 2 teens who would need employment DS keen on Agriculture and DD is more craft/art etc. interested so not sure if she will get work as she is Autistic.
What about how friendly people are to new comers? We are Scottish.
My DH would love to live somewhere with a decent pub in a village.

CharisMater Sat 17-Feb-18 16:46:02

Im a dubliner who considered this 5 years ago when job situation in dublin terribly bleak.. uk has Longer school days. NhS.
Lurgan, Bangor and Hollywood all nice places to live
The accent up north tho. Omg. That could be the catch.

percypig Sat 17-Feb-18 16:48:16

Do it - our politics is currently a nightmare, and many bemoan the fact that our laws around abortion, gay marriage, pub opening hours, Sunday trading etc haven’t kept pace with the rest of the UK, though that won’t be an issue for everyone.

Belfast has changed massively in the last 10 years and is now a great city. Our schools are good (though we do have the 11+ system which might make things a little more complicated).

I studied in Scotland and have also lived in Europe, and although I loved both experiences, and enjoy travelling (though yes, flights from Belfast can be limited/expensive) I love living here. The beaches are amazing, people friendly, even biggish towns are always close to the countryside, and nowhere is that far from Belfast for a bit of city life.

Onesmallstepforaman Sat 17-Feb-18 16:51:41

We moved there for work spent several years there, and moved back to England. We lived in the NW of the province, near the coast. Some minor comments from those who didn't like 'brits'. We found it quite insular and parochial, and made few firm friends. It has undoubtedly improved, but I don't think I'd live there again. FYI I don't identify with either side of the debate, but would err on the nationalist side. My build, accent and haircut apparently led people to think I was in some way connected to the security forces. Fantastic scenery, still some hangover from the troubles, but safe enough.

Corcory Sat 17-Feb-18 17:02:31

Thanks for the replies. I'll have a look at the places you suggested Charis. Would want to be near the coast/on the coast and not too far from Belfast I think.

percypig Sat 17-Feb-18 17:05:18

In that case Bangor/Holywood would be a good area to look at. The beaches aren’t as spectacular as the North Coast, but v handy to Belfast.

ImperfectTents Sat 17-Feb-18 17:06:37

This is the second time I have seen Lurgan recommended on here! Please don't go and live there.

Newcastle is lovely and has a good arts scene

Trooperslane2 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:07:12

I'm really homesick right now after being home for a week in the sticks with DMIL and me and DD had a couple of really nice days in Belfast shopping.

DH caught me looking at houses this am - he was like WTAF are you thinking!

Moved to Glasgow in 2007 because of the work situation PP mentioned, but with those career options you'd probably be ok.

Crawfordsburn is lovely and not too far from Holywood, Belfast and Bangor though it would be the Lisburn Road for me if i had ££££

Trooperslane2 Sat 17-Feb-18 17:07:41


ImperfectTents Sat 17-Feb-18 17:09:03

Actually lolling at Lurgan . Sorry lurgan

ChablisLover Sat 17-Feb-18 17:09:05

Ah so that would be posh north down (where house prices are higher) or County Antrim - carrickfergus or Jordanstown (again house prices aRe higher)

As most people say - jobs are crap (most reliant on public sector and have no government!), there's Still a bit of them and us

If you're Scottish it's not that much different
The accent is an acquired taste 😀 but I remember having to translate for my granny in Inverness as no one could understand each other

I'd look further away from belfast as you'd get more for your money

I'd love to retire to north coast (the coleraine portrush portstewart area) or north antrim - ballycastle or the glens (but these can be a wee bit remote)

ChablisLover Sat 17-Feb-18 17:10:04

And nope - I'd give lurgan a miss - my cousins are from there and they'd give it a miss too 😂

percypig Sat 17-Feb-18 17:12:44

Yes, avoid Lurgan - can’t believe it was described as nice. North Down is a lot more expensive than the North Coast/Glens. I guess it depends how close you want to be to Belfast - North Coast is 60-70 mins away, Bangor is 20.

flipperflop Sat 17-Feb-18 17:15:43

Property is cheap and cost of living is much less...eating out, coffee, groceries are cheaper. In NI people don't pay for water and there is no council tax.

If your son is interested in agriculture then you would be going to the right place. There are jobs to be found so I wouldn't worry about that!

Beaches are amazing on the north coast and you are never more than an hour away from Belfast if you want the buzz of a city...and it has become an amazing city!

The schools are better and general amenities are plentiful and cheaper.


If you want a village with a local pub where everyone knows each other you will be disappointed. There are not really pubs etc where you go for drinks and lunch in residential areas, especially rural ones. Because of the troubles the pub scene did not flourish like in England. You could live on the outskirts of Portrush and portstewart and be nice and close to lovely beaches, restaurants with bars and coffee shops. You will not find quaint villages with a local.

The troubles are on the whole over. I am from NI but now sound pretty English and have never had any problems. Being Scottish you shouldn't encounter any problems!!

Any other Q just ask!!

ChablisLover Sat 17-Feb-18 17:28:49

Flipper - id disagree with you. My village has a thriving pub scene and we have a local and you'd always know someone in it. I think we fell behind but in small villages there's always been that sense of belonging.

Corcory Sat 17-Feb-18 17:32:05

Gosh, I've got so much more to tell DH now! Thanks everyone. Will have a look at the north coast as we are currently an hour from Edinburgh and find that fine. What nice places are there on the north coast?

lovelurgan Sat 17-Feb-18 17:35:51

Awk come on, leave lurgan alone! In its defence, the locals are very friendly, we have a stunning park, Oxford Island etc on our doorstep, good access to belfast and very cheap property. I'll not dwell on the negatives wink

OP, definitely consider it. Fab if you love the outdoors as there are beaches, forest parks etc close by no matter where you settle. Property very reasonable, though jobs situation not great, depending on sector. People very friendly overall and belfast is a fab compact city now! Legacy of troubles still haunts, and a truly shite political situation remains, but I'm optimistic for the future!

ImperfectTents Sat 17-Feb-18 17:44:31

If Lurgan is too glamorous there is always gilford

lovelurgan Sat 17-Feb-18 17:46:59

..... or tandragee!!!

HuglessDuglas Sat 17-Feb-18 17:47:33

I am Ards Peninsula and is gorgeous - house prices cheaper than Bangor and it's an area with quite a lot of Scottish roots. Donaghadee could be good for you some really good pubs great community vibe lots going on but more a small town.
I work in a creative industry lots of well paid jobs. In terms of autistic support there's some great charity's Stepping Stones and Orchardville which help get people into employment they offer training and support.
Agriculture- there are 2 fabulous colleges which offer a wife variety of courses and there are great career prospects in this area - Loughry and Greenmount Colleges.
Hangover from the troubles - not so much and dh is from the well known "loyalist" area of Belfast a lot has changed.

Agree 100% not Lurgan

secretsciurusvulgaris Sat 17-Feb-18 17:50:45

Lurgan 😂 😂 😂

At least Gilford has a good Chinese takeaway.....

ImperfectTents Sat 17-Feb-18 17:50:51

Tandragee has a surprisingly good shoe shop

Worldsworstcook Sat 17-Feb-18 17:55:34

Avoid lurgan like the plague.
North coast is breathtaking! Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula is lovely. Bangor is a commuter town so it's big and quite dear, crawfordsburn is lovely between bangor and Belfast but for 300k you'll not get that much. Newcastle is very nice and you'll get sone beauties there. Very agricultural area too. North coast, Antrim, Enniskillen - mid ulster so many agricultural jobs. Really most places (aside from North East Derry area) are within 1 hr drive of Belfast. We are. LOVELY bunch here. Being Scottish you'd settle right in!

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