“We have more security in this place knowing our landlord isn’t going to sell it” – Martin discusses life in his new home in Graigue na hAbhainn

August 31, 2022

We moved in here in January after we got the keys. The team at CHI were really helpful. The key handover and so on went smoothly and it was a very easy process overall. We lived in another estate in Carlow before moving here. When we moved into our previous home, it needed a lot of work, but we made it nice. The rent was quite expensive for the space that we got. It was an older home built in the early 2000s. It was cold and expensive to heat. There was double glazing but there were a lot of gaps between the windows that meant a lot of warmth escaped. On the market it cost €1,100 to rent, but we got HAP, so we ended up paying €900. The landlord didn’t really do anything with the house to keep it up to date. He was trying to sell it, so we don’t think he was interested in spending too much money to keep it nice. He had mentioned selling the property to us a few times, but  never gave us official notice.

We initially had a one-year contract and then he sent us another year’s contract and so on. That’s how our rent agreement usually worked. When we got the letter about this house Raimonda was already pregnant. We have more security in this place knowing our landlord isn’t going to sell it. Our neighbours are lovely, it’s nice and multicultural, we have Brazilian neighbours on one side and Nigerian neighbours on the other. Our son, Domis, knew one or two kids from school who have moved in here and he’s gotten to know more since we’ve settled in.

Before Covid-19, I worked in upholstery locally, but my bosses are thinking of selling the business as they’re an older couple. They’ve had health issues in the last few years. Monica, Raimonda’s daughter, did her leaving certificate a few years ago and she’s not sure whether she wants to stay here in Carlow or move to another town closer to Dublin, perhaps Naas. She’s 19, almost 20 years-old-now. When you’re that age you want to be closer to the action and bigger cities.

Raimonda is a healthcare worker, but she’s on maternity leave at the minute with our newborn, William. She has her hands full looking after him but he’s sleeping through the night which is great. I’m helping as much as I can. It’s nice to be able to be with them both while he’s young. I’m going to look for something new workwise when he’s a bit older. Raimonda has two brothers in Carlow and a sister in Enniscorthy. It’s nice to have family close by. For me, it’s just my mum here. She’s here a long time.  It's great that we have this new home while William is growing up. We learned about getting this home right before Christmas but we weren’t sure if we were definitely going to get it, so it was a lovely surprise for us. We welcomed William in April. We’re hoping he’ll go to playschool locally and the primary school is close, St Fiacc’s.

We didn’t have much time to move from our old place into this one. Our lease was up on 30th January this year, and we got the keys for here on 12th January. So, we had about three weeks to get set up. We didn’t own much in the last place, so we didn’t have a lot of things to move in with. This place was empty. I did the flooring here myself, which is good, because I know exactly how everything was put together. It saved us some money and I enjoyed doing it too.

I’m the treasurer of our Member Association too. We’ve talked about a few things that might help improve the community for kids growing up. There’s a lovely playground out the front for smaller kids. It may be good to put some fencing up at some stage to protect kids from traffic. A basketball hoop might be good.

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