Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

Yellow house door

Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

 

Despite public perception and high rents, the bottom line for landlords is rarely as clear-cut as popular opinion supposes. An immense of responsibility, paperwork, and costs is plenty to deter many from participating. For those considering leasing in Ireland, we have comprised an extensive list of costs, helping you provide the best value to your tenant while ensuring your costs are suitably maintained.

 

business people making agreement with pen

 

1. Lost Rent

Keeping costs low can be a priority for many landlords, but a breakeven point must be identified to detect when an empty rental income is operating at a loss. HomeHak’s Lease Calculator is designed to help you keep track of the multiple incomings and outgoings to locate the precise point of profit.

 

2. Mortgage

Unless you own the property in full, one of the highest costs to overcome is a monthly mortgage repayment, with an average interest rate on new mortgages in Ireland amounting to 2.79%, noticeably higher than the European average of 1.29% (D. Cassidy, Why mortgage rates in Ireland are so high, 2021). If every room in the house is leased or not, your mortgage will remain due as standard.

 

3. Pre/Post Letting Expenses

In order to provide the highest value to your tenants, it is necessary to ensure that upkeep expenses are incurred prior to and after a tenant has stayed. Any tenant will demonstrate signs of living, be it marks on painted walls, scrapes on floorboards, or just some well-worn couch cushions.

 

A landlord has the responsibility to provide well insulated and ventilated living conditions that are free from damp, as well as equipping sound structural and electrical integrity. These turnaround times should be kept to a minimum and a timely and efficient electrician, carpenter, or painter will prove invaluable.

 

tenant-cv-rental-application-new-home

4. PRTB Registration

The vast majority of landlords will find it necessary to register with the Private Residents Tenancy Board. Costing €90 per tenancy, this registration allows you listing on the national register of tenancies and is a requirement for any landlord. 

 

5. Insurance

Conventional home insurance will not cover you for rental activities and as a landlord, you are legally required to provide insurance for fire and public liability. Similarly to our Tenant’s Guide, you will find investing the time to source the best insurance a worthwhile return. 

 

6. Fees

Managing a property is much more than just financially intensive; a significant amount of time is taken up dealing with issues, sourcing the correct tenant and other administrative responsibilities. In order to avoid these, as many as 87% of landlords find it worthwhile to outsource said responsibilities to estate agents…at a small fee of course (HomeLet Landlord Survey, 2015).

 

Estate agents will advertise your property, filter through the countless applications, and identify the best-suited applicants for your final approval. They will also collect rent on your behalf and act as the go-between for any queries big or small. Thus, providing you with a hassle-free experience ranging from 6.5% – 10% of rents (Estate Agents., Let.ie., 2021).

 

In addition to the direct fees mentioned above, there are legal and accounting fees. For every contract, application, and submission there will be a solicitor required to pore over and flag any potential issues, as well as bookkeeping and tax bills to meet.

 

7. Council Charges

Your tenant may directly deal with some fees depending on the agreement including rubbish, recycling, or other services such as gardening. However, if you will be managing these directly you need to consider these costs to appropriately offset them. 

 

8. Maintenance & Repairs

Often the area of most debate, maintenance and repair charges can prove costly, just as they can be for any homeowner. Effective pre/post letting care will only provide you with so much cover throughout your tenant’s lease. Ultimately luck plays a factor and a corrupt socket may be as likely as a leaky roof, although both substantially differ in cost. How many tenants you have under your roof will impact these costs and recent data indicates this number is on the rise at 2.8 on average (Savills Ireland., Shifting Ownership in Ireland’s Private Rented Sector., 2017).

 

A close and trusted relationship with plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and general workhorses are worthy investments. A difficult cost to anticipate without the use of hindsight and precedent, it must nonetheless be considered when setting rents.

 

9. Tax

Before profits can be redirected, taxes need to be budgeted for. As with most taxes in Ireland what you pay is dependent on your personal circumstances. Net rental income is taxed at either 20% or 40% and due every year on the 31 October. Planning and organization will prove your best tools in minimizing the amount due. Keep every receipt!

 

Here is a list of expenses that you can offset against your taxable profits:

 

a) PRTB Registration of €90

b) Wear and Tear maintenance is deductible to the point where the property is in a livable standard, including furnishings and fittings, and essential repairs and maintenance

c) Advertising and Management Fees

d) Legal and Accounting Fees

e) Insurance premiums

 

10. Trust

Trust is one of the more critical and intangible considerations. It can either prove to be an invaluable asset or an endless liability. Your tenant will directly impact the costs you will incur, either directly or indirectly. Providing your tenant with the opportunity to invest themselves into their home will make them happier and therefore more likely to remain. Data would indicate that there is a trend towards longer-term tenancies. 25% of agreements now longer than 12 months, up from 15% in 2017 (Residential Tenancies Board., Rent Index., 2018).

 

Besides the exceptional cases of moving country or county, your tenant will continue to provide you with income as long as they are content with their conditions.

 

agent giving keys to tenant

11. Profit

It may seem strange to see profit listed as a cost for landlords. However, when calculating a breakeven point, you must include a cost for the time and stress incurred. It is essential to appropriately research the target market. Guidelines indicate it is inadvisable for renters to pay more than 40% of their income on rent (EY DKM, Rent Affordability in the Irish Residential Market, 2018).

 

To summarise

Being a landlord in Ireland can be a thankless job that is sometimes vilified. However, there is a vital service provided that supports the country and those living in it. Your unseen work and risk-balanced consistently will allow you to maintain a profit. Alongside, also allowing for good people to turn your property into a home. 

Check out our article Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHaks Top Recommendations!

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Introduction

The job of building a relationship with a tenant begins the first day you show them around. When a renter is choosing a new place to live, how they feel about a potential landlord can count for a lot. It counts for even more when it comes time for tenants to decide whether to stay or go. And if they’ve kept up their end of the bargain by being clean, quiet, and reliable with their payments, you’ll probably want to make sure to keep them around.

How to establish a good relationship on move-in day

One of the best times to establish a good rapport with your tenants is on move-in day. Renters will remember the help you offered on that stressful day, and they know they can count on you in the event of a problem and for any questions they might have.

Moving Day Tips
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How to help

To come up with ways to welcome incoming tenants, put yourself in their shoes. It’s going to be an exhausting couple of days of unpacking boxes and arranging furniture. What will they need the most during that time that doesn’t involve too much time or effort? Here are a few options for a complete welcome package.

Make sure your tenant is set up for rent payments

This is something you should take care of before move-in day, just to make sure your tenants don’t have too many other arrangements to make. As soon as your tenant has been accepted and paid their deposit, reach out to them to organise if they need to connect their bank account, credit card, or debit card or if it will be cash for quick and easy payments. If they haven’t gotten set up by move-in day, include a friendly reminder in their welcome package outlining how future payments will be made.

Get them familiar with their new neighbourhood

After all, they haven’t just chosen your building – they’ve chosen your part of the city. Your tenant’s welcome package should include a list of nearby banks, grocery stores, post offices, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, haircutters, dry cleaners, petrol stations, childcare and pet care services – anything a tenant might need on a day-to-day basis. With your help, they’ll know where to go in a pinch without spending too much time Googling.

This list can go beyond basic services, too. Talk to some popular local restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues about supplying coupons to include in your tenant’s welcome package. This tells your tenant that they can come to you for suggestions about where to go when they have free time.

 

HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Make their first week easy with a few basic supplies

Try and stock your tenant’s kitchen and bathroom with basic necessities. For example: toilet paper, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, batteries, and light bulbs. This will help your tenants accustom to their new place without having to make a run to the store. They’ll be grateful for your foresight. Check out this article for more information on helping your new tenants on move-in day. 

Connect them with their new neighbors

If you rent a single-family home, make sure to tell new tenants a little bit about their new neighbors and even facilitate an introduction if you know them well. Show tenants that you’re not just operating a building – you’re building a community.

Check out this article by HomeHak Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHaks Top Recommendations!

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Moving out of home is one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever experience. It’s stressful, exciting and can be overwhelming at times.

 

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

We’ve all heard horror stories about first time renters making mistakes that cost them dearly. Whether it’s not having a good understanding of your rights as a tenant or falling prey to scam rental advertisers looking to make a quick buck, there are plenty of pitfalls waiting for you!

That’s where our tips come in handy. Moving out involves a lot of organisation, especially for first-time renters. We will walk you through everything from finding the right place to live, how to manage finances and what to watch out for when signing a contract.

 

LOCATION

Location, location. Where you want to live, work, or study has a big impact on your location preferences for the rental search process.

When thinking about where to live, don’t just focus on the things you need in an apartment or house; think about what’s around too and how that may impact your commute time. Is there public transportation or cycle routes nearby? How far away are the supermarkets and services? What kind of gym options do locals have at their disposal? These are important questions since they can totally change how much fun living there would be day after day!

Rent Cost

You may already have an idea of how much you would like to spend on rent. There is a general rule of thumb to spend 30% of your annual income on rent. That said, it’s not entirely applicable to everyone. For example, someone who earns €100,000 may not want to spend €30,000 on their rent. Similarly, if you are on a lower salary it might not be feasible to put 30% of that towards rent. Analyse your financial situation for starters, and ask yourself what you can afford. It also doesn’t hurt to compare rent prices with your friends. See what they put towards rent and use that as a guide!

 

Budgeting

When preparing to rent for the first time, it’s important to embrace the concept of budgeting ASAP. It’s unavoidable, but in the long run it’s the best thing we can do to feel financially secure! Setting up a budget is essential for any tenant. Make a list of monthly expenses/regular bills and set aside a personal allowance. This may be the first time that you’re paying the bills yourself, so it’s important to know what they will cost ahead of time to save yourself any worry. Using a rent/ budget calculator is a great way to start figuring out your expenses.

 

Gas, Electricity & Bin Collection

Gas/electricity should come as no surprise since these things exist in every home. Depending on the setup, you may need to register the bin collection unless the landlord has done it for you. If you have no idea what the bills are going to be like, try getting an estimate on sites like Bonkers.ie which compares different suppliers’ rates. These utilities are then shared between all housemates in the house, sometimes monthly or every other month. You can also ask your friends/family what they usually 

 

Broadband

Other necessities may include broadband internet service, especially if you’re now working from home! Sometimes broadband may require installation at an additional fee depending on the supplier and/or location restrictions. When choosing how much broadband you’ll need, take into account how many people will be using it. Some areas cannot support every provider, which may affect your budget plan. Talk this over with your landlord if possible – they might already know about some hidden costs or previous issues! 

Reading the Contract

You may be racing to put your name on the dotted line, but it’s essential that you read through your contract carefully before signing anything. One thing to keep an eye out for is what type of tenancy agreement you are committing to. It will normally be a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy. Fixed-term, as the name suggests, refers to a fixed period usually about 6-12 months minimum. A periodic tenancy does not have a fixed length of time. There is lots of information about these agreements which can be read about in detail here.

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
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RTB

 

In Ireland, all private residential properties must be registered with the RTB. The Residential Tenancies Board provides a dispute resolution service to protect both landlords and tenants. They provide “high-quality information and assistance to the public, tenants and landlords on their rights and responsibilities“. It’s advised that first-time renters check that their property has been registered so that your rights are protected. 

 

Pet Policies

 

Depending on the property, it may or may not be permitted to bring pets on site. If you don’t come across any explicit pet policies, just ask the landlord what their feelings are about it!

 

Applying Without a Rental History

 

Don’t let a lack of a rental history hold you back. Everyone has to start out somewhere! First-time renters can still include character references as part of their application. This helps to establish how reliable you are, and how you will treat another person’s property! Find references from people willing to vouch for you such as previous employers, colleagues, even school principals! The idea is to find someone who knows you well and will speak highly of you.

 

HomeHak Services for first-time renters

 

Moving out for first-time renters is an exciting adventure, and soon you’ll be obsessing over how to decorate and fill it to make it your own. With a bit of self-determination and positive action you will absolutely find something you love! To do this you just need to express to the landlord that you would be the perfect tenant, i.e., someone reliable, responsible, and punctual.

 

Homehak, a tool for tenants and landlords alike, is a great way to express these traits. With Homehak’s help you can create a Tenant CV that contains all the information a landlord would ever need from you, so they don’t have to search around themselves or get short on time. This makes life easier not only for landlords but also applicants who are trying their best to impress them!

International Students Coming to Ireland – Everything you Need to Know

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know

Where do they come from?

The biggest increase has been international students from other EU states, jumping from 1,934 in 2017 to 6,383 in 2022.

 

According to the Irish Times, the total number of full-time, non-EEA international students reached nearly 18,500 in 2018. The Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) states that the main non-EEA sending countries for Ireland are the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Canada. Asia sends the largest share of students (43% as of 2017/18), followed by North America (30%), and the EU (20%). 

 

As reported by this report, applications from British students increased by 9 per cent this year. In 2021, Ireland was home to 25,000 international students. India is the second-biggest source of international students on the island. 

 

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know
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Top tips for International Students arriving to Ireland

Rental scams

September has approached, and students are heading back to college. The rental market has never been busier. With the surge in demand for accommodation, hopeful tenants are being advised to be cautious of a variety of rental scams.  HomeHak has put together some useful information about scams related to renting.

Bank account

One of the first things you should do is open a student bank account. Each university usually has a banking partner on campus.

Budgeting for international students

To enable you to enjoy your university experience to the fullest, you need to learn to manage your money correctly. One of the biggest ways to save money in university is through your grocery shopping. As an international student in Ireland, you can enjoy a range of great discounts and savings. These will make your finances easier to manage. 

Shopping and discounts

Ireland has several student discount cards. They range from freebies to money off. Below, we list the cards we recommend adding to your student wallet.

 

  • iConnect Card – You can save up to €450 on MacBook iPad ranges with a valid third-level student card.
  • ISIC Card – ISIC has been the mainstay discount card for international students for over 50 years. They offer exclusive discounts on a vast range of products and services in over 125 countries.

Affordable Supermarkets

Grocery shopping will eat up a large part of your student budget. It pays to shop around to find the cheapest supermarket in your local area. Here, we list the supermarkets that are the cheapest. 

 

Manage your time

As you settle into the swing of things, your time in Ireland is going to fly by. Plan Your Next Adventure with Discover Ireland.

Ireland’s Weather

Ireland is the type of place where you can experience the four seasons in one day. Ensure to pack wisely for cold, warm and wet days.

HomeHak International students
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Student Travel Card

A student travel card will get you discounts on your travel throughout Ireland. Also, giving you great savings is the Student Leap Card. 

For more information on these tips, check out our article International Students Studying in Irish Universities Top Tips.

Embassies 

Full details of all Diplomatic Missions in Ireland or accredited to Ireland on a non-resident basis can be found in the link below. This has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It includes information on the index of missions and representations accredited to Ireland. Diplomatic List July 2022

Irish Banks

To open an Irish bank account as an international student, you will need:

  • Valid passport/ID card
  • Certificate of Attendance 

These are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank. Each offers a student account with differing service fees and added extras. 

Mobile phone

Ireland has a reliable phone network. The country is covered by several major network providers. There are a number of options available to you, depending on your budget and requirements. These include a fixed-term contract, sim-only plan or pay-as-you-go tariff.

 

The main operators we’d recommend in Ireland are 

Healthcare

The INIS visa service offers information on the process of finding health insurance in Ireland. On average, health insurance for international students costs around €100 – €120 per annum.

Working in Ireland

Here are the conditions you need to be aware of:

EU Students

  • If you’re travelling from the EU, you can work in Ireland without registering for a GNIB card.

Non-EU Students

  • Non-EU students can seek casual work of up to 20 hours a week during term-time, provided they have a cardIn June, July, August and September, non-EU students can work up to 40 hours per week.
  • You cannot work in Ireland if your course is under six months in length.

Start with the university careers portal. These list a range of term-time positions available on and off campus. Then, check job sites such as Monster, Jobs and Irish Jobs. Distribute your CV to local businesses, as not all positions are advertised online.

 

Why use a Tenant CV?

  1. It’s an easy-to-read document.
  2. HomeHak tenant CV shows off information a landlord would need to know.  Head to our article What is a Tenant CV? for more information.
  3. It promotes you as a suitable tenant.
  4. A tenant CV takes some frustration out of the rental application process.
  5. It provides all valuable and essential information for the homeowner upfront. Check out our article on 6 Reasons to Use a Tenant CV. 

Landlord References

A landlord recommendation letter (rental reference) is an crucial component of your rental application. In a competitive rental market, a good reference can make a huge difference. Check out our article Importance Of a Reference for Irish University Student Accommodation.

Important links for international students

www.fas.ie 

www.job.ie

www.argus.ie

www.myjob.ie

Revenue office

www.revenue.ie

Safety 

www.garda.ie

Irish Newspapers 

www.independent.ie 

www.ireland.com 

www.irishtimes.com

www.independent.ie 

www.irishexaminer.com 

Travel in Ireland

www.discoverireland.com/ire

Irish Council for International Students

www.internationalstudents.ie 

Link to University websites In Ireland For International Students

Trinity College Of Trinity

University College Dublin

University College Cork

Dublin City University

Technological University Dublin

University Of Limerick

Maynooth University

Galway National University Of Ireland

Athlone Institute Of Technology

Carlow Technology Institute

Dundalk Technology Institute

Limerick Institute Of Technology

Letterkenny Institute Of Technology

Waterford Institute Of Technology

Cork Institute Of Technology

Sligo Technology Institute

Institute Of Technology, Tralee

Dublin Business School

Griffith College Dublin

Useful articles for international students

Study in Ireland: A Guide for International Students

International Students

Student visas to study in Ireland

Study in Ireland

Top recommended websites for international students 

Irish Council for International Students

Irish Universities Association

Citizens Information

Education in Ireland

Embassy World

The Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service

Google Maps

 

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn in Irish universities

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn is like being on social media and advancing your future career prospects. HomeHak is going to explore why this social network matters as a student. If you are a student, here are some of the reasons why you should be on it.

Getting Job Email Alerts

Firstly, once you have created your professional profile on LinkedIn, you can set email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs. Secondly, students and jobseekers will be able to see the notifications on their homepage as soon as they log into their LinkedIn accounts.

Connecting with Professionals

If you have a look at LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised to find out the large number of professionals who choose to connect here. In fact, you can find your friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates and family members on this platform. Consequently, it’s never a tough job connecting with them all. What’s more, you can even import your email list to find out who among your friends is present on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn in Irish Universities - HomeHak
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Conducting Company Research   

One of the biggest benefits LinkedIn offers college students and jobseekers is that they can check out the pages of their targeted employers. By visiting company, pages, you can conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about that organization. This kind of company research on LinkedIn can always keep a stay ahead of your competition and increases your employability.

Getting Recommendations

What’s more, LinkedIn also offers a feature through which you can get other people to recommend you. People with a maximum number of recommendations have a great chance of attracting the employers’ attention. College students too can try to get as many recommendations as possible to increase their employability.

Letting Companies Find You

Today, a large number of organizations look for talented candidates on social networking platforms like LinkedIn. If you have created a good and detailed professional profile, chances are you will attract employer’s attention. And it would really be nice to be invited by companies for your job position you always wanted to occupy.

Connecting with Other Students

Furthermore, college students can also use LinkedIn to network with other students. This type of networking gives a wonderful opportunity to find out how other college graduates found a job or got hired by an employer.

Check this article out to learn more about how to stay organised as a student in an Irish University.

To summarise

It’s about time that college students too created their profiles.It is time to start to use this social media platform for connecting with professionals. To conclude, prepare yourself as early as possible. You can easily stay ahead of your competition when it comes to landing a job of your interest. For more reasons to be on LinkedIn, check out this article.

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To.

How to stay organised as a student in Irish university

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To

There are  many reasons as to why you want to stay organised in college. First and foremost, it will drastically reduce your stress levels. And when you’re less stressed, you’ll feel better and perform better on assignments. You’ll also have more time for the things you enjoy doing, and you’ll just be a more pleasant person to be around.

1. Your Calendar

Calendars free up so much space in your head helping you to stay organised. Instead of having to remember appointments, classes, or due dates using post-it notes or scraps of paper in your wallet, you can have everything organized in a convenient, visual format. And if you use a digital calendar, you can automatically get reminders of important events before they sneak up on you.

 

2. Stay Organised with a To-Do List/Task Manager

You could use a whiteboard or a blank notebook if you want. What matters is that you keep an updated list of the tasks you need to accomplish, as well as, you know, actually doing said tasks. To make your to-do list, you should first create a brain dump of everything that you need to do on a regular basis. Here are some tasks that most college students need to do:

  • Homework assignments
  • Cleaning your apartment
  • Preparing meals
  • Club or society tasks
  • Anything you’re learning outside of class
Stay organised in Irish universities
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

3. Your Notes

Taking good notes is key to staying organised, comprehending and retaining any lectures or presentations that your professors give. But taking notes on its own isn’t enough — to get the most value out of your notes, you need to keep them organized. For some people, this could be as simple as having a different notebook for each class and referring back to it when you need to study for an exam.

 

4. Your Class Materials and Files (Digital and Physical)

We recommend you keep all of your class materials organized either in a physical three-ring binder or in some kind of digital system. To stay organised, you could put all of the material in Evernote along with your notes, or you could have dedicated Google Drive folders for each class (other cloud sync apps like Dropbox and OneDrive work here as well, but Drive offers the best value for students unless you specifically need Microsoft Office).

 

5. Your Backpack

Your backpack (or briefcase or purse or whatever you use) is key for keeping all of these materials organized and at the ready. Organizing your backpack isn’t hard — the key step is to remember to fill your backpack with the things you need for the day. After all, there’s nothing worse than showing up in class, only to get that sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that you don’t have the book or paper you need.

 

To summarise

Use a calendar. Make a to-do list. Organise your notes. Keep track of all class materials. Invest in  a comfty bagpack.  Getting organized is the easy part. How to stay organized throughout the semester is the hard part. We hope you enjoyed HomeHaks top tips for staying organised throughout your academic career!

For more college hacks, check out our other articles:

Better Notetaking – How to take the best notes in Irish University

Note taking - HomeHak

Better Notetaking – How to take the best notes in Irish University

 

Your guide to taking effective notes is here. Your days of looking back at what you scribbled down in class and trying to decipher useful information from them before a test are over. In this HomeHak guide, we’ll talk about how to prepare yourself to take good notes in class, introduce some popular techniques for taking notes, and cover the best ways to get the most out of your notes after class to lead you to better notetaking.

 

 

Better notetaking

Structured: The Outline

This is for people who like simplicity. It’s one of the easiest better notetaking ways to take notes, and it comes pretty naturally to most people. When taking your outline notes, start by choosing four or five key points that will be covered in your lecture. Beneath those points write some more in-depth sub-points about each topic as the lecturer covers them.

 

For Review: The Cornell Method

In this method, you divide your paper into three sections: notes, cues, and summary. Your notes section is for the notes you take during class. You can structure them however you like, but most people like to use the outline method. Write your cues section either during or directly after class. This section can be filled out with main points, people, or potential test questions. Use this section to give yourself cues to help you remember larger ideas. You can write your summary section directly after class, or later when you’re reviewing your notes. Use this section to summarize the entire lecture.

In-Depth: The Mind Map

The mind map is a great way of better notetaking for specific types of subjects. Class subjects like chemistry, history, and philosophy that have interlocking topics or complex, abstract ideas are perfect for this method. Use the mind map to get a handle on how certain topics relate, or to go in-depth with one particular idea.

Mindmap - HomeHak
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Expanded: mindmap

Jot down topics, draw arrows, make little doodles and diagrams and graphs. Go crazy. Engage with the material. Try to actively learn as you’re writing. Check out this article on how to create  a mindmap. 

 

Easy: Writing on Slides

Let’s be honest, this is better notetaking for lazy people…and there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s super effective, and it’s easy. If your lecturer is kind enough to provide you with the slides that they’re using in their lectures, go ahead and download the files and print them out at the computer lab. The slides give you a leg up on the outlining process. The professor already did the work for you! All you have to do is take notes and expand on key concepts already presented in the slides.

 

Visual: Bullet Journaling

If you’re super into aesthetics, like to doodle, or are a particularly visual learner, this method might be best for you. When you write in your bullet journal, you turn a blank page into a beautiful representation of your thought process. Try using it to combine different aspects of other note-taking styles.

 

To summarise

We have shown you so many ways to better notetaking such as Structured: The Outline, For Review: The Cornell Method, In-Depth: The Mind Map, Expanded: mindmap, Easy: Writing on Slides and Visual: Bullet Journaling. If you are intersted in more student hacks check out our other articles:

 

Essential Books Every Irish College Student Needs to Read in University

Books university Ireland - HomeHak

Essential Books Every Irish College Student Needs to Read

 

If you enjoy reading then you will love this article on our top Essential Books. This article includes  HomeHaks top essential books that you need to get your hands on now. If you’re looking to create a well-rounded, successful college experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

 

Pile of books
Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Essential Books

The Power of Habit

As it turns out, habits shape much more of our behavior than we realize. The habits we do have largely determine the progress (either good or bad) we make in life. Luckily, the way habits are formed can be understood – which means they can be changed – and The Power of Habit is the best overview of how habits work that we have ever read.

 

How to Become a Straight-A Student

This book gives you an in-depth, well thought out method for pulling epic grades in all of your classes. The book is based around that fact that there are many college students who get straight A’s, yet don’t study for more than a couple hours a day and still have plenty of other things going on in their lives. It lays out effective strategies for note-taking, quizzing yourself, writing papers, and more. If you want to be like one of the aforementioned students, get this book.

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

Confessions of a Recruiting Director

Author Brad Karsh demystifies the job-hunting process and shows you how to most effectively scout out and land that crucial first job out of college. He goes through writing resumes and cover letters and even provides a fairly large index full of completed examples of each.

 

Your Money: The Missing Manual

Learning to effectively manage your money should be priority #1 if you haven’t done it already. You’re most likely in college so you can get a degree and gain access to jobs with greater earning potential; make sure your degree goes as far as it should by learning what to do with the money once you have it. Your Money: The Missing Manual is a fantastic general overview of personal finance, and it’ll show you just how to keep those bills in the bank rather than blowing them on random things.

 

To summarise

The power of habits shows us how our habits shape much more of our behavior than we realize. How to Become a Straight-A Student teaches us how to get great grades in all our classes. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People gives us the tools to achieve our goals. Confessions of a Recruiting Director helps us to land our first job out of college. Finally, Your Money: The Missing Manual explains how to effectively manage your money. We hope you enjoyed our top recommended essential books!

 

Check out our other articles on student hacks:

Top Survival Tips Every First-Year Irish University Student Should Know

University graduation

Top Top Survival Tips Every First-Year Irish University Student Should Know

 

There are so many things to consider when you are embarking on your first year of third level education. It is an exiting step in your life. On the other hand, it can also be stressful and scary. Keep these HomeHak Top Survival Tips in mind once you start classes, but more importantly don’t forget to have fun along the way!

 

Remember that every person you meet in college has something to offer you.

You will meet hundreds new people at college – classmates, professors, advisors, recruiters, staff at campus, etc. Naturally, you won’t become friends with everyone, but we recommend networking with as many people as possible, especially when you’re new at the university.

 

Students chatting
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

 

Be organized and make deadlines your priority.

Get a calendar, whether an online app or good old paper diary, and write down all your deadlines, exams, group meetings and school events. You will have dozens of different assignments during your college years and the sooner you find a routine that fits you, the better. Top Surivial Tips is make it your priority to never hand in an assignment late. Being diligent and dependable is always a plus!

Never. Ever. Plagiarize.

Don’t even come close to plagiarizing. Learning how to write is one of the core skills you will be developing at university. Don’t ruin the learning process with copying and pasting words from a different source. Instead, find enough various resources, learn how to cite sources properly, and develop your own writing routine. You can also make use of one of the many programs and apps that detect plagiarism in your work.

 

Find a note-taking system that works well for you.

Taking notes with a laptop might be faster and easier than writing notes by hand, but writing down notes with good old pen might help you remember the content of the lecture better than if you typed them. Find out what works best for you in each class so you can make the most out of your notes once revising or studying. Read more about when you should take notes by hand in our previous article.

 

Top Survival Tips always back up your files.

There is nothing worse than having your laptop broke down in the middle of finishing your unsaved essay or losing a whole file of documents.

 

Meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis.

Connect with your school’s academic advisor as well as a career center. Both your career advisor and academic advisor might play a valuable role in your college years and in your future decisions. Also, go to most career fairs in the campus or the city you live in, whether you are looking for a job or just want to network with recruiters.

Actively participate in activities organised by your university/faculty.

Whether it is extra-curriculum lecture or a Christmas party organised by the faculty, these events are a great opportunity to get to know your classmates, professors and professionals better, but also to learn interesting things.

Don’t be afraid to drop a class you don’t like.

Feel no obligation to take every single class you register for. If you don’t like them, drop them and spend your time in a more meaningful class for you. At the end of the day, college is about finding out what you want to do.

 

Take good care of your health.

Taking good care of your body and mind is essential every day of your life, but even more when you get to start a brand new chapter at a university, often miles away from your family and home. You will likely face a frequent temptation to eat unhealthy food, cook low-cost meals and miss out on physical exercise due to lack of time. Nevertheless, it is important to keep a healthy lifestyle, eat enough fruits and veggies, drink enough water, sleep well and exercise often. Especially in the times of global pandemic. Bottom line: Your health is the foundation for everything else, so don’t neglect it.

 

Get to know your professors.

Another top survival tip is college is as much about networking as it is about taking classes. Plus, most of professors will be very happy to get to know you, share their experience and guide you through your college path

 

Get involved in student clubs and/or organizations.

Joining a student club and/or organization does not only mean more networking and likely more friends, but also a chance to boost your resume and have a say in how things are run.

 

 

To summarise

Remember that every person you meet in college has something to offer you. Be organized and make deadlines your priority. Do not plagerise. Find a note-taking system that works well for you. Always back up your files. Meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis. Actively participate in activities organized by your university/faculty. Don’t be afraid to drop a class you don’t like. Take good care of your health. Get involved in student clubs and/or organizations. We hope you enjoyed our Top Surivial Tips. Check out this article for more tips every first year student should know.

 

For more student hacks, check out our other articles:

Shopping Essentials for Students in your New Accommodation in Ireland

student food shop

The novelty of walking into your kitchen at home and everything you ever need is always there has come to an end. It is now time to arm your own kitchen with all the basic essentials. Read more to find your shopping essentials for your new accommodation in Ireland.

 

Packing your life away can be stressful enough without having to think of all the basics you need to have in your kitchen to make a decent meal. Bringing along a grocery list or a weekly menu is a good idea if you get easily side-tracked in the store or don’t know where to begin.

 

When creating a shopping list you should consider creating a healthy and well-rounded diet . This should primarily comprise of whole, nutrient-dense foods. Include for example,veggies, fruits, protein sources like fish and eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. 

 

HomeHak has put together a go to list of essentials to get your cooking journey started. It’s time to stock up the refrigerator and cabinets – let’s get started! 

 

Let’s start with groceries.

 

Student doing their grocery shopping

 

Let’s start with the essentials!

 

  • Protein – chicken, beef, fish.
  • Grains – rice, pasta.
  • Milk 
  • Cereal
  • Bread
  • Oats
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Fresh fruit and vegetables:

  • Potatoes
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries.
  • Bananas 
  • Apples
  • Onions 
  • Peppers

Spices and herbs:

  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dry basil

Sauces:

  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce 

Frozen food:

These are truly a gift in university. They take away the pain of chopping up vegetables and there is no worry of your fruit and veg going out of date. 

  • Fruit 
  • Vegetables
  • Meat- chicken, beef, fish

Home essentials

It is easy to forget about everything we take for granted at home but do not forget these basics to get your kitchen in proper running order.

  • Washing up liquid
  • Hand soap 
  • Laundry supplies (if needed) – detergent.
  • Toiletries – razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies

Supermarkets

Best supermarkets to do your food shop in? Check out these:

Aldi is your best bet when it comes to buying only essentials. This store focuses on the staple items. They offer some of the cheapest products and weekly sales that really help when you are on a budget. 

 

Lidl is the cheapest of them all when it comes to buying your shopping essentials. It focuses on essentials. Lidl has weekly specials where they offer amazing discounts not only on food items but also on electronics and more expensive products in general. 

 

SuperValu is Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributor serving local communities throughout Ireland This reputation has been earned through their fresh food quality, strong value offering, consistent support of local producers and the expertise and customer service across their stores.

 

Dunnes is a high-end supermarket which makes it a bit more expensive than Tesco. The stores usually sell clothing, homewares and groceries. You can find reasonable and trustworthy products of their own brands. They have a grocery delivery system and a click and collect from their nearest stores. 

 

Tesco is a UK based retail store and probably the largest supermarket chain in Ireland. They have the widest range of products including well-known brands and a variety of their own brands. You can also find some of the cheapest prices for your groceries here. 

student doing their food shop

To summarise

When creating your shopping essentials list try and break it into sections. For example non starchy / starchy vegetables, fruits, beans and grains, nuts and seeds, proteins, frozen foods, dairy and nondairy substitutes, drinks, condiments, and miscellaneous items.

 

Want to learn more? Read the definitive guide to healthy grocery shopping here. 

If you are an international student, check out our article “Where to shop for international students”. We share the best places for you to do your shopping and get all your necessities!