First Homes Scheme Guide

From the 7th of July 2022, the Government will provide part of the purchase price to buyers to add to their mortgage and deposit. This scheme is initially only available to customers of AIB including EBS and Haven, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. The scheme is aimed at First Time Buyers but also extends to certain people affected by relationship breakdown or insolvency.  The scheme aims to bridge an existing affordability gap by providing buyers with part of the purchase price for their home, in return for the scheme taking a minority equity stake in the property. The maximum stake that the scheme will take is 20pc, if the buyer is also availing of the government’s separate Help to Buy scheme, and 30pc if Help to Buy is not used. Applications can be made today online at The First Home scheme application process runs in parallel with the mortgage application process (that is, mortgage applications should continue to be made separately through participating lenders).

To be eligible for the scheme an applicant must be a First-Time Buyer, who is defined as a person who:

  • has not previously purchased or built a dwelling in Ireland for his/her/their occupation, and
  • does not own or is not beneficially entitled to an estate, or has interest in any dwelling in Ireland or elsewhere and
  • has a right to reside in Ireland, and
  • is aged over 18

A number of exemptions have been introduced which mean applicants may also be eligible despite previously purchasing or building a property in Ireland if:

  • they did so with a spouse, civil partner, or partner, and that relationship has ended. The applicant must not retain a beneficial interest in the previous property, or
  • they have sold (or divested of) that property as part of a personal insolvency or bankruptcy arrangement, or other legal process as a consequence of insolvency

Applicants must also:

  • have Mortgage Approval with a participating lender
  • borrow the maximum mortgage amount available from one of the participating lenders (up to 3.5 times income)
  • not be availing of a Macro Prudential Exception (MPE) with a participating lender
  • have a minimum deposit of 10% of the property purchase price

When a First-Time Buyer, who has bought a home using the scheme, subsequently decides to sell it, he or she will be required to use the sale proceeds to redeem the outstanding mortgage and pay to the scheme the portion of the sale proceeds that corresponds to the scheme’s equity stake.

Scheme users will have the option, but not the obligation, to buy out some or all of the First Home scheme equity stake at any time, if they wish and have the resources to do so.

From year 6 onwards, scheme participants will be liable for a service charge starting at 1.75pc of the euro value of the original equity provided by the First Home scheme (that is, simple interest of 1.75pc of the portion of the purchase price that was provided by First Home, not 1.75pc of the total purchase price). This service charge will increase to 2.15pc from year 16 and to 2.85pc from year 30 (if applicable). Homeowners will have the option of paying this charge each year or deferring the payment until the property is sold.

At Powderly Solicitors LLP, we can help purchasers through the process  by going through all the relevant documents with you in conjunction with your own mortgage documents.

  1. Customer Contract
  1. Declaration confirming:
  • first-time buyer/eligible homebuyer status
  • whether you are availing of the Help to Buy Scheme
  • that the property will be your Principal Private Residence (PPR)
  • that you have received or are waiving legal advice
  • that you have received or are waiving financial advice
  1. Form of inhibition
  1.  Inhibition consent form
  1.  Certificate of title
  1. Solicitor’s undertaking
  1. Funds Requisition Form


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