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First Time Buyer Scheme & Mortgage In Ireland

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Looking to get on the ladder?

With so many mortgage lenders and interest rate options to choose from, selecting the most suitable mortgage is not always easy. As a First Time Buyer you may be asking, where do I start?

This is where we come in. MortgageLine can provide you with all the help, advice and support you need to make your first step on to the property ladder as smooth as possible.

On this page you will find information on mortgage interest rates and the Government schemes available to First Time Buyers like you. We are also here to help when you are ready to get started.

The first step is to speak with one of our experienced Mortgage Advisers. We will answer all of your questions and make sure you are on the right track to mortgage success. Click the following link to get started.

Mortgage Timeline

Get Mortgage Ready:
Get your bank accounts and savings in order 6 months before applying.
Pay your rent in a regular monthly transfer to your landlord.
Build Savings in a separate dedicated mortgage savings account
Make sure you have no missed payments or irregular bank transactions

Apply Online and Talk with a MortgageLine Adviser:
When you are ready speak to us and we will give you an idea how much you can borrow and get started on your mortgage application and approval. You can complete the mortgage application details in your own time with our handy and secure Online Mortgage Application Portal.

Get a Recommendation:
Once you have your deposit and have given us your information then we will recommend the best mortgage lender for you and apply for approval. Once approved then you can go house hunting. Most banks mortgage approval in principles are valid for up to 6 months and can be extended up to 12 months. This gives you tome to find a property.

Go Sale Agreed:
Once you find a suitable property then we can progress your application to a full Formal Loan Offer. This is the document your solicitor will need before you can sign contracts and drawdown the new mortgage.

MortgageLine will help you with the important decisions like choosing the best Mortgage Interest rate, Mortgage Protection/Life Insurance and Home Insurance. We can also recommend a solicitor and surveyor if needed.

Mortgage Completion:
This is the exciting part when you get your keys. When the sellers and your solicitor are both ready they will agree on a closing date. Then you drawdown the mortgage and get your keys. Yay! Now go make that place a home.

Types of Mortgage Available

Fixed Mortgages

With this type of mortgage, you will pay a set rate of interest for a predetermined period of time. As your monthly mortgage repayments will stay the same, managing your budget should be a fairly straightforward process, provided that you can comfortably afford the agreed monthly repayments. If you are not sure how much you could borrow then please speak with a MortgageLine Adviser who will give you an indication.

Variable Mortgage Rate

This type of mortgage can go up or down depending on the mortgage lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). Irish Mortgage lenders all individually set their own variable mortgage rates but generally move somewhat in line with the ECB Rate (European Central Bank Rate).

If you think you want to pay off big lump sums of your mortgage in the not too distant future, without penalty, then a variable mortgage could be for you.

Discount Mortgages

This type of mortgage will offer a price reduction for a set period of time off the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). A discount mortgage is a form of variable-rate mortgage, which means that your monthly payments can vary from month to month.

Some mortgage lenders also offer discounted Fixed rates. For example if your mortgage is more than €250,000 then you might be offered what is referred to as a High Value mortgage rate.

Green Mortgages

This type of mortgage will offer a price reduction off the mortgage lenders normal rates. So basically you will get a lower preferential rate if your home is energy efficient. The mortgage lenders measure this from the properties BER (Building Energy Rating). If the property has a BER of B3 or higher then you should get a Green mortgage rate.

Ask your MortgageLine Adviser about Green mortgage rates.

Tracker Mortgages

Tracker mortgages are a thing of the past in Ireland. They may or may not be reintroduced in the future. However for now it is ok to say, “I don’t know what a tracker mortgage is!”

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The Help to Buy Scheme

First time buyers have access to the Revenue Help to buy scheme and can get up to €30,000 towards the purchase of a new home. The scheme was introduced in 2020 by the Irish Government and is managed by Revenue.

Qualifying conditions include

  • The value of your property must be €500,000 or less
  • The mortgage you take out must be with a qualifying lender
  • The mortgage must be at least 70% of the proposed purchase price or value of your new home
  • must be a brand new property
  • the max amount you can get is the lesser of,
    • €30,000
    • 10% of the purchase price
    • The amount of tax paid by you in the last 4 years

(tax being income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax)

Ask your MortgageLine Adviser about the benefits of the Help to Buy Scheme and how it could work for you.

You can also see more details on the Help to Buy Scheme on the Revenue Website

Help to Buy Scheme - first time buyer mortgage

Did you know? Applicants who satisfy certain conditions can claim an increased relief up to a maximum of €30,000

First Home Equity Scheme

(FHS) First Home Equity Scheme to help First Time Buyers buy a new homeThe First Home Equity Scheme (FHS) was introduced in 2022 and is designed to help First Time Buyers buy a new home. It is what’s known as a shared equity scheme. This means that homebuyers can get funds from the scheme towards the property purchase in return for a share in the property.

A summary of the main rules and criteria of the First Home Equity Scheme are as follows,

  • You must be a First time buyer and over 18
  • You must be approved for a mortgage with a participating lender and borrow the max available to you within the standard Central Bank Loan to Income lending rules
  • The FHS must take a minimum equity share of 2.5% or €10,000 of the property purchase price, whichever is less
  • The max funding available to you is 30% of the property purchase price
  • You can avail of both the Help to Buy and First Home Equity Scheme together. However if you combine the schemes then the max equity stake the FHS will take is 20%

You should also be aware that there are property price ceilings that differ from County to County.

For a full list of the Rules and Eligibility criteria please refer to the First Home Equity Scheme Website.

Your MortgageLine Adviser will also be able to guide you if you have questions.

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Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Apply Online

Fill out a mortgage pre-approval application directly on our MortgageLine website. Simply navigate to the “Apply Now” section and complete the online application form.

Schedule a Consultation

Once your application is submitted, our team will review your information and reach out to schedule a consultation. This can be done via phone, video call, or in-person meeting, depending on your preference and availability.

Discuss Your Options

During the consultation, we’ll discuss your financial situation, mortgage options, and answer any questions you may have. We’ll provide personalized guidance to help you understand how much you can borrow and what loan terms are available to you.

Mortgage Regulations

In Ireland, the Central Bank’s mortgage measures form an integral part of the Macroprudential Policy framework designed to maintain sustainable lending standards in the mortgage market. These measures, which were first introduced in 2015, aim to prevent unsustainable relationships between credit and house prices, thus enhancing the resilience of borrowers, lenders, and the broader economy.

Critical components of these measures include loan-to-income (LTI) and loan-to-value (LTV) limits. For a first time buyer in Ireland, the LTI limit has been increased from 3.5 times to 4 times gross income, while the LTV limit remains at 90%. The Central Bank conducts regular reviews of these measures, taking into account economic changes and feedback from public consultations. 

This process ensures that the measures remain effective and appropriate over time. The latest adjustments, effective from January 2023, reflect a balance between managing financial stability risks and accommodating structural developments in the housing market​. So, if you use a first time buyer scheme in Ireland, you need to be aware of the specifics of the LTI and LTV limits applicable to you.

Mortgage Warnings

  • Failure to keep up with your repayments could result in losing your home.
  • Early repayment of a fixed-rate loan may incur charges.
  • Missed loan repayments will lead to arrears in your account, negatively affecting your credit rating. This could restrict your future ability to obtain credit, hire-purchase, consumer-hire, or Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) agreements.
  • Paying off this new loan may take longer than your previous loans, potentially resulting in higher total payments over an extended period.
  • There is a risk of an increase in your monthly repayment costs.
  • Your home is at risk if you do not keep up payments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it.
  • For variable-rate loans, the lender may adjust the payment rates at any time.
  • At the end of an interest-only period, you will still owe the total borrowed amount.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Steps Should I Take to Prepare for My Mortgage Application as a First Time Buyer in Ireland?

As a first-time buyer, preparing for a mortgage application involves several key steps to ensure you are in the best possible position to secure a mortgage. Start by getting your finances in order. This means checking your credit score, clearing any outstanding debts, and making sure there are no irregularities in your bank statements. 

You can consistently save money in a separate savings account to build your deposit. It’s also crucial to demonstrate financial stability through regular payments, such as rent, which should be transferred monthly to show your ability to manage regular outgoings. Once your finances are organised, consult with a MortgageLine Adviser to understand how much you might be able to borrow and what documents you will need for your application.

What Government Schemes Are Available for First Time Buyers in Ireland?

Ireland offers several government schemes to assist a first time buyer mortgage in Ireland, the most notable being the Help to Buy Scheme and the First Home Equity Scheme. The Help to Buy Scheme offers up to €30,000 or 10% of the purchase price (whichever is lesser) towards the purchase of a new home. 

The First Home Equity Scheme is designed as a shared equity scheme where the government provides funds in exchange for an equity share in the property. These schemes aim to make home buying more accessible and affordable. Your MortgageLine Adviser can provide detailed information and help you determine eligibility for these programs.

Can I Combine the Help to Buy Scheme with the First Home Equity Scheme?

Yes, combining the Help to Buy Scheme with the First Home Equity Scheme (FHS) is possible and can be particularly advantageous for first-time buyers looking to maximise their purchasing power. While the HTB scheme provides a tax rebate, the FHS offers an equity loan that can cover up to 30% of the property price, effectively reducing the upfront cost of the home. 

However, if both schemes are used, the maximum equity stake from FHS is limited to 20%. It’s important to note that there are specific conditions and eligibility criteria for both schemes, which a MortgageLine Adviser can help you navigate to ensure you leverage both opportunities optimally.

What Should I Consider When Choosing Between a Fixed and a Variable Mortgage Rate?

Choosing between a fixed and a variable mortgage rate depends on your financial situation and your tolerance for risk. A fixed mortgage rate offers stability as your interest rate and monthly payments remain the same for a set period, making it easier to budget and plan your finances. On the other hand, a variable rate can fluctuate with changes in the market, potentially lowering your payments but also posing a risk of increasing costs. 

If you prefer flexibility and plan to make significant overpayments or settle your mortgage early, a variable rate might be suitable as it usually has fewer restrictions on repayments. Consult with a MortgageLine Adviser to explore the best options based on your financial goals and market conditions.

What Should I Do After Receiving a Mortgage Approval?

After receiving a Mortgage Approval in Principle, the next step is house hunting within the approved budget. Once you find a property and your offer is accepted, inform your Mortgage Adviser, who will then help you proceed to the next stages. 

This includes finalising the mortgage application, obtaining a Formal Loan Offer, and coordinating with your solicitor to prepare for the property purchase and mortgage drawdown. Our mortgage broker will guide you through these stages, ensuring that you understand each step and helping manage the process until you successfully secure your new home.