First Home Scheme

Get help with up to 30% of the cost of your new home.

The First Home Scheme aims to make home ownership achievable for thousands of individuals and families in the Republic of Ireland, by bridging the gap for first-time buyers and other eligible home buyers between their deposit and mortgage, and the price of their new home.

First Home Scheme Logo

Helping first-time buyers and other eligible homebuyers purchase a newly built home in a private development anywhere in the Republic of Ireland. The First Home Scheme provides home buyers with what is known as an equity facility.

This means that home buyers will enter into a contract with the FHS and receive funds from the Scheme in return for the FHS taking a percentage ownership in the property purchased. The percentage ownership that the FHS holds in your home is known as an equity share.

First Home Scheme Eligibility

Eligibility for the FHS

To be eligible for the scheme you must:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a first-time buyer or other eligible home buyer
  • have a mortgage approval with a participating lender
  • borrow the maximum amount available to you from one of the participating lenders (up to 3.5 times your 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

To be eligible for the scheme the property you are purchasing must:

  • be a newly built house or apartment in a private development in the Republic of Ireland
  • be bought as your principal private residence
  • be within the local authority property price ceiling for the property type (house or apartment)
  • not be a self-build

How much funding can the FHS provide?

  • The First Home Scheme can fund up to 30% of the market value of your new property.
  • This amount is reduced to 20% if you are availing of the Help to Buy Scheme.
  • The minimum equity share is 2.5% of the property purchase price, or €10,000, whichever is higher.

How the scheme works in practice

Example 1

Martin First time buyer
Karen First time buyer
Joint salary €100,000
Property purchase price €450,000
Maximum borrowing €350,000
Deposit €30,000
Help to Buy €20,000
Shortfall that could be met with the FHS €50,000

Example 2

Claire First time buyer
Brian First time buyer
Joint salary €100,000
Property purchase price €450,000
Maximum borrowing €350,000
Deposit €45,000
Shortfall that could be met with the FHS €55,000

Do I need to pay the equity facility back?

The FHS is not a loan and doesn’t need to be paid back, except in the following circumstances known as mandatory redemption events:

  • the property is sold
  • the property is no longer your principal private residence
  • you move or switch your mortgage to a non-participating lender
  • if you die (or, in the case of joint applications, the last applicant dies)

However, you can choose to redeem part or all of the equity facility whenever you like.

How To Apply

Get in touch with our team here at Walsh Group, and we can assist you and guide you through the First Home Scheme process from start to finish.