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First Home Scheme: What you need to know

First Home Scheme: Explained

Trying to get on the property ladder for the first time in Ireland can seem incredibly daunting at the moment given the current cost of living and housing crisis. However, there are several tools which can help make buying a home more accessible to first time buyers.

You may be able to avail of a new scheme which gives you financial aid; the First Home Scheme.

The scheme is aimed at making home ownership more accessible and affordable for first-time buyers. Under this scheme, the State and national banks buy up to 30% of the cost of your home, in exchange for a stake in the property. This means the First Home Scheme will own an equity share in your house (but not your site) even if the value of the house increases or decreases over time until you redeem (buy back) the equity share in full including any outstanding service charges.

You can apply if:

  • You have never bought/ owned a property before in Ireland or abroad.
  • You are over 18.
  • You have the right to live in Ireland.
  • The house you are interested in is a newly built home in a private development.
  • Your mortgage is with one of the participating lenders (Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and Allied Irish Bank which includes AIB, Haven Mortgages and EBS).
  • The house must be used as your primary residence (i.e. your home).
  • You can also apply if you previously owned a home, but are now divorced/separated, went through personal insolvency or bankruptcy.
  • If you are buying the house with somebody else, they must fit all the criteria above too.
  • Maximum amount you can get is 30% of the market value of the property, minimum 2.5%.
  • There is no charge for this scheme for the first 5 years.
  • You can buy back the equity from the State at any time.


If you meet the criteria above, you can start the application process at the link here:

It is recommended that you speak to an independent financial adviser and legal adviser to ensure you fully understand the requirements and conditions of the agreement.

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