What is a first-time buyer?

According to the official Central Bank of Ireland definition,
a first-time buyer (FTB) is an individual who has never before, either by themselves or with others, purchased a house, apartment, or a site to build a home, in Ireland or abroad. When it comes to applying this definition to the sale and purchase of mortgages, a FTB is, “a borrower to whom no housing loan has ever before been advanced”.

There are key differences between FTB and Second and subsequent borrowers (SSB) that make this definition necessary. Firstly, FTBs only require a deposit of 10 per cent of a property’s purchase price, while SSBs typically need a minimum deposit of 20 per cent. Secondly, FTBs can take advantage of the Help to Buy rebate. This Government scheme run through Revenue.ie is designed to aid FTBs in obtaining their deposit by providing a refund on income tax and deposit interest retention tax. This scheme is due to end in December 2021 but may be extended.

Who is a first-time buyer?

A first-time buyer is a person (or, where there is more than one buyer, each of such persons):

  • Who has not on any previous occasion, either individually or jointly, purchased or built on his/her own behalf a house (in Ireland or abroad), and
  • Where the property purchased is occupied by the purchaser, or a person on his behalf, as his/her only or principal place of residence, and
  • Where no rent, other than rent under the rent-a-room-scheme, is derived from the property for five years after the date of the current purchase

In accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1995, the following are for your attention:

Warning: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up payments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it. The payment rates on this housing loan may be adjusted by the lender from time to time.

Note: The above notice in respect of adjustments to repayment rates will not apply during any period when the loan is at a fixed rate.

In accordance with the provision of the Consumer Protection Code (CPC) 2012 the following are for your attention:

Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home.

Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.

The following warning applies in the case of variable rate loans:

Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.

The following warning applies in the case of fixed rate loans:

Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early.

The following warning applies in the case of debt consolidation loans:

Warning: This new loan may take longer to pay off than your previous loan. This means that you may pay more than if you paid over a shorter term