Compare first time buyer mortgages in Ireland
Find Ireland’s best first time buyer mortgages and what you need to know about first time buyer grants, saving for a deposit and how much you can borrow.
Getting a foot on the property ladder
There are rules for first time buyers you’ll need to know before you start searching for your first home.
- The deposit: You’ll need to put down a minimum of 10% of the property value.
- Loan to Income (LTI): The amount you can borrow will be limited to no more than 3.5 times your gross annual income.
- Loan to Value (LTV): The amount you can borrow can be no more than 90% of the purchase price.
You can find out more about how LTI and LTV work by reading our guide on how much you can borrow there’s also a handy calculator to help you estimate the most you might be able to borrow.
Saving a deposit
The deposit is the amount of money you put towards purchasing your home. When you’re buying your first home in Ireland you need a deposit of at least 10%.
For example, if you were buying a property worth €200,000 you would need a minimum deposit of €20,000.
However, the best mortgage rates tend to be available to borrowers who have a sizeable deposit and a lower LTV, this is because they are less risky than borrowers with less money saved.
Working out how much can you borrow
Before you can start looking for your first home you’ll need to work out how much you can afford to borrow.
First time buyers in Ireland can’t borrow more than 3.5 times their annual salary, but if you’re buying a home with someone else this will be based on your combined income.
Bear in mind, that other factors like your credit history, dependants and other outgoings can also have an impact.
How to choose your first mortgage
A good place to start your mortgage search is to use a comparison table the lists all the lenders in Ireland. This will help you find the lowest mortgage rates for first time home buyers in Ireland.
Before you compare mortgage lenders you’ll need to know:
- How much deposit you have saved
- How much you want to borrow (the mortgage amount)
- How long you need to borrow for (the term)
- The type of mortgage you want
Picking the right type of mortgage
Most mortgages offer either variable or fixed interest rates, and before you look for the best deal you need to decide which works best for you.
- With a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same for the duration of your mortgage deal. This means your monthly mortgage payments will stay the same, making it easier to budget each month.
- With a variable rate mortgage, the interest rate can change depending on how the European Central Bank interest rates vary over time. The cheapest variable rates can be lower than fixed rate deals, but your repayments could change.
Our Complete Guide to Mortgages explains the types of mortgages in more detail, including cashback mortgages and green mortgages.
If you want to talk to someone about choosing the right mortgage, consider speaking to a mortgage broker. They’ll be able to review your specific circumstances and recommend some suitable options.
Help for first time buyers in Ireland
There are a couple of schemes that could help you buy your first property, these include:
- Help to Buy incentive: This offers an income and Deposit Interest Retention tax refund over the past 4 years.
- Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan: This offers mortgages at reduced interest rates for up to 90% of your property value through your local authority.
- Mortgage Allowance Scheme: Under the scheme you could get an annual allowance for the first five years to help with your mortgage payments, worth a total of €11,450. You will only qualify for this scheme if you are living in social housing.
First time buyer FAQs
Am I a first time buyer if my partner has owned a home before?
No, if you apply for a joint mortgage with someone who has already owned a home you are not a first time buyer.
The Central Bank of Ireland states “Where the borrower under a housing loan is more than one person and one or more of those persons has previously been advanced a housing loan, none of those persons is a first-time buyer.”
How much deposit do I need as a first time buyer?
You’ll need at least 10% of the purchase price of the property.
How much is stamp duty for a first time buyer?
What constitutes a first time buyer?
The Central Bank of Ireland defines a first time buyer as “a borrower to whom no housing loan has ever before been advanced.”