First Home Scheme – A helping hand for your Dream Home

First Home Scheme – A helping hand for your Dream Home

“Home Owners” is a tag which brings smiles to everyone’s face. Having their own home is a dream come true for many. With the introduction of the First Home scheme, the dream is looking a lot like reality for lots of people. This initiative will help the buyer to buy homes and the government to develop real estate in various regions of the country. The First Home Scheme in Cork, Ireland, was launched in July 2022. It is part of the “Government Housing for All” campaign. The scheme was initially introduced to bridge the gap for the buyers between the amount borrowed and the amount needed to buy a home. 

Eligibility Criteria for the Scheme

The eligibility criteria of the scheme have two aspects: one for the individual and another for the property. In order to receive the benefits of the scheme, criteria in both heads need to be fulfilled.

Firstly, let’s discuss the criteria for the buyer:

  • As the name suggests, the First Home Scheme in Cork, Ireland, is for first-time buyers and self-builders who are unable to pay the buying amount with the help of a deposit and mortgage. 
  • Apart from first-time buyers, individuals who are divorced, separated, recently broke up from a relationship and have no ownership in any residential place or home are also eligible to apply.
  • Buyers must be over 18 years of age and should also have the right to live in Ireland.
  • Buyer must not take the benefit of MPE (Macro Prudential Exception) with the lender.
  • Last but not least, buyers should be able to pay a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price.

Now, the criteria for the property in the First Home Scheme in Cork discussion:

  • The property should be your only place of residence. As in, the property is bought for the purpose of living in it by the buyer. It is their primary residence.
  • The property must be a “newly-built home or apartment in a private development.”
  • The purchase price of the property should be within the price limit of the local authority area. The price ceiling varies for a house and apartment; do keep that in mind.

How much help can FHS provide?

As you already know, FHS offers equity facilities to the buyers; it falls under the shared equity model. Under this facility, buyers need to provide a certain percentage of equity on their homes to the FHS. Under FHS, buyers can get up to 30% of the market price of the property. The percentage can be reduced to 20% if the buyers are also applying for the HTB scheme (Help to Buy). Lastly, the minimum amount a buyer can get is either €10,000 or 2.5% of the property market price, whichever is higher.

What does FHS charge?

First Home Scheme in Cork is an equity sharing scheme, where the government is already getting the percentage of equity in homes for their share of help. However, in layman’s language, there are no interest or any other charges levied on the buyer in return for the funds provided for the first five years of purchase. As per the guidelines, buyers have the option to buy the FHS equity in full or parts within the first five years of purchase without paying any extra charge.

  • 1.75% for years 6 to 15
  • 2.15% for years 16 to 29
  • 2.85% for years 30 and over

Apart from the benefits of FHS or the First Home Scheme in Cork, here are some other tips a buyer needs to consider while buying a house for the first time in Ireland.

  • Location:

Do you know the area you are planning to make your new home? Location has always played the most vital role in the decision-making of buying a home. It is not a recurring activity; it is a once-in-a-lifetime activity, so make sure that you take your time while making a decision.

  • Finances and cost

When it comes to buying a home for first-time buyers, there are a lot of things they don’t know about the process. So make sure to read and understand the finances, including all the costs related to buying the property. From deposits to mortgages to conveyance, etc. Be diligent and stay alert.

  • Negotiation and Credibility

No doubt, negotiation is a skill which is not everyone’s forte. However, if you remember to keep the discussion to the point and follow a tip, you still have the chance. So, let the other party start suggesting numbers, be patient and let them move around the figures. In the end, when it comes to the last and final quote, never suggest a round figure; always go with a very specific odd number. 

  • Review and Plan

Review the area by yourself; don’t believe in flyers or promotional descriptions. Look around the area. Are there any unfinished projects or any other similar activity which can help in making your decision? Plan and review the area to make a better decision. 

  • Loan Requirements

Study the loan requirements and have all the documents ready by your hand while applying for a mortgage from the lender.

  • Solicitor Help

A good solicitor can help and guide you during your buying process. Hire a good solicitor and ensure they are the best in what they do. Let them guide you and make the process easy to fulfill. It will reduce your stress and will help you in making well-informed decisions.

Wrapping Up

The First Home Scheme in Cork is a beacon of hope for aspiring homeowners. It is the initiative from the government to help the buyers build a loving home for themselves and their families. Buying a home has always been one of the basic reasons for huge debt on the buyers. The scheme not only helps the buyers to have a dream home but also helps the government to develop various regions of the country. Any individual in the country can take advantage of the scheme. However, before submitting their applications, they should check the eligibility criteria and should go through proper government channels to ensure successful results.

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