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An Overview of the First Home Scheme from Kelly Bradshaw Dalton

The First Home Scheme (FHS) is a shared equity scheme intended to assist first-time buyers and other eligible homebuyers in the Republic of Ireland. The purpose of this Scheme is to aid in the purchase of a new home by bridging the financial gap between the homebuyer’s deposit and mortgage and the price of the home.

What is the First Home Scheme?

In essence, the FHS works by offering financial assistance in exchange for a percentage ownership in the purchased property. This shared ownership arrangement can facilitate home ownership for those who may struggle to secure sufficient mortgage finance.

Eligibility for the Scheme

The Scheme has clear eligibility criteria designed to help a diverse range of individuals and families. To be eligible for the FHS, applicants must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Be a first-time buyer or other eligible homebuyer
  • Have Mortgage Approval with a Participating Lender
  • Borrow the maximum amount they are eligible for from one of the Participating Lenders (up to 4 times their income)
  • Not be using a Macro Prudential Exception (MPE) with a Participating Lender
  • Have a minimum deposit of 10% of the property purchase price

There are no specific household income limits required to participate in the FHS.

Additionally, the property being purchased must:

  • Be a newly built house or apartment in a private development in the Republic of Ireland
  • Be intended for use as the participant’s Principal Private Residence
  • Fall within the local authority property price ceiling for the property type (house or apartment)
  • Not be a self-build

An eligibility calculator is available for potential applicants to determine if they qualify for FHS support.

Financial Aid from the FHS

The FHS can offer up to 30% of the market value of a new property. However, if the homebuyer is also using the Help to Buy Scheme (HTB), the financial aid is limited to 20% of the market value. Detailed information about the HTB is available on the Revenue’s website (, and a Homebuyers Guide provides examples on the Guides/Resources page.

The minimum equity share provided by the Scheme is 2.5% of the property purchase price, or €10,000, whichever is higher.


The First Home Scheme is a significant initiative that offers a shared equity scheme to first-time and eligible homebuyers. Its primary function is to facilitate home ownership by providing financial aid to bridge the gap between the deposit and mortgage and the home’s price. By understanding the eligibility criteria and the provisions of the Scheme, potential homeowners can make informed decisions on their path to home ownership in the Republic of Ireland.