Pathway to ownership: Understanding the First Home Scheme

The First Home Scheme (FHS) aims to make homeownership achievable for thousands of individuals and families by bridging the gap for first-time buyers and other eligible homebuyers between their deposit and mortgage, and the price of their new home.

It is what’s known as a shared equity scheme. This means that homebuyers can receive funds from the Scheme in return for the FHS taking a percentage ownership in the property.


To be eligible for the Scheme you 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 available to you from one of the Participating Lenders (up to 4 times your income*)
  • not be availing of a Macro Prudential Exception (MPE) with a Participating Lender
  • have a minimum deposit of 10% of the property purchase price or build cost (for self-builds, equity in your site can contribute to your deposit.)

To be eligible for the Scheme the property must:

  • be a qualifying house or apartment OR a Self-build on a privately owned site OR a house or apartment you are currently renting and residing in and now, looking to purchase having received a Notice of Termination from your landlord, as the landlord is putting the property on the market
  • be a property in a private development OR on a site in your name in the Republic of Ireland
  • be your Principal Private Residence
  • be within the local authority property price ceiling for the property type

How much funding can the FHS provide?

  • the FHS can fund up to 30% of the property purchase price or build cost (for Self-builds)
  • this amount is reduced to 20% if you are availing of the Help to Buy Scheme (HTB). Details of HTB can be found on the Revenue’s website (, and examples, including the HTB can be found in the Homebuyers Guide on the Guides/Resources page
  • the minimum equity share is 2.5% of the property purchase price or build cost (for self-builds), or €10,000, whichever is higher

If you have any questions regarding any of the above schemes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our conveyancing department or call us at 051-874-909 or email us at

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