Guiding You Through the Process of Buying Your First Home
Purchasing your first property is likely to be the largest and most important investment you ever make, so it is vital to have experienced property professionals on your side to help you get everything over the line and with minimal stress.
At McCarthy + Co, our conveyancing solicitors play a crucial role in guiding our first-time buyer clients through the property purchasing process. We handle all legal aspects, including reviewing contracts, conducting property searches, liaising with mortgage lenders, ensuring compliance with regulations, managing the transfer of funds, and registering the new owner with the Land Registry. Our expertise ensures that the transaction is legally sound, protecting your interests and helping you to navigate any potential legal obstacles, thereby making the complex process of buying a first home smoother and more secure.
As a first-time buyer, you stand to gain substantially from the Help to Buy (HTB) Scheme offered in Ireland. This scheme is designed to assist you financially by providing a rebate of up to 10% of the purchase price of your new home, with a maximum of €30,000. This rebate is calculated based on the income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) you’ve paid over the past four years. One of the primary challenges you may face is gathering enough funds for a deposit; the HTB Scheme can significantly alleviate this issue by increasing your initial financial capacity. Moreover, this scheme not only enhances your ability to afford a home but also strengthens your mortgage application, potentially leading to more favourable loan conditions.
The HTB Scheme is a strategic tool that not only supports your journey into homeownership but also positively impacts the housing market by encouraging the construction of new properties. It’s an opportunity that can make a significant difference in your plans to purchase a home. The McCarthy + Co team assist many first-time buyers in taking advantage of this scheme, in addition to providing a clear and responsive conveyancing service. We will help you to get on the property ladder with the minimum of fuss and the peace of mind that your transaction is being dealt with by highly experienced professionals.
Arrange a consultation with our conveyancing team today and get your journey to first time home ownership started.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions we are often asked in relation to buying a property.
What sort of mortgages are available for first-time buyers?
There are numerous options for first-time buyers. Standard mortgages from banks and building societies offer fixed or variable rates. The Help-to-Buy scheme provides tax refunds to assist with deposits for new homes. Local Authority Home Loans cater to those unable to secure traditional bank mortgages, offering fixed or variable rates. Additionally, Shared Ownership Schemes enable buyers to purchase part of a property and rent the remainder. Each mortgage type comes with specific eligibility requirements and benefits, allowing first-time buyers to select the one that best fits their financial situation and plans. If you are unsure what might be the best option for you, our conveyancing team can offer you further guidance.
How do I apply for the Help-to-Buy Scheme?
To apply for the Help to Buy (HTB) Scheme, you first need to complete an online application through Revenue’s myAccount or the Revenue Online Service (ROS). This involves providing details of the property, the amount of refund sought, and other relevant financial information. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, including being a first-time buyer purchasing or self-building a new property. You must also be tax compliant and have tax returns filed for the relevant years. After approval, the refund, which is a portion of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four years, is paid directly to the builder or solicitor.
What are the key things I need to do to start the process of buying my first home?
First, assess your financial health by reviewing your credit score and savings. A good credit score increases your chances of securing a favourable mortgage, and sufficient savings are necessary for a down payment and related expenses. Next, determine your budget, factoring in your income, ongoing expenses, and the potential costs such as stamp duty, solicitor's fees, surveyor's fees, and any immediate renovations or furnishings needed. Additionally, factor in ongoing expenses like mortgage repayments, property taxes, and maintenance costs.
Prior to property hunting, it’s recommended to seek mortgage pre-approval. This step not only clarifies your budget but also strengthens your position as a buyer. Shop around for the best mortgage deal – don't hesitate to negotiate and compare terms from different lenders.
When searching for a property, prioritise your needs and wants in terms of location, size, and amenities. When you have found your dream home, be sure to conduct thorough due diligence. This includes commissioning a professional property survey to uncover any structural issues or necessary repairs. Your offer should be informed by this survey, and any significant findings can be used as leverage in negotiations.
Finally, when you're ready to proceed, our conveyancing team can handle the legal aspects of the purchase. This includes drafting and reviewing contracts, ensuring the property has no legal encumbrances, managing the exchange of contracts, and finalising the transfer of funds.
What is the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme?
The Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme is designed to help low- to middle-income earners buy a home at a reduced cost. Under this scheme, local authorities provide new or existing houses at prices lower than the market rate. Eligible buyers can purchase these homes, with the local authority retaining a percentage of the property's equity, proportional to the discount given. This allows more individuals and families to access homeownership in areas where prices might otherwise be prohibitive. The scheme aims to support affordable and sustainable community development. You can find out more about this scheme here.
Joseph McCarthy leads the conveynacing department at McCarthy + Co. Joseph has been an integral member of our team since 2013, bringing a unique blend of expertise and dedication to his role. Joseph provides a problem-solving oriented approach to property buyers and sellers throughout the conveyancing process.
Joseph can be contacted via email at: email@example.com
About McCarthy + Co
McCarthy + Co. are a team of solicitors with more than 30 years of experience in providing legal advice, guidance and assistance to clients across Ireland.
We are a family-run business with offices in Dublin and Cork, but we have dealt with clients everywhere from Galway and Limerick to Waterford. We are honest, plain-speaking and thorough – we will work alongside you to ensure your property sale or purchase is as efficient as possible.
Our Awards & Accreditations
We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.