The decision as to whether you can purchase the property yourself or with others is mainly based on finances.
Can you afford the repayments?
There is another decision to consider, and that is who shall I purchase the property with?
For some this is easy, as it is a partner, for others however the choice may be slightly more complicated
Careful consideration is required when buying a property with one or more partners.
That is not in any way to suggest that it should not be pursued, On the contrary we believe it is an excellent way to get a foot hold on the property ladder and avoid paying rent.
First step is to see how much you can borrow ,by yourself, with one other or indeed with two others.
Banks vary in their appetite for multiple borrowers. Review our lenders section to see the different views.
Today many first time buyers are starting off by borrowing jointly with their parents with a view over time to taking the mortgage and the property into their own name.
Banks facilitate this by having one name on the deed with the applicant and the parent names being on the mortgage document.
The banks will review the necessity for the parents name remaining on the mortgage as the primary applicants income circumstances change.
Who is a first time buyer?
A first time buyer is a person, (or, where there is more than one buyer, each of such persons):
- who has not on any previous occasion, either individually or jointly, purchased or built on his/her own behalf a house (in Ireland or abroad) and
- where the property purchased is occupied by the purchaser, or a person on his behalf, as his/her only or principal place of residence and
- where no rent, other than rent obtained under rent a room arrangements, is derived from the property for a period of two years from the date of the purchase. This relief is subject to clawback provisions. Prior to 5 December 2007, the period where no rent could be obtained was five years. Under the Finance Act 2008, this period has been reduced from 5 years to 2 years for deeds executed on or after the 5 December 2007. For instruments executed before 5 December 2007, to the extent that a dwelling house or apartment is rented out on or after 5 December 2007, it will not involve a clawback of the relief where this occurs in the third, fourth or fifth year of ownership.
What are the rent a room provisions?
Under this scheme there is no clawback of the first time buyer relief where rent is received by the person in occupation of the house, on or after 6 April 2001, for the letting of furnished accommodation in part of the house.
Provided that the purchaser continues to occupy the house as his or her PPR for the relevant period, a clawback of stamp duty will not arise even where the rent received is in excess of the annual threshold which applies for income tax purposes. This threshold has been increased from €7,620 to €10,000 for the tax year 2008
When does a clawback arise?
A clawback arises if rent is obtained from the letting of the house other than under rent a room provisions. The clawback amounts to the difference between the higher stamp duty rates and the duty paid and it becomes payable on the date that rent is first received from the property.
What is the position where a first time buyer purchases a new house where the floor area is under 125 square metres?
The purchase of a new house by a first time buyer, where the floor area is under 125 square metres, is exempt from stamp duty only where a Floor Area Compliance Certificate has been issued in respect of the house by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. If there is no Floor Area Compliance Certificate the full rates of stamp duty apply as first time buyer relief is not available for such a purchase.
What is the position where the purchase monies are not provided entirely by the first time buyer?
To qualify for the relief the entirety of the purchase monies, including any borrowings, must be provided by the first time buyer. Any person, who provides part of the purchase monies or who is a party to any borrowings relating to such purchase, is also regarded as a buyer of the house and the relief will not be available unless that other person is also a first time buyer.
The basis for this treatment is that, in such circumstances, the house is held for the person providing the monies used in the purchase of the house by way of a resulting trust presumed in favour of that person. This treatment applies whether or not all the parties providing the purchase monies, or all the parties to any borrowings, are actually named in the deed of transfer.
Notwithstanding this treatment, to take account of particular situations, Revenue is prepared to accept that a child, who is a first time buyer, will not be precluded from claiming first time buyer relief where a parent acts as a co-mortgagor in the following circumstances:
- The transfer of the house is taken in the name of the child.
- It is the intention of both the child and the parent that the parent is not to take a beneficial interest in the house.
- The parent has been joined into the mortgage solely at the request of the lending institution for the purpose of providing additional security for the monies being advanced for the purchase.
- It is not intended that the parent will be contributing to the repayment of the mortgage in the normal course.
Where the four conditions set out above are satisfied, Revenue will treat the parent as effectively acting in the role of guarantor for the loan.
Consistent with the above approach, Revenue will also be prepared to treat persons other than parents of the first time buyer, who satisfy similar conditions to those set out above, as effectively acting in the role of guarantor for the loan. Their involvement in that capacity will not be treated by Revenue as precluding a claim to first time buyer relief. In such circumstances the conditions are as follows:
- The transfer of the house is taken in the name of the first time buyer.
- It is the intention of both the first time buyer and the other person that the other person is not to take a beneficial interest in the house.
- The other person has been joined into the mortgage solely at the request of the lending institution for the purpose of providing additional security for the monies being advanced for the purchase.
- It is not intended that the other person will be contributing to the repayment of the mortgage in the normal course.
The relief from stamp duty is intended to benefit only genuine first time buyers and Revenue will continue to use our audit programme to ensure that there is no abuse of the relief.
What is the position in the case of a gift of part of the purchase monies?
Under Finance Act 2008, a purchaser is defined as an individual who purchases a dwellinghouse or an interest in a dwellinghouse, where the consideration for the purchase is derived from the individual's own means, which can be or may include consideration derived from an unconditional gift or a bona fide loan evidenced in writing.
The section also provides that a "gift" shall be deemed not to be unconditional and a "loan" shall be deemed not to be bona fide where the donor/lender concerned:
- is not a party to the instrument giving effect to the purchase of the dwellinghouse or the interest in the dwellinghouse and
- intends to, or does, occupy the dwellinghouse with the purchaser as a principal place of residence or
- there is an understanding that the dwellinghouse, or an interest in same, will be transferred to the donor or lender at any time following the purchase.
However, where a parent moves in to live with his or her child having given the child a gift, or having made a loan to a child, towards the purchase of the house, the child will not be precluded from claiming first time purchaser relief provided there is no understanding or agreement under which the house or an interest in the house can be transferred to the parent after the purchase.
The measure applies to instruments executed on or after 31 January 2008.
What is the position where a person, being a first time buyer, purchases a house using the proceeds of the sale of a house owned by their spouse or partner who is not a first time buyer?
Where a person who is a first time buyer uses the proceeds of the sale of the house they previously occupied which was owned solely by their spouse or partner to buy a house solely in their own name, first time buyer relief would not be available as the spouse or partner (not being a first time buyer) would be providing the purchase monies for the house.
Can I qualify as a first time buyer if I have previously purchased a house abroad but not in Ireland?
No. A person who has previously purchased a house, either in Ireland or abroad, is not entitled to claim first time buyer relief.
What is the position where there is more than one purchaser and all of the purchasers are not first time buyers?
The first time buyer relief is not available and stamp duty is chargeable at the full rate on the entire purchase price. In order to obtain the relief all of the purchasers must qualify as first time buyers.
Can I avail of first time buyer relief if I previously received a gift of a house?
The relief can be claimed where the gift of the house was received prior to 22 June 2000 (or prior to 27 June 2000 in the case of part of a house). A gift received after the above date(s) is regarded as a prior purchase and would preclude a person from claiming the relief.
Can I avail of first time buyer relief if I have previously inherited a house?
Yes. An inheritance is not regarded as a previous purchase and the first time buyer relief can be claimed provided all other conditions of the relief are satisfied.
Can the first time buyer relief apply to a gift of a house?
Yes. A gift of a house is treated in the same manner as a purchase and the first time buyer relief can be claimed provided all other conditions of the relief are satisfied.
What is the position where a person, who had obtained first time buyer relief on the joint purchase of a house with another first time buyer, subsequently acquires the other joint owners interest in the house?
A person who obtained first time buyer relief on the purchase of an interest in a house would not be precluded from obtaining first time buyer relief on a subsequent purchase of another interest in the same house provided that person has not purchased another house or part of another house in the intervening period.
Are there any special situations where a person who is not a first time buyer can avail of first time buyer relief?
Yes. There are two particular situations where a person is deemed to be a first time buyer.
- The trustees of a trust (to which section 189A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 applies), whose trust funds are raised by public subscriptions for the benefit of permanently incapacitated persons, in respect of the first house(s) bought after the establishment of the trust, for occupation by the beneficiary or if more than one, each of the beneficiaries.
- A spouse to a marriage the subject of a decree of judicial separation, a deed of separation, a decree of divorce or a decree of nullity in the case of the first acquisition of a house by the spouse following the separation or divorce provided that the spouse had, in relation to the former marital home,
- not retained an interest in that home;
- Immediately prior to the date of the decree of deed of separation is not beneficially entitled to an interest in a house other than the marital home;
At the date of the decree or deed of separation, the separated/former spouse must also be in occupation of the home which was occupied by both spouses prior to the separation or dissolution of marriage.