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First Time Buyers - Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about mortgages? Take a look at our FAQ below or give us a call on 0818 50 24 24 for more info.

General First Time Buyer Mortgage FAQ

What exactly is a mortgage?

A mortgage is simply a long-term loan that’s used to pay for a house.

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How do I start the application process?

There are a number of easy ways to begin your application:

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What’s a fixed rate mortgage?

With a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate and monthly repayments are fixed for a set time as agreed between the lender and borrower.

Although a fixed rate means your repayments cannot increase for a set period of time, your repayments will not fall during the fixed rate period. As a result, you could miss out on lower interest rates and lower repayments. Fixed rates may cost more over the long run but they offer peace of mind as you know your repayments will not rise during the fixed rate period.

Take a look at our list of rate options

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What’s a variable rate mortgage?

Variable rates offer the most flexibility. They allow you to increase your repayments, use a lump sum to pay off all or part of your mortgage or re-mortgage without having to pay any fixed rate breakage fees.

However, because variable rates can rise and fall, your mortgage repayments can go up or down during the term of your loan.

Take a look at our list of rate options

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How much will my repayments be every month?

Your repayments will depend on how much you borrow, the term or length of your mortgage as well as the interest rate that you’re charged. See our handy online Mortgage Calculator for an indication of how much your monthly repayments might be.

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What’s the minimum amount I can borrow?

The minimum loan amount you can borrow for a mortgage is €40,000. The minimum loan amount for further advances is €25,000.

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What’s the maximum amount I can borrow?

The maximum amount you can borrow depends on several factors such as your income and your capacity to repay your loan. For a guideline on how much you could potentially borrow check out our online Mortgage Calculator.

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How long will my mortgage last for?

Every mortgage has a life span or term. Our minimum term is 5 years and you could also possibly qualify for the maximum term possible which is 35 years. Our Buy to Let mortgages have a maximum term of 25 years.

A shorter term means you’ll pay your mortgage off quicker but it also means your monthly repayments will be higher.

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What documents do I need?

There are various documents you’ll need to complete during the application process. Read the full list of documents required here.

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What’s a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio?

LTV, or loan-to-value, is all about how much mortgage you have in relation to how much your property is worth. It's normally a percentage figure that reflects the percentage of your property that is mortgaged, and the amount that is yours (the amount you own is usually called your equity).

For example, if you have a mortgage of €150,000 on a house that's worth €200,000 you have a loan-to-value of 75% - therefore you have €50,000 as equity.

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What is the stamp duty payable on mortgages?

Stamp duty is payable at 1% on properties up to the value of €1 million euro and 2% on properties over this amount.

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What are lenders' normal lending criteria for a mortgage?

Every lender will look at various criteria before deciding whether to approve a mortgage. Some of the main factors that are taken into account are:

  • A good credit history
  • Being aged 18 or over
  • Age not greater than 70 at the end of the mortgage term
  • Ability to repay - as a guide mortgage repayments on all loans including your mortgage should not exceed 35% of your net income
  • Secure employment
  • Continuous employment for two years
  • Good account management

In all cases the primary focus is on your repayment capacity.

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How much of a deposit do I need?

Central bank deposit rules require a 10% deposit for first time buyers. So if the value of your property is €300,000, you’d need a deposit of €30,000.

We’ve a range of deposits and savings account options to help you save for your deposit. Call into your local branch or take a look at what savings and deposits options we have available.

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What else should I bear in mind when taking out a mortgage?

You’ll generally need to arrange home insurance and mortgage protection before drawing down your loan.

Home insurance is a property insurance which covers private homes, buildings and contents. The cost of home insurance often depends on what it would cost to rebuild your house and how much it would cost to replace all of the contents of the house. To get a quote today, simply drop into your local PTSB branch, call us on 0818 50 24 24 or visit our Home Insurance section to find out more.

When taking out a mortgage you’ll also need to consider how it’ll be paid off in the unlikely event of your death before the mortgage has been fully repaid. When you get a mortgage to buy your home, you’ll generally be required by your lender to take out mortgage insurance. This is a particular type of life assurance taken out for the term of the mortgage and is designed to pay it off on the death of the borrower or joint borrower before the end of the mortgage term.

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What are the timelines for the mortgage process?

Wherever you are on your mortgage journey, whether you’re ready to make an application, or just want to ask some questions – we’re here to support you so book an appointment today with our mortgage team!

We’ll outline the mortgage process and the required documents you’ll need for your application and you can then gather and submit the documents required at a time that suits you, allow 1-2 weeks for gathering these documents.

Once we receive your application and supporting documentation, we will get back to you in 3 working days to let you know if it’s ready to go to our underwriting team for a full assessment, or if we need any further documents or information from you first.

Once we submit the documents to our underwriting team for full assessment we’ll let you know if we can approve your application within 10 working days, however if your completed application is submitted for assessment during business hours we aim to give Mortgage Credit Approval in 72 hours. In the rare event that we can’t come to a decision in that timeframe, we’ll be in touch to let you know and to inform you of when we will have a decision.

Once your application for credit is approved, and you have found your home, you will be required to arrange for a valuation of your property. A credit check will also be undertaken on all applicants of the mortgage and you will need to arrange Life Insurance and Home Insurance. We will issue all the loan information you need to complete the purchase to your solicitor and once you sign the documents, your solicitor will arrange the transfer of funds and collection of your keys to your new home.

What is a Mortgage Rate Option Comparison (ROC) Document?

A mortgage rate option comparison document is provided to all New Business Customers. The purpose of this document is to provide you with clear and transparent information, specific to your application in relation to the different mortgage rate options available. This document will help you decide on the rate option that’s best for you, it will be provided once you have started your application with your mortgage consultant and at key stages of your home buying  journey including: your Underwritten Approval in Principle (AIP) and your Letter of Approval.

The details provided on each rate option are outlined below. This information will allow you to compare the mortgage rate options available to you which will help inform you to make your decision.

  • Initial Borrowing Rate %
  • Initial repayments amount
  • Repayment amount after Fixed Rate
  • APRC – Annual Percentage Rate of Charge
  • Overall amount repayable
  • Lump sum cashback where available

View Mortgage Rate Option Comparison document (ROC) here.

Managed Variable Rates (MVRs) FAQ

What are Managed Variable Rates (MVRs)?

Managed Variable Rates (MVRs) are variable rates which vary depending on Loan to Value (LTV) of mortgage.

Variable rates offer the most flexibility. They allow you to increase your repayments, use a lump sum to pay off all or part of your mortgage or re-mortgage without having to pay any fixed rate breakage fees.

However, because variable rates can rise and fall, your mortgage repayments can go up or down during the term of your loan.

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What customers qualify for Managed Variable Rates (MVRs)?

All customers, New & Existing qualify for our Managed Variable Rates (MVRs)

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What are the MVR rates available?

Effective 17 January 2024

LTV Bracket MVR Rate
Less than or equal to 50% 4.40%
Greater than 50% & less than or equal to 60% 4.40%
Greater than 60% & less than or equal to 70% 4.50%
Greater than 70% & less than or equal to 80% 4.50%
Greater than 80% & less than or equal to 90% 4.70% 
Greater than 90% 4.70%

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Are Managed Variable Rates (MVRs) available to Buy-to-Let customers?

Yes, Managed Variable Rates (MVRs) rates are available to Buy-to-Let customers. For details of these rates please see out Buy-to-Let page.

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How will I find out if my repayment changes during the term of my mortgage?

You will be notified in writing of any changes to both your rate and repayment. This will confirm your amended rate, repayment and the effective date.

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How long will my mortgage stay on the MVR?

Your mortgage will remain on the MVR until you decide to change the product.

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Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.

Start your journey home

Wherever you are on your home buying journey, we’re here to support you along the way.

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