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Costs of buying a home

Introduction

As well as paying the mortgage, there are other costs involved in buying a home. These can be significant, so it is important to be aware of them before proceeding with the purchase.

Deposit

You will probably need to pay at least 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. Exceptions to this are where the mortgage is from a local authority (in which case the deposit may be as low as 3% of the purchase price) or where the mortgage was under the Shared Ownership Scheme (now closed) which had a minimum deposit of €1,270.

Fees

Lending agency fees

These may include an application fee, as well as the costs of the lender's survey and searches. There may also be fees for mortgage loan costs and an indemnity bond to ensure that if the lender has to repossess the property it won't make a loss.

Legal fees

There is no fixed rate of charges for legal fees. Under Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002 there is no industry-wide scale of fees, that is, there is no fixed percentage or level of fees. Rather, solicitors can offer competitive rates for conveyancing work - the legal fees associated with buying a home. Solicitors may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the purchase price. It is advisable to shop around to find a solicitor who will charge the lowest possible fee.

There may be other costs associated with the legal process, including Land Registry fees and fees for legal searches. Value Added Tax is also payable on the legal fees.

Buyer's survey fee

This is the fee for your own survey, which is different from the survey carried out by the lending agency. You will need a survey if you plan to buy a second-hand property. The cost can vary considerably.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) is the professional body for chartered surveyors.

Insurance

Mortgage protection insurance

Mortgage Protection insurance is designed to pay the balance of your mortgage if you die before the loan is fully repaid. Lenders are legally obliged to make sure that you have adequate mortgage protection cover when you take out a home loan, although you do not have to arrange this insurance through them. Premiums vary but always reduce over the life of the loan as the amount of the loan reduces. Local authorities run their own plan (The Local Authorities Mortgage Protection Plan) and people borrowing under the Local Authorities House Purchase Loan scheme must take out insurance through this scheme.

Home insurance

Most lenders will also insist that you take out adequate home insurance to protect your home in the event of fire or other damage. You are not obliged to purchase home insurance from your lender.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is based on the value of the property transaction.

Page updated: 17 October 2012

Language

Gaeilge

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Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.