For all redemptions you will need an up-to-date property valuation as the FHS equity facility is linked to the market value of your home.

Property valuations are ordered and paid for by the customer and carried out by an independent, FHS approved, valuer.

For full or partial redemptions within the first 6 months of drawdown, a valuation is not required as the property purchase price will be used for redemption calculations.

For all other redemptions, you can order a property valuation by clicking on the link in the Redemption Request form which will direct you to the FHS approved valuer’s portal. You will need to pay a fee for the valuation. The valuation will remain valid for 12 months from the date set out on the valuation. The valuation report will be provided to the FHS, and a copy provided directly to you.

Please see the Homebuyers Guide under Guides / Resources to see some examples where property prices have increased or decreased and the impact this has on redeeming / buying back the equity share.

Material alterations

Material alterations are defined as any works which add additional living accommodation to the property, adapt the property to provide for access and use by a person with a disability, or upgrade the Building Energy Rating (‘BER’) of the property by two or more BER Ratings.

Material alterations include:

  • Any works to the property that require planning permission
  • The addition of an extension or conservatory, which creates additional living accommodation
  • The conversion of an attic space, garage, or basement, which creates additional living accommodation
  • Changes to the property layout, where the interior is adapted to provide for access and use by a person with a disability, including:
    • Creating a ramp or widening doorways
    • Installation of specially adapted kitchen units and worktops
    • Installation of specially adapted bathrooms
  • Works carried out to upgrade the Building Energy Rating (BER), resulting in the BER rating of the property improving by two or more BER ratings

Any other changes to your property are not classed as material alterations by the FHS.
You don’t need to inform the FHS when you’re making material alterations to your property, but you do need to inform the FHS of any material alterations when you wish to make a redemption.

When valuing your home for the purpose of fully or partially redeeming the equity share, any increase in the property value due to material alterations will not be included in the valuation used in the redemption calculation.

We recommend keeping detailed records of all works completed, including plans, planning permission and costs. These records may be used to support the valuation when you partially or fully redeem the share.

Disputed valuation

If you receive a valuation from a FHS approved valuer and disagree with the valuation amount, you are entitled to seek a new valuation within 30 days.

The cost of the second valuation will be split equally between you and the FHS.

If you disagree with the second valuation amount, the FHS will facilitate an independent arbitration process, the outcome of which will be binding on both parties. The costs of arbitration will be equally shared between you and the FHS.

Valuations cannot be disputed after a redemption payment has been made using that valuation.

WARNING: We strongly recommend that you seek advice from an independent financial adviser and legal adviser if applying for this product.

WARNING: Property prices can go up and down. As the equity facility is linked to the value of your home, any change in property prices will affect any partial or final redemption amounts. If property prices increase/decrease over time, the percentage equity you have to redeem will remain the same but the € amount will increase/decrease. See example in the case of a price increase below:

Customer purchases a property for €250,000, availing of €25,000 from the First Home Scheme (FHS) which means the FHS has a 10% FHS equity share in your home.

Sometime in the future you decide to buy out the FHS equity share. The home is now valued at €350,000. As the FHS equity share is unchanged at 10%, you will now need €35,000 plus any accrued service charges payable, to redeem the FHS equity share in the home.

WARNING: The First Home Scheme is not regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and the equity product is not governed by the Central Bank and its statutory codes of conduct and/or other regulations to include the Consumer Protection Code. However, this does not affect your rights under consumer law.