Unlike a mortgage or personal loan, there is no charge for the equity share for the first five years. From the beginning of your sixth year following the full FHS equity release, if the equity share is still in place, a service charge will apply.

This is a charge to be paid by you for the maintenance and servicing of the FHS.

For the first five years you own the property, there will be no service charge.

A service charge will be applied to the equity share from the start of year six onwards at the following rates per annum:

  • 1.75% for year six - year 15
  • 2.15% for year 16 - year 29
  • 2.85% for year 30+

These rates are fixed for the life of the equity facility.

The annual service charge is calculated by multiplying the original property purchase price/ build cost by the First Home Scheme equity share and multiplying the result by the service charge rate for the year in question.

Service charges accrue daily and are applied to your account monthly in arrears, so your monthly service charge may vary given the number of days in the month.

For example:

Purchase price/Build cost


Equity amount


Years 1-5

Service charge 0%


Years 6 to 15

Service charge 1.75%

*€875 per year

(€50,000 x 1.75%)

Years 16 – 29

Service charge 2.15%

*€1,075 per year

(€50,000 x 2.15%)

Year 30+

Service charge 2.85%

*€1,425 per year

(€50,000 x 2.85%)

*For the purpose of illustration, this example is assuming no redemption payments are made towards the equity share to reduce the original equity amount. The above figures also assume every year is 365 days, and the service charge will be calculated on an actual day basis. This means that where there are 366 days in a year, there will be an additional day’s interest.

You can choose whether you want to:

  • pay the service charge by monthly Direct Debit, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or via a debit card facility
  • pay the full annual service charge or make 12 monthly instalments
  • pay a reduced amount if you can’t afford the full monthly service charge
  • defer payment until another date

Note: there is no additional cost to deferring the service charge, but it will continue to accrue against your account, and you will need to pay it at a later date.

Yes, but you can choose to defer the payments when they become payable on year six following drawdown of your FHS Equity Facility.

If you choose to defer, please be aware that the service charge will accrue in the background and this balance must be paid:

  • if you want to fully redeem the equity share
  • if the property is sold
  • if you move to a non-Participating Lender
  • if the Homeowner dies (or, in the case of joint applications, the last applicant dies)
  • the property is no longer your Principal Private Residence

A legal agreement with the FHS will need to be put in place in the same way that a legal agreement will be put in place for the mortgage loan facility. You will need to engage a solicitor who will provide independent legal advice and who will arrange for the completion of the required documentation. You should check with your solicitor what their fees and charges are for these services. You will be liable for all taxes on your property. Your solicitor will usually manage this on your behalf.

We strongly recommend that you also obtain independent financial and tax advice around all taxes due in relation to your property, and there may be a cost associated with this. Please ensure that you discuss potential fees with your financial advisor before proceeding.

Should you want to partially redeem or fully redeem your equity facility, you are required to provide a valuation of your property from an FHS Approved Valuer and cover the cost of this valuation. The valuation will then be valid for a period of 12 months.

You may choose to engage an estate agent if you are selling the property. They will charge you a fee for that service.

The homebuyer is responsible for the payment of taxes.