A Mortgage Guide For Foreign Nationals In Ireland

by | Jul 7, 2022 | Mortgages | 0 comments

Ireland is a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures, with thousands of people choosing to settle down and build a life here every year. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, which makes it a very popular option for foreign nationals looking to put down roots.

Buying a house is a huge step in this process, but getting a mortgage can be confusing and stressful — particularly if you’re not familiar with the Irish market.

We want to shed some light on the process, so we’ve put together a simple mortgage guide for foreign nationals in Ireland. It outlines the basic requirements, interest rates, lending limits, and the steps you need to take to get mortgage-ready.

 

Can I get a mortgage in Ireland as a foreign national?

 

Yes, you can. If you are legally resident in Ireland and meet the lending criteria, you are eligible to apply for a mortgage. There are various mortgage products available, each one subject to different criteria in relation to the type and duration of residency, duration of employment, and so on.

You will need to have a PPS number and if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must also have a Stamp 1, Stamp 1G or Stamp 4 in order to be eligible.

 

Are there any restrictions for foreign nationals?

 

There are no residency-based restrictions to buying property in Ireland, meaning you can buy property even if you don’t live here.

However, owning property in Ireland does not mean you have the right to live here. This is completely separate from property ownership and will depend on your personal circumstances.

 

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What interest rates are available?

 

This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a mortgage. Here in Ireland, mortgages usually fall into one of two main categories: variable rate or fixed rate. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and priorities.

To help you decide which one is right for you, here is an overview of the main differences:

 

VARIABLE RATE

 

FIXED RATE

 

  • Monthly repayments can increase or decrease 
  • Monthly repayment stays the same over  the fixed period
  • Offers more flexibility, e.g. the option to extend or top up your mortgage, as well as pay extra without being penalised
  • Gives you peace of mind that your monthly repayments will always be the same, regardless of fluctuations in interest rates
  • If interest rates go up, your repayments will too.
  • You may have to pay a penalty fee if you switch providers during the fixed-rate period

 

It is important to also note that regarding fixed rates, some lenders do have flexible overpayment options available.

 

How much can I borrow?

 

The amount you can borrow from any lender is determined by the Central Bank of Ireland’s limits, namely LTV (Loan-to-Value) and LTI (Loan-to-Income). These apply to everyone who applies for a mortgage in Ireland.

 

LTV Limits

 

You need to put down a certain amount as a deposit before you can get a mortgage, and the amount you can borrow depends on the type of buyer you are (e.g. first-time buyer, investment property buyer, etc.)

 

LTI Limits

 

The amount you can borrow is determined on the basis of your gross income

 

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What do I need to do to enter the market?

 

Determine how much you can afford

 

Track your income and expenditure for several months to determine how much you can afford to repay. This will give you an idea of how much you can borrow so you can begin looking at properties in your price range.

 

 

Start saving for a deposit

 

Start saving for a deposit as soon as you can and keep your accounts in order. The amount you’ll need depends on things like the type of buyer you are, how much you can borrow and your repayment capacity.

 

Hire a solicitor

 

You will need to hire a property solicitor to take care of the legal side of things. Solicitor’s fees vary widely, so make sure you shop around and compare prices.

 

Organise your paperwork

 

Different lenders may have different requirements, but as a foreign national you will most likely need to produce the following:

  • Proof of your identity (e.g. passport, national ID card)
  • Proof of your legal residence in Ireland (e.g. a copy of your Visa or work permit)
  • Proof of affordability and creditworthiness (e.g. bank statements, payslips, credit checks, utility bills, etc.)

Once you get approved, you will have to provide further paperwork such as a property valuation and building survey report. These will be explained in detail when you get to this stage of the process, and you can also find more top tips for mortgage preparation in a recent article we published.

 

What fees will I need to pay?

 

There are a number of fees associated with getting a mortgage. Make sure you factor these into your budget to avoid getting an unpleasant surprise down the line! We have covered this in more detail in a previous article.

Some of the most common fees include:

  • Solicitor’s fees
  • A building survey report – these reports are usually required for previously owned properties
  • Valuation fees – all applications will require a valuation to be completed on the property
  • Insurance – buildings insurance and mortgage protection or life insurance (this is covered in a previous article here)
  • Stamp duty
  • Property Tax

 

The impartial mortgage advisor for foreign nationals

 

At Symmetry Financial, we pride ourselves on being a source of authority on mortgages in Ireland.

Whether you’re a foreign investor or a first-time buyer looking to put down roots on Irish soil, we are here to help you buy your dream property.

Get in touch today for a free consultation and impartial mortgage advice from our team of experts, and don’t forget to check out our blog for the latest financial news and updates.

If you’d like a free, no-obligation consultation for your mortgage, pension or financial needs, get in touch here, call us on 01 6831673 or email us directly on info@symmetryfinancial.ie.