Ireland’s Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023

Ireland’s Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023


If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Ireland, it’s essential to know about the property taxes you might face. Ireland’s way of taxing properties can be different from other places like the UK or other European countries.


In Ireland, the group in charge of taxes is called the Revenue Commissioners. In this guide, we’ll explain the main taxes you need to know about and how they work.


For instance, there’s a yearly property tax in Ireland that homeowners pay based on the current value of their house. This tax helps pay for local things we all use like roads, parks, and libraries.


We know taxes can be a bit confusing, especially when you’re buying or selling a property. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get some professional advice. This guide aims to give you a clear and simple overview of what to expect. Let’s get started!

Buying Property In Ireland

Understanding Stamp Duty In Ireland

Stamp duty is a significant consideration for potential homeowners and investors in Ireland. Essentially, it is a tax imposed by Revenue when transferring ownership of property. Whether you’re purchasing your first home or investing in a commercial venture, understanding how stamp duty works is crucial.

Purpose And Payment:

Stamp duty serves as a tax on the transfer of assets, particularly property. The proceeds are used for various public services and developments.


When purchasing a property, the responsibility of arranging the payment to Revenue usually falls on your solicitor. They will handle the calculations, make the required payments, and ensure that the property deeds are duly stamped with your name as the new owner.

Types Of Properties Affected:

Stamp duty applies to various types of properties, both residential (like houses, apartments, or land for building) and non-residential (like commercial buildings or plots). The rate and amount you’ll need to pay differ based on the type and value of the property.

Not every property transaction attracts stamp duty... | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Stamp Duty Rates In Ireland

Understanding the rates can help you better budget for this added expense. Rates vary depending on the type of property and its cost.

Residential Property:

For homes priced up to €1 million, a rate of 1% is applicable. If the property’s value exceeds €1 million, a 2% rate applies to the excess amount. For instance, a house priced at €300,000 would have a stamp duty of €3,000.


New builds come with a slight variation. The stamp duty is calculated on the value of the home minus the current VAT (13.5%). So, if a new home costs €300,000, after deducting the VAT, the stamp duty would amount to €2,595.

Non-Residential Property:

For commercial properties or land, a flat rate of 7.5% is charged. However, there’s a possibility of obtaining a refund under the stamp duty residential development scheme if the land, initially bought as non-residential, is developed for residential purposes.

Multiple Properties:

Property moguls should take note of a significant change introduced in July 2021. If a buyer acquires 10 or more properties within a year, a heightened stamp duty rate of 10% is levied on the total value of these properties.

Stamp Duty Exemptions And Special Cases

It’s worth noting that not every property transaction attracts stamp duty. There are exemptions and specific cases that can affect the amount payable.

Local Authority Tenant Purchase Scheme:

Purchasers under this scheme enjoy a capped stamp duty of just €100.

Transfers Between Spouses And Partners:

In certain circumstances, property transfers between spouses or civil partners may be exempt from stamp duty.

VAT Considerations:

If you’ve paid VAT on your residential property, your stamp duty is computed on the pre-VAT price. This can lead to substantial savings, especially for new builds.

Inherited And Gifted Properties:

While inherited properties are exempt from stamp duty, those gifted do attract this tax.

Second Property:

The acquisition of a second or subsequent home doesn’t exempt you from stamp duty. Each property purchase in Ireland is subject to this tax.

Quick Summary

By thoroughly understanding these nuances of stamp duty, you can navigate the Irish property market more effectively and avoid unexpected financial hiccups.


Always consult with a legal or financial expert when considering a property purchase to ensure you’re fully informed. 

The amount of Local Property Tax is primarily based on the valuation of your property | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Navigating Local Property Tax In Ireland

Local Property Tax (LPT) in Ireland applies to residential properties.

The key date to remember is November 1st, which is used as the reference date to determine if a property is liable for LPT.


For example, if a property is residential on 1 November, it will typically be liable for LPT.


Interestingly, some previously exempt properties, particularly those built after 2013, became liable from 2022 onwards.


If you have a property that hasn’t been registered with the Revenue Commissioners for either LPT or stamp duty before, it’s essential to ensure registration.

Property Tax Rates And Amounts For 2023

While the rates for 2023 are subject to periodic review and changes, the core principle remains that the amount of Local Property Tax you owe is primarily based on the valuation of your property.


​​The Revenue website also has a useful online LPT calculator that calculates the Local Property Tax of a property up to and including the local adjustment factor.


If you’ve claimed any LPT deferrals in 2022, it’s crucial to ensure they carry forward to 2023 if you still meet the requirements.

Addressing Common Concerns

1 – Can I defer my LPT payment?


Yes, in certain conditions, deferring some or all of your LPT is possible. Known as a “deferral”, you might qualify if:


  • Your income falls below a particular threshold.
  • You represent a deceased person who had LPT obligations.
  • You’re under a Debt Settlement or Personal Insolvency Arrangement.
  • Immediate payment would cause undue financial hardship.


However, it’s essential to remember that a deferral doesn’t mean an exemption. Interest accrues on the deferred amount, and it remains a charge on the property.


For those who qualify for a partial deferral, they can defer up to 50% of the LPT, paying the remainder.


Income-based deferral:


If the property is your residence and your income is below certain thresholds, you might qualify for a full or partial deferral.


These thresholds vary based on whether you’re single or a couple and if you have a mortgage taken out before 1 November 2020. For instance:


  • Single individuals without a mortgage must have a gross income not exceeding €18,000 for full deferral or €30,000 for partial (50%) deferral.
  • Couples with a mortgage can increase their income threshold by 80% of their gross mortgage interest.


It’s worth noting that ‘gross income’ includes income before any deductions, allowances, or reliefs, encompassing income exempt from income tax and from Department of Social Protection (DSP) payments.


2 – Are any properties exempt from LPT?


Yes, some properties are exempt. These include:


  • Properties with significant pyrite damage.
  • Those built with defective concrete blocks.
  • Residential properties owned by charities or public bodies.
  • Registered nursing homes.
  • Commercial properties.
  • Properties left vacant due to illness.
  • Properties adapted for individuals with severe incapacitation.


It’s essential to understand the specifics of each exemption, such as the fact that properties with pyrite damage are typically exempt for around six years.


3 – What if my property isn’t liable for LPT?


Certain properties aren’t liable, including commercial properties, those unsuitable for habitation, diplomatic properties, and mobile homes or boats. If your property falls under these categories, you won’t need to submit an LPT return.


4 – How do I claim an exemption or deferral?


To claim any exemption or deferral, you’ll typically do this as part of your LPT return. The Revenue website provides comprehensive lists and accompanying documentation requirements for each category.


Always remember to consult official guidelines or seek professional advice when navigating the complexities of the Local Property Tax in Ireland.

Assets encompass valuable items that can be converted to cash, like real estate, shares and intellectual property | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Selling Property In Ireland

Capital Gains Tax On Property Sales

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is levied on the profit (or gain) made from selling or disposing of an asset.


Importantly, the tax is on the chargeable gain, which is usually the difference between the acquisition price and the disposal price, rather than the entire amount received. The person responsible for the disposal is liable to pay the CGT.


Assets encompass valuable items that can be converted to cash, such as real estate, shares, and intellectual property. Disposal actions triggering CGT include sales, gifts, exchanges, or receiving compensation or insurance payouts.

What If You Inherit Assets?

If you inherit an asset and subsequently dispose of it, you’re liable for Capital Gains Tax.


You’re considered the owner from the date of the original owner’s death, and the cost basis for CGT is the market value at the time of their death.

Capital Gains Tax For Non-Residents

Non-residents are subject to Capital Gains Tax for gains from disposing of:


  • Real estate, minerals, or exploration rights in Ireland.
  • Unquoted shares primarily valued from Irish land, buildings, minerals, or exploration rights.
  • Assets used in an Irish-based trade.
  • Companies and CGT


While companies typically include capital gains in their Corporation Tax (CT) calculations, they pay CGT instead of CT on gains from development land sales.

What Assets Are Subject to Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax applies to gains from disposing of:


  • Land and buildings.
  • Company shares, irrespective of residency.
  • Intangible assets like patents or copyrights.
  • Foreign currency (excluding Irish currency).
  • Trade assets.
  • Foreign insurance policies and offshore funds.
  • Certain capital payments.
  • Some collectable items like antiques, paintings, and jewellery.


However, several reliefs and exemptions can mitigate the CGT liability, as detailed in the following section.

Exemptions To Capital Gains Tax

Certain gains are not subject to Capital Gains Tax, such as:


  • Betting, lottery, and sweepstake winnings.
  • Certain government schemes and stocks.
  • Movables, e.g., furniture, with gains not exceeding €2,540.
  • Animals and private cars.


Additionally, asset transfers between spouses or civil partners, including those divorced or separated, are generally CGT exempt, but exceptions apply.


Each individual enjoys a personal CGT exemption of €1,270 annually. This exemption is non-transferable and exclusive to individuals, excluding entities like companies or trusts.

For more information on CGT reliefs, please visit Revenue.

To determine the CGT, sum up all gains, substract any losses & apply the relevant tax rate | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

How Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax?

Payment deadlines for Capital Gains Tax depend on the disposal date:


  • Disposals between January 1 and November 30 require payment by December 15.
  • Disposals in December mandate payment by January 31 of the subsequent year.


Late payments attract interest charges, and delayed returns result in penalties. Returns should be filed by October 31 of the year following the disposal, even if no tax is due.


To pay CGT in Ireland, visit the Revenue Online Service (ROS) or myAccount.

To make your payment, you must register for CGT with your tax number.

How Do You Calculate Capital Gains Tax?

The chargeable gain is the difference between the disposal amount, acquisition cost, and allowable expenses. To determine the CGT, sum up all gains, subtract any losses, and then apply the relevant tax rate.


The prevailing CGT rate is 33%. However, specific rates apply for certain gains:


  • 40% for foreign insurance policies and investment products.
  • 15% for individuals or partnerships from venture capital funds.
  • 12.5% for companies from venture capital funds.


Allowable expenses can be deducted from the sale price to ascertain the chargeable gain. These include enhancement expenditures or costs related to the acquisition and disposal.


Sometimes, the market value might be used in place of sale or purchase prices.

What About Capital Gains Tax Losses?

If you incur a loss upon disposing of an asset, and the same transaction would otherwise be chargeable, you can offset this ‘allowable loss’ against any gains in the same tax year.


However, if losses exceed gains in a tax year or no gains were made, these losses can be carried forward to offset future capital gains. You can also offset your capital losses against your spouse or civil partner’s gains, but conditions apply.


Navigating the intricate web of the Irish taxation system, particularly when it involves property transactions, can be daunting for many. Both buying and selling property come with their distinct sets of tax implications, ranging from Stamp Duty to Capital Gains Tax. 


This article highlighted some of the most significant taxes a buyer or seller might encounter in the property market. Still, it’s worth noting that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other financial implications, such as V.A.T., rental income tax, and various exemptions and reliefs, could also influence the final figures of a property transaction.


However complex these tax considerations might seem, remember that you don’t have to navigate them alone. While solicitors might not always be the final word in tax expertise, an experienced professional can provide invaluable insights into avoiding potential taxation pitfalls associated with property transactions.

Need More Gudiance On Property Tax?

At Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we deliver practical legal advice to guide clients through the intricacies of the property transaction process.


Whether you’re on the verge of diving into the property market or simply looking to better understand your tax obligations in property transactions, it’s crucial to gather as much information as possible.

When doubtful, seeking expert advice can save you both time and potential financial pitfalls. If you have any questions or need clarity on the matters discussed in this article or beyond, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Ireland's Property Tax Playbook: Buying & Selling In 2023 | Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors
Selling a house in Ireland: What you need to know

Selling a house in Ireland: What you need to know

If you’re looking to sell your house in Ireland, there are a few things you need to know. The process of selling a house in Ireland can be tricky, so it’s important that you understand what’s involved before diving in head first. Unfortunately, the process isn’t quite as simple as putting a “For Sale” sign up and waiting for the offers to pour in. There are many things that must first be considered, from setting the right price to finding the right buyer. In this blog post, we will outline the steps involved in selling a house in Ireland and give you some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible. We will also provide some tips on how to find the right professionals to aid in the transaction, as well as share some information on buying and selling a house at the same time, so that you have a fuller understanding of the Irish real estate market!

Selling a house in Ireland

Auction vs Private Treaty Sale

There are two ways to sell a house – by private treaty or by auction. A sale by private treaty is the type of property sale most of us would be familiar with. This is where the seller puts their house on the market and, usually via an auctioneer or estate agent, invites offers for the property. Sales by auction are where a vendor will list their house for sale in a specific auction. The vendor will set a reserve price for the property – the minimum amount they would be willing to accept for the property. From here, buyers at the auction will be able to openly bid on the property, with the house being sold to the individual with the highest offer. In contrast to a private treaty sale, buyers at an auction are expected to sign contracts of purchase then and there on the day of the auction.

A professional auctioneer or other expert in the area can advise you on how to sell your particular house. The best method depends on a number of factors including the type of house, the state of the property market, and the area, so it is best to consult an expert in the area for the best option for you. It is essential that you notify your solicitor of your plans to sell the house so that he can prepare the title documents and the contract.

Finding a Solicitor

One of the first and most important steps in selling your property is finding the right solicitor to aid you in the transaction. There are a few things to look for when choosing a solicitor, such as:

– A solicitor who has experience in selling houses
– A solicitor who is based in the area where you’re selling your house
– A solicitor who has long-standing relationships with other solicitors and professionals in the area who are likely to also be involved in the transaction.

When it comes to selling your home, your solicitor will be responsible for a number of tasks, such as:

– Drafting and negotiating the contract for sale
– Being responsible for your title deeds. If you have a mortgage, this will mean requesting your title deeds from your lender 
– Organising the transfer of ownership
– Calculating and paying the stamp duty on your behalf
– Submitting the Capital Gains Tax return on your behalf (if applicable)

Selling a house in Ireland is a big decision and, as such, there are a lot of things to consider before taking the plunge. With the help of a solicitor, you can be sure that all of the necessary steps are taken care of and that the process runs smoothly. Read our previous blog, Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation, to find out more about how to choose the right solicitor for you.

Contract for Sale

As soon as the solicitor has received all the necessary documentation from you and the lender, the contract for sale will be drafted. The solicitor leaves the purchaser and purchase price blank when preparing contracts for an auction sale until after the auction is over and the buyer is known. Prior to the auction, prospective bidders will want to review the title documents. If the sale is by private treaty the contract will contain all names including the purchase price. For private treaty sales, the contract for sale is not drawn up until after an offer has been accepted.

Setting the Right Price

A crucial step in selling a house in Ireland is to set the right price. For a private treaty sale, this is the asking price – a price set by the vendor as an indicator of what they expect to receive for the purchase. In an auction, this is the reserve price.

Pricing your home too high will result in it sitting on the market for a long time without any offers, while pricing it too low will mean that you’ll lose money on the sale. It’s important to find a happy medium, and the best way to do this is to consult with a local real estate agent. They will have a good understanding of the local market and can help you to set a competitive price for your home.

Hiring a Real-Estate Agent

While you can opt to sell your house privately, the vast majority of sales are done with the help of a real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will be able to take care of many of the more time-consuming aspects of selling your home. They will value your property, photograph your home to ensure it’s looking its best, advertise and market your house for you and take care of any viewings. They will also coordinate the completion of the sale with your solicitor to ensure there are no legal loose ends.

One important thing to note before working with an estate agent is to ensure that they are registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA). All estate agents in Ireland must be registered with the PRSA. You can check this by searching their name on the PSRA website.

The final step in selling a house in Ireland is to complete the sale. This involves signing a contract with the buyer and transferring ownership of the property. Once the sale is complete, you’ll be able to collect your money and move on to your next home!

Buying and selling at the same time

The juggling of both buying and selling a house can be quite challenging if you want them to happen simultaneously. If you intend on completing such a transaction, it is important to work with a solicitor who has experience in handling such matters. It is possible to sign a contract for the purchase of your new house contingent on the sale of your old house going through. It is not necessary for either of these to go through at exactly the same time as there are many things that can go wrong.

Up until recently, it was possible to obtain bridging finance from a lending institution to cover the time period between the purchase of your new house and the sale of your previous house. However, such lending options are no longer available in Ireland.

Handling a transaction of this nature can be quite complex and complicated but working with an experienced firm, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, will ensure the process is carried out as hassle-free as possible.

Taxes involved in Selling a House

If you’re selling a house in Ireland, it’s important to be aware of the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. The most common of these is stamp duty, which is a tax that is payable on all property transactions. The amount of stamp duty you’ll need to pay will depend on the value of your home as per the final sale price.

If you sell a house that is not your primary residence, you must pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on this sale. Generally, capital gains taxes do not apply to properties that are your primary residence. The general amount for CGT is 33% the sale price, however, the amount you will have to pay to the Revenue Commissioners can vary and you should speak to your solicitor to be advised upon the exact amount owed. This amount will vary according to the value of the property.

Other costs involved in selling your home include your real estate agent’s fee and your solicitor fees.

Sale Agreed v Sold

It’s important to understand the difference between ‘Sale Agreed’ and ‘Sold’. Sale agreed means that an offer has been made on your property and accepted by you, but the sale is not yet complete. Sale agreed is not legally binding and both you as the seller and the buyer may still pull out of the sale with no legal ramifications. Until the contracts are signed and the money has exchanged hands, the deal is not yet done.

In order for a sale to be complete, a contract for sale must be drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and signed by both parties and the agreed purchase price must be paid. Once this has happened, the property is officially sold.

The contract for sale will detail a number of important things, such as:

– The names of the buyer and seller
– The address of the property being sold
– A description of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
– The agreed purchase price
– The date on which the sale will be completed. This is known as the ‘closing date’.
– Any special conditions that have been agreed, such as the buyer being given a certain amount of time to arrange a mortgage.

It’s important to note that, once the contract for sale has been signed,  both parties are legally bound to go ahead with the sale. If the buyer pulls out of the sale, the vendor can forfeit  the deposit paid andmay also seek additional compensation for proven losses. Similarly, if the seller decides not to sell they may face legal action for losses incurred by the purchaser.


Selling a house in Ireland can be a daunting task, but with the help of a professional and some knowledge of the process, it can be a relatively smooth experience. Be sure to consult with both an auctioneer and solicitor to ensure that you are getting the best possible service. And don’t forget to factor in the various taxes and fees that you’ll need to pay. With a little preparation, selling your home in Ireland can be a breeze!

Please get in touch with us at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors if you have any questions.

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Buying property in Ireland: What you need to know

Are you thinking of buying a property in Ireland? If so, wrapping your head around the process involved is integral to ensuring the transaction  goes smoothly. For many people, buying a home or a new property will be one of the biggest financial decisions of their life. By informing yourself of all the need to know information before you embark on this journey, you put yourself in a position to make the transaction as pain free as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key things you need to know when buying property in Ireland. We will cover the importance of getting a property evaluated, the difference between “sale agreed” and “sold”, the different title situations that can arise, as well as some of the legal aspects involved in purchasing property. So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, read on for more information!

Buying property in Ireland

If you’re thinking of buying property in Ireland, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your budget is so you can determine – (1) how much of a deposit you can afford, and, (2 ) your ability to afford the monthly mortgage repayments. This involves budgeting for all aspects of buying and owning a property such as mortgage costs, solicitor’s fees, insurance etc.

The amount you can borrow as a mortgage loan and how much you need to put down as a deposit is regulated by Central Bank lending limits. Currently in Ireland, the minimum amount you must put down as a deposit in order to receive a mortgage is 10% of the total price of the property you are looking to purchase. It’s important to get a mortgage pre-approval before you start looking at properties so that you know exactly how much you can spend.

Another important step in the process is to employ the help of an experienced and qualified conveyancing solicitor – a solicitor who specialises in the purchase and sale of property. There are many complicated legal processes and documentation involved in the purchase of any property – some of which will be discussed later – which can be very hard to navigate and understand without the aid of a professional. Working with a solicitor you trust will ensure the transaction is road mapped and carried out in as smoothly a manner as possible.

Surveying the property

The next step is to find a property that you like and that meets your needs and budget. Once you have found a property, it is important to get it evaluated by a professional before proceeding any further. While there are certain things that a seller must inform you on before a sale can be closed, there is no onus on the seller, their auctioneer or their solicitor to inform you of every aspect and detail of the property. There can be hidden problems with the property that you may not be aware of and an evaluation will help to identify any of these potential pitfalls.

Additionally, if you are still at the price negotiation stage, getting a property evaluated can give you an idea of what the property is actually worth. Going into any negotiation as informed as possible is always key to getting the best bang for your buck.

Any potential problems with the property, such as structural issues, title issues or dampness may be discovered. Once you have the evaluation, you can start negotiations with the seller, taking the findings of the survey into account when submitting your offer. You may also choose not to make an offer at this point.

Sale Agreed vs. Legal Sale

When you make an offer on a property and your offer is accepted, this is called a ‘sale agreed’ and is not legally binding. There is an agreement in principle to go through with the sale but either party can still back out at this point. To make it legal, you need to get to contract signing. When this is achieved both the buyer and the seller are legally bound to go through with the sale when they agree on the sale price of the property and both parties have signed the contract. The contract for sale will have been signed at this point with a deposit paid by the buyer. You can instruct your solicitor to start the legal process. The solicitor will investigate the title, planning , property taxes, local authority issues  and other documents to make sure that everything is in order before proceeding with the sale. If you are borrowing your solicitor will be checking in with your lender and dealing with their requirements.  They will also liaise with the seller’s solicitor to ensure that everything is going smoothly and all timelines are met. Once all the paperwork has been finalised, you will be ready to sign the contract and complete the purchase!

Title Situations

Something to be aware of when buying a home are the potential title situations that could exist regarding the property you are looking to purchase. In property law, the “title” refers to all of the property rights that belong to a proprietor of a specific property. Before purchasing a property, it is incredibly important to understand who actually owns the property and whether there are any outstanding debts or other rights on it.

This is another reason why it is so important to work with a solicitor when purchasing property. Your solicitor can complete checks regarding the title of your deserved property and advise you on anything of note. The language used in titles and deeds can often be very complicated and even archaic. Having an experienced solicitor who can explain these situations in layman’s terms can be invaluable.

If you’re buying a property with a mortgage, your lender will also do a search to make sure there are no problems with the title. There are two main types of title for properties in Ireland – freehold and leasehold. Freehold means that you own the property outright and are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property. Leasehold means that you have a long-term lease on the property, typically for a period of 99 years, and are responsible for the upkeep of the property during that time. Additionally, generally speaking, with freehold possession you are said to own the building and land upon which the property is built, whereas with leasehold, you are only said to own the building. The type of title will be one of the factors you need to consider when purchasing a property.

Planning Permission

When purchasing a home, it is incredibly important to ensure that there are no planning issues with the property. The best way to do this is by working with an experienced conveyancing solicitor who knows what to look for.

There are many things that solicitors would refer to as planning issues. Examples would be things like homes being built with additional buildings such as garages that never received planning permission, extension being built on a property that never received planning permission, velux windows being installed in the front of a house that never received planning permission, attic conversions that are being used habitually with no planning permission received.

If issues such as these go undiscovered prior to purchase, they can become incredibly costly and can lead to unwanted stress, hassle and even litigation. Once you become the owner of a property, all pre-existing planning issues become your liability and your responsibility to rectify. If it is subsequently discovered that planning permission was required for a specific build on a property but was not requested or granted, the planning authority may require the works to be reversed at the expense of the current owner.

Contract for sale

Once you have a contract for sale, there are several important things to do before completion such as getting buildings insurance, arranging your mortgage finance if you haven’t already done so and booking a surveyor to assess the value of the property. You will also need to provide proof of identity and address to your solicitor as well as any other required documentation. Completion usually takes place four to six weeks after signing the contract for sale. Once everything has been finalised, you will be ready to move into your new home!

Bridging Funds

If you are planning to sell your home to buy another one, you can no longer take out what was known as a ‘bridging loan’ which was a sum of money used to cover the gap between two transactions on a short-term basis. You must have the funds readily available to purchase a new property. This may mean that you must sell your home first and then rent for a period until you have the necessary funds to buy another property. Dealing with the simultaneous sale and purchase of properties at the same time can be very stressful. Working with a solicitor with years of experience in these transactions, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, can make a difficult and complex transaction much easier.


There are many things to bear in mind when buying property in Ireland but, if you do your research and ensure you are well informed, it can be a relatively smooth process. Seeking advice and working with experienced legal professionals, such as Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, will be paramount to ensuring a successful transaction.

We hope you found this blog post informative. If you have any questions or would like to know more about buying property in Ireland, please get in touch now via our contact page.

Thank you for reading!

Buying checklist: Things to know before buying your home

Buying checklist: Things to know before buying your home

So, you’re thinking of buying a house? Well congratulations! This is an important decision and one that should not be taken lightly. When it comes to buying a house in Ireland, there are many things you need to take into account. From the legal aspects of the purchase to the financial implications, there is a lot to think about. To help you out, we’ve put together a buying checklist of things to know before buying your home. While every sale and purchase are different, by educating yourself on the steps that can be expected, you can minimise the possibility of any unwanted surprises.  This way, you can be sure that you’re as prepared as possible for this big purchase.

In this blog post, we will give you a comprehensive guide to buying property in Ireland. We will discuss everything from solicitors’ roles in property purchases to how best to go about organising your funding. So whether you’re just starting your house-hunting journey or are about to sign on the dotted line, make sure to read this blog post!

Organising Your Finances

Organising your finances in advance of any purchase is one of the most important aspects of buying a house. Be it assessing what you can actually afford, saving for a deposit, or getting mortgage approval, having your finances in order before you even start looking is crucial.

The best thing you can do when you start considering purchasing a home is assess how much you can afford and what your budget is.  This will help you immensely when it comes to searching for a property, as you’ll know exactly what your price range is. Two important factors to consider when assessing your budget is realistically analysing how much of a deposit you will be able to save. This is important as, in Ireland, the minimum deposit is 10% the price of the overall purchase price of the property. The second important factor to consider is your debt-to-income ratio (DBI ratio). This is the percentage of your pre-tax income that goes towards paying debts, and banks will use this to calculate how much they’re willing to lend you.

Once you have a realistic idea of what you can afford and what your budget looks like, it’s time to start saving for that deposit! Depending on the price of the property, this could take some time. A great way to jump start the process is by opening a dedicated savings account for your deposit. This way, you can set up automatic transfers from your salary each month and watch that deposit grow. In Ireland, regulations have been put in place to limit the amount a bank or lender can lend you for a mortgage. These are called the Central Bank’s Mortgage Lending Regulations or LTV (loan-to-value) Limits. The maximum amount you can borrow is now set at:

  • 90% of the value of the property for first time buyers
  • 80% of the value of the property for second and subsequent buyers

So, if you’re buying a house worth €300,000, the maximum amount you could borrow would be €270,000 as a first time buyer or €240,000 as a second-time buyer. This means that you would need to have a deposit of at least €30,000 (or €60,000 if you’re a second-time buyer).

If one cannot afford a deposit to cover an LTV limit, there is another option available to them if they are first time buyers. This is the Help-to-Buy (HTB) Scheme. This scheme was introduced in 2017 and was enhanced in July of 2020. Be sure to contact Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors to find out more about the HTB Scheme and to find out if you might be eligible.

Getting Mortgage Pre-Approval

Once you have a deposit saved and know how much you can afford to borrow, it’s time to start the mortgage approval process. In Ireland, you must have your mortgage pre-approval in place before you can make an offer on a property. This is because once your offer is accepted, you only have six weeks to complete the purchase. This means that you need to have your mortgage approval in place so that you can move quickly when you find the right property.

The first step in getting pre-approval is to contact a mortgage broker or bank and arrange an appointment. At this meeting, you will need to provide documentation such as payslips, tax returns, and bank statements. The mortgage broker will then assess your financial situation and tell you how much you’re eligible to borrow. It’s important to remember that just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean that you have to borrow the maximum amount.

Once you have your mortgage pre-approval in place, it’s time to start searching for your dream home! This can be an exciting time, but it’s important to remember to stay within your budget. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding a new home and overlook your financial limitations.

Finding the Right Solicitor for You

As with any legal process, it’s important to make sure that you have the right solicitor on your side when purchasing a property. Your solicitor will be responsible for handling all of the legal aspects of the purchase, from negotiating with the vendor’s solicitor to ensuring that all of the necessary documentation is in order.

When choosing a solicitor, it’s important to make sure that they are experienced in handling property purchases and sales. Your solicitor will also be able to inform you of any title or covenant issues regarding any properties you are looking at – eg.  if there is a right of way across the property, if there are specific covenants forbidding future development to the property, or if there are any rules or regulations concerning an apartment block or complex. Your solicitor should also complete conveyancing checks on the property to ensure there are no legal issues with the property that may cause you trouble down the line.

Read our previous blog, “Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation”, to find out what you should look for in a solicitor or, alternatively, reach out to Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors today.

Finding Your Home and Making an Offer

The next step is where the fun begins. From here you can start looking for your new home by attending viewings.  Once you’ve found a property that you’re interested in, it’s time to make an offer. In Ireland, the general process for making an offer is to formally make the offer to the estate agent handling the sale.. If the seller accepts your offer, you will be given a contract of sale. This is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of the sale. It’s important to have your contract of sale reviewed by your solicitor before you sign it.

Getting Mortgage Approval

Once you have a deposit saved and know how much you can afford to borrow, it’s time to start the mortgage approval process. In order to get approved for a mortgage, you will need to provide the lender with proof of your income, employment history, and outgoings. You will also need to undergo a credit check. This is important as it will give the lender an idea of your financial history and whether or not you’re a high-risk borrower. Your lender will also require you to obtain a Standard Surveyors Report or a Mortgage Valuation to ensure the price and standard of the property is consistent with the amount of the loan you have applied for. If you are purchasing a second-hand home, it is highly recommended that you organise a structural survey of the property to get a deep-dive into the integrity and quality of your potential new home.

The mortgage approval process can be lengthy, so it’s important to start it as early as possible. Once you have been approved for a mortgage, the lender will provide you with a Mortgage Offer Letter. This letter will outline the terms and conditions of your mortgage, as well as the interest rate and repayment schedule. It’s important to read this letter carefully and to make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing it.

Final Contracts

Once the valuation has been completed, the lender will issue a Loan Offer Letter. This letter will outline the final terms and conditions of your mortgage, as well as the interest rate and repayment schedule. Again, it’s important to read this letter carefully and to make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing it. It is even more important to have your solicitor read over it, ensure it is in order, and explain any particulars you may not understand.

The final stage of the process is known as completion. This is when the legal ownership of the property is transferred from the vendor to you. In order for completion to take place, your solicitor will need to receive the balance of the purchase price from you. They will then pay this amount to the vendor’s solicitor. Once this has been done, the keys to the property will be released to you and you will officially become the new owner!

Buying a house is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. There are a lot of things to consider before taking the plunge, but if you’re prepared and have done your research, then it can be a smooth and exciting process. Be sure to get advice from professionals, such as solicitors and mortgage brokers, and make sure that you understand all of the legal and financial aspects before signing any paperwork.

I hope this blog has helped to give you an idea of some of the things that you need to consider before buying a property in Ireland. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

Happy house hunting!

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Finding the Right Property Solicitor for Your Situation

Whenever you are looking at buying or selling a property in Ireland, it is important to have the right solicitor for your specific situation at your side. There are many things that go into a property transaction, and having a great solicitor can make the whole process much, much easier. Property law in Ireland can be complex and there are many things that need to be considered when making such an important transaction. You need a solicitor who has experience in this area and who can guide you through the process, ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the various things to consider when looking to find the right property solicitor in Ireland. We will talk about what makes a good solicitor, and what areas of expertise they should have. We will also discuss the financial aspects of buying and selling property in Ireland and give you some tips on things that you should know when making such a large purchase. So whether you are just starting to think about buying a property, or if you are in the final stages of completing a sale, read on for some helpful advice!

So You Need a Property Solicitor:

If you’re reading this blog, odds are you are in the market to hire a property solicitor. There are numerous reasons why an individual might seek the advice or guidance of a conveyancing solicitor – a conveyancing solicitor is simply a solicitor with specific expertise in the buying and selling of property. Maybe you are looking to buy your first home and need some assistance with the paperwork. Maybe you are selling a property and need someone to help finalise the sale. Perhaps you are renting out a property and need some legal advice on how to protect yourself as a landlord. Whatever your specific situation may be, it is important to find a solicitor who can provide you with the guidance and support that you need.

There are some situations where it might be okay to forgo hiring a solicitor. For example, if you are simply renewing a lease on a property that you have been renting for many years, there is no need to hire legal representation. However, if you are buying or selling a property, it is highly recommended that you seek out the services of a property solicitor.

There are many reasons why you might need the assistance of a property solicitor when buying or selling a property in Ireland. First and foremost, a good solicitor will have extensive knowledge of Irish property law. This is incredibly important, as there are many different laws and regulations that govern property transactions in Ireland. A solicitor will be able to advise you on all of the different legal aspects of buying or selling a property, ensuring that everything is done correctly and in accordance with the law.

Another reason to hire a solicitor is for their negotiating skills. When it comes to buying or selling a property, there are usually many different parties involved in the transaction, all with their own interests and agendas. A good solicitor will be able to navigate these different interests and help you to reach a favourable outcome for your specific situation.

Finally, a property solicitor can provide valuable advice on the financial aspects of buying or selling a property. They will be able to advise you on the different mortgage products available, as well as any other financial implications that might be relevant to your specific situation.

What Will Your Property Solicitor Do?

Before hiring a property solicitor, it is important to understand the typical tasks that a conveyancing solicitor will be responsible for when you are looking to complete a large property transaction.

First and foremost, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that all of the relevant paperwork is completed correctly. This includes things like drawing up a Contract for Sale when selling property, transferring title deeds, and dealing with any other legal documents that might be required in the process. Regarding the transfer of deeds, in Ireland there are two processes for dealing with the transfer of title documents – Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry. Your solicitor must know the difference between these systems and complete the correct checks and balances accordingly.

Your solicitor will also be responsible for liaising with different parties involved in the transaction, such as banks, estate agents, and other solicitors. This is an important role, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings or miscommunications throughout the process.

It is also the responsibility of your conveyancing solicitor to complete local council searches for you when you are buying a property. While a seller is obliged to inform you on specific details relating to the property – for example, property defects – the seller is not legally obliged to inform you on every single aspect of the property. This is why it is important that you find the right property solicitor who will complete all necessary searches into the property to ensure you are fully informed before signing any paperwork.

Finally, your solicitor will be responsible for ensuring that the transaction is completed in a timely manner. This includes things like chasing up any outstanding payments, dealing with any last-minute issues that might arise, and generally keeping the process moving forward.

The Pitfalls of Property Transactions:

The right conveyancing solicitor for you is a solicitor who has the experience and expertise to identify and anticipate all of the potential pitfalls and issues that could arise when completing a property sale or purchase. Employing a solicitor who can successfully navigate through the transaction by preempting and avoiding any negative outcomes is paramount when completing such an important transaction.

While hiring a property solicitor can help to make the process of buying or selling a property much smoother, there are still some potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of.

One of the biggest pitfalls that people can face when buying or selling a property is not understanding the process. This can often lead to people making mistakes or missing important deadlines, which can end up costing them a lot of money in the long run.

Another pitfall to be aware of is not having all of the relevant information before entering into a property transaction. This can often lead to people making decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information, which can again end up costing them a lot of money in the long run. This is particularly important when it comes to the relevance of the legal information a buyer or seller may possess at the time of the transaction. The law in Ireland is constantly evolving and changing and it is important that you choose a solicitor who is learned in the most recent legislation and is constantly updating their expertise and knowledge.

An additional risk to be aware of is the potential for delays. Even if everything is going smoothly, there can still be delays in the completion of a property transaction. This is often due to things like banks taking longer to process mortgages, or problems with the title deeds.

Finally, there is always the risk that something could go wrong and the transaction might not be completed successfully. This could be due to a number of different factors, including one of the parties changing their mind, or a problem with the paperwork. A good property solicitor will do everything in their power to ensure this doesn’t happen. Be it by vetting the other parties and offering sound advice, or understanding every aspect of each contract and the fine print contained within, a good solicitor works to put their client in the best position possible to ensure that the transaction is completed successfully.

While these risks might seem daunting, it is important to remember that they are relatively rare. As long as you take the time to choose a reputable property solicitor and do your due diligence throughout the process, you should be able to complete your transaction without any problems.

Here at Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors, we are experts in all aspects of conveyancing law. With over 40 years of experience under our belt, when it comes to property transactions, there isn’t a pitfall we haven’t already seen and dealt with in the past. Regardless of the obstacles that may be thrown your way, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Transaction’s Magnitude:

When looking for the right property solicitor for your situation, it is important to find someone who understands the magnitude of the transaction at hand. Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, and is one that will have long-lasting implications, especially if you are a first time buyer. You need to be sure that you are working with someone who knows the ins and outs of the process and can guide you through it smoothly.

Similarly, if you are selling your family home, you need to find a solicitor who understands the sentimental value of the property. They should be someone who is sensitive to your situation and can help to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Additionally, it is important that you find a solicitor with the expertise to handle all of the financial aspects of a large property transaction. This includes things like aiding you in your mortgage bid, calculating stamp duty and advising you on the amount of capital gains or other taxes owed when selling a property – note, capital gain tax is only applicable where the property being sold is not your main residence. They should also be able to advise you on the most efficient way to structure the deal in order to minimise your tax liability.

Local Knowledge

Finally, one of the most important qualities to look for when finding a good conveyancing solicitor is local knowledge. Not only will solicitors with good knowledge of the area you are looking to sell/purchase be able to advise you on things like local property prices, but they will also be aware of any potential problems that might arise with the property due to the location.

For example, if you are looking to buy a property in an area that is prone to flooding, a good solicitor will be able to advise you on the best way to protect yourself from this risk. Similarly, if you are looking to buy a property with the intention of developing or building an extension, they will be able to advise you on the likelihood of whether or not planning permission will be approved.

Additionally, by opting to work with a solicitor with a great local reputation and years of experience in the area, you can rely on the relationships they have built over the course of their career to ensure the transaction is completed smoothly. This is particularly relevant where your solicitor is likely to have relationships with the multiple vendors and third parties involved in the transaction – other party’s solicitor, auctioneer, engineer etc.

The name ‘Kevin O’Higgins’ is one that is known the country over in legal circles. Having previously acted as President of the Irish Law Society (2015) and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association (DSBA) (2009/10), Kevin has developed strong working relationships with a great number of legal and property professionals across Ireland and abroad.


While there are many things to consider when finding a good property solicitor, the most important thing is to find someone you can trust. This is a person who will be handling one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, so it is important that you feel confident in their ability to do so.

If you take the time to consider all of the factors outlined above, you should be able to find a property solicitor who is a good fit for your specific situation. Once you have found someone you are happy with, they will be able to guide you through the process and ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property, get in touch with Kevin O’Higgins Solicitors now.