Want to buy a house but don’t have a Deposit?

Buying A House

The following is for information purposes only: we do not give advice on mortgage applications.


If you’re a first-time home buyer without the means to raise a deposit, is the property market closed to you? Are all of your friends getting help from their parents but that simply isn’t an option for you? Having trouble understanding all of the legal ins and outs of mortgages, loans and government schemes? In a world where property prices keep on rising in an ever competitive market, it might be hard to ever imagine owning your own home.

Don’t despair, despite an unstable economic climate and the challenges of getting on that first rung of the property ladder, we might just have some ideas for you.

Can I buy a house without a deposit?

Strictly speaking, no. In Ireland, it’s not possible to buy a house without a deposit. However, there are two great options available. The first is a 90% mortgage, the second is a Help to Buy scheme run by the Irish government, specifically for people buying their first home. We’ll explore these two methods in more detail below, giving you information and advice on what the best option might be for you. We’ll also detail what’s not possible as well as giving you pointers on how to put yourself in the best position when considering a loan.

Can I get a 100% mortgage for a house in Ireland?

Currently, there are no 100% mortgage loans available in Ireland. This section will explain why this is the case, how much you can actually borrow and what factors to consider when thinking about how much to borrow. But first, let’s look at some of the words and acronyms we’ll be using when discussing mortgages. 

Mortgage Jargon Buster

  • Mortgage – A mortgage, or mortgage loan, is used by purchasers to raise funds to buy property. The mortgage is provided by a lender – most often a bank. 
  • Term of the Mortgage – The period of time the mortgage loan is payable for.
  • PDH, or Principal dwelling home. A home that you will live in yourself or with your family.
  • LTI, or Loan to Income. This is a ratio that money lenders will use to decide how much to let you borrow
  • LTV, or Loan-to-value, is a measurement used to determine how much mortgage you have in relation to how much your property is worth. This is normally a percentage figure that reflects the percentage of your property that is mortgaged, and the amount that is yours.
  • Equity – Home equity is the portion of the property that you truly “own.” If you borrowed money from a mortgage lender to buy the property, the lender owns part of the property until you pay off the loan.

What percentage of the property value can you borrow?

The Central Bank of Ireland recently introduced a set of rules or parameters that help mortgage lenders know how much to let you borrow. These rules also apply limits to mortgage lending by regulated financial services providers (lenders) in the Irish market.

These limits apply to both loan to value and loan to income measurements for principal dwelling homes (PDH). The limits are in addition to individual lenders’ credit policies.

Loan to Income (LTI) restrictions

A limit of 3.5 times gross annual income applies to all applications for a PDH. This means that all people applying for a mortgage to buy their own home can only borrow up to a maximum of 3.5 times their annual gross income.

Loan to value (LTV) restrictions

The limit on the LTV ratio for all first-time buyers is 90%. Previously, the rules allowed first-time buyers to borrow 90% up to €220,000 and 80% of the balance above €220,000. This is no longer the case. First-time buyers can now borrow up to 90% of the total value of a home, so will need a 10% minimum deposit

For more information, visit the Central Bank of Ireland’s website

How much can you afford to borrow?

When thinking about how much to borrow from a mortgage lender, consider factors that might affect your ability to pay back the loan. Job changes, having children and illness are all everyday examples of how personal finances can change over time. You may be tempted to try and borrow as much as you can but this might not be a wise decision in the long term.

It’s important to seek out advice on how much you can afford to borrow from a mortgage lender. Most financial services companies offer mortgage and loan advice but there are a few things you can do on your own before-hand. This will give you some knowledge on the subject before you speak to the experts.

Handy Tools:

  • Use this budget planner to work out what you can comfortably afford to repay each month. It may be helpful to include a regular estimate amount for ‘unforeseen expenses’ in your budget.
  • Use this mortgage calculator to work out the cost of your monthly repayments.

Your lender may offer you a smaller mortgage if you have other debts to pay. This might be personal loans, credit cards etc. They might even ask you to pay off pre-existing debt before they will approve you for a mortgage.

Depending on the length of term you decide to pay your mortgage loan off in, the repayments will differ. With a shorter-term mortgage, you will have higher monthly repayments. But because you are repaying the mortgage over a shorter time, you will pay less interest in total. With a longer term, you will have lower monthly repayments, but you will pay more interest over the term of the mortgage.

Use this mortgage calculator to compare monthly repayments for mortgages over different terms, and with different interest rates.

In conclusion, you can borrow up to 90% of the sum total of the cost of the property you’d like to buy. You’ll still need that 10% deposit though. Let’s look at a solution.

Help to Buy Schemes in Ireland

The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is specifically for first-time property buyers. It was introduced in January 2016. The HTB incentive helps first-time buyers to raise the deposit needed to buy or build a new house or apartment in Ireland.

An important fact to note is that the HTB scheme only applies to new builds and not previously owned houses or apartments. It also only applies to residential properties – a house that you live in. The first-time buyer must occupy the home for a period of five years from the date the property is habitable.

How does the HTB scheme work?

Essentially, when you buy or build your home, the HTB scheme will give you a refund on the Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT). The scheme allows purchasers to claim back a rebate on income tax or Deposit Interest Retention Tax (Dirt) on bank savings paid over the four years prior to the year they are buying or building their first home. If they have worked in Ireland for fewer than four years, or have paid only limited income tax, the amount available in any rebate will be lower.

This rebate of up to €20,000 is available to first-time buyers to help them purchase a new home in Ireland. It is worked out in the following way:

The amount that you can claim is the lesser of:

  • €20,000
  • 5% of the purchase price of a new home. For self-builds, this is 5% of the completion value of the property
  • The amount of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) you have paid in the four years before your purchase or self-build.

Crucially, scheme participants must take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the purchase price with a qualifying lender (or, for a self-build, 70% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider). The loan should be entered into solely by the first-time buyer and the lender. A guarantor on the loan is allowed.

The maximum rebate is 5 per cent of the value of the property, up to a maximum of €20,000 and is available only on properties valued at €500,000 or less. Applicants must be borrowing at least 70 per cent of the value of the property. First-time buyers can borrow up to 90 per cent of the value of the property, so the rebate means most first-time buyers will need a deposit of just 5 per cent to purchase a home property.

How will the refund be paid?

The rebate will be paid depending on your personal circumstances, what you are planning to buy or build and when this is happening or has happened. For further details on how you will receive the rebate and how to apply visit the Irish Tax and Customs website.

Conveyancing solicitors and the Help to Buy Scheme

A conveyancing solicitor’s role is essential in the claim process. They can help you through the claiming process. If you’ve decided to self-build a new house, your solicitor is required to verify the claim. Before a solicitor can verify a claim, he or she must first apply to Revenue to be a registered solicitor for the Scheme. The Solicitor, based on the information provided as part of the normal conveyancing process, needs to verify the following aspects of the claim:

  • The names of the first-time buyer(s)
  • The address of the property
  • The valuation/price (this is the approved valuation by the lender in accordance with the Central Bank Prudential rules)

If the information entered by the first-time buyer in the claim stage matches with the information verified by the registered solicitor, Revenue will approve the claim.

To find out how Gibson & Associates solicitors can help you with your HTB claim read about our conveyancing service.

Can I part-own a house in Ireland?

You may be wondering if you can part-own a house in Ireland. The answer, unfortunately, is no. The Shared Ownership Scheme ceased in 2016 and is not available for new applicants. The scheme was designed for people that could not afford to pay the total sum of the property all in one go. It was replaced by the Help to Buy Scheme.

The rules of the Shared Ownership Scheme continue to apply for people who used it to start buying a home. Find out more here.

Average deposit rates across Ireland

Now that we have established how you can finance buying property, let’s look at the average deposits across Ireland. It’s worth pointing out that average deposit costs vary widely depending on where the property is located. According to the Irish Central Bank rules implemented in 2016, first-time buyers must now provide a deposit worth 10% of the property’s asking price. This is compared to 20% for the rest of the market on anything more expensive than €220,000.

Here’s an idea of the average deposit amounts across the country (all numbers are taken from Daft.ie ’s 2017 3rd quarter report (available here.)

  • Donegal €14,249
  • Cork City €52,036
  • Limerick €16,986
  • Dublin (North County) €60695
  • Galway €54,359
  • Killkenny €20,732

Let’s recap…

  1. If you lack a significant deposit or don’t have the option to borrow from family, you can buy a house with the combined help of a high mortgage loan and the HTB scheme offered by the Central Bank of Ireland
  2. In Ireland, there are currently no shared ownership schemes for property
  3. Seek advice on the best way for you to borrow money from a mortgage lender.
  4. Do the research on how much it will cost you to live in your area of choice. Be prepared before you have a meeting with a financial services company. Use the helpful online tools to figure out how much you can afford to borrow at what rate.
  5. Use an experienced conveyancing solicitor when seeking legal advice on purchasing a home.

Gibson & associates is an Irish law firm with a difference. We always put you first and work tirelessly to get the best result for you.

Our experienced and empathetic solicitors tailor their service to your unique needs and keep you fully informed along the way. It’s not just about the results though; we want your experience with us from start to finish to exceed your expectations of a what a law firm is.

We take every measure to remove stress from your situation and to make dealing with us as easy as possible. Transparency is key – we make sure you are fully aware of the processes, the timeline and any costs involved, all without using legal jargon. See here for more information.

Don’t despair, despite an unstable economic climate and the challenges of getting on that first rung of the property ladder, we might just have some ideas for you.

The above is for informational purposes only: we do not offer advice on mortgage applications. For conveyancing quotes contact us below:

Good news for first-time buyers, or is it?


The Government has announced a new scheme offering a “realistic and affordable opportunity” of home ownership to hundreds of low and middle-income earners. The scheme is called the Rebuilding Ireland Loan.

What is the scheme?

The scheme is offering mortgage rates that are much lower than the average rates at banks. The borrower can choose a fixed rate of 2%-2.25% interest for 25 – 30 years; average bank rates for a ‘2-year fixed rate’ come in at 3% (moneyguideireland.com). The scheme allows more certainty of repayments over the lifetime of the loan, in other words, it will take the risk out of mortgage loans because the rate will be fixed for the duration of the loan.

In addition to the loan scheme, the new proposals include an Affordable Purchase Scheme, allowing the State to use State land to build thousands of affordable homes.

It will be available nationwide from local authorities from Thursday, 1st February 2018.

Who is it for? Who Qualifies

Aimed at prospective homeowners who don’t qualify for social housing; specifically, first-time buyers that might be struggling to obtain finance.  The loan can be used to buy new and second-hand properties or to build a house. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and have a gross income of not more than €50,000 for a single applicant or €75,000 as joint applicants.

How much do you get?

Under the scheme, a person or couple can borrow up to 90% of the market value of a home. On condition that your income does not exceed €50,000 for a single person or €75,000 for a couple.

The mortgages available can be used to buy a house valued at up to:

  • €320,000 in the greater Dublin area, as well as Cork and Galway
  • €250,000 in the rest of the country

For example, a person earning €40,000 a year and living in Mayo could afford to buy a house worth €224,920, provided they had the deposit of €22,400.

They could then borrow €198,000 from their local authority and their monthly repayments would be in the region of €858 a month, or 33 percent of their Net Disposable Income.

A couple earning €75,000 and living in Dublin could afford to buy a house worth €320,000, provided they had €32,000 as a deposit between them.

They could then borrow €288,000 from their local authority and the monthly repayments would be €1,221 or 24 percent of their Net Disposable Income (The Journal.ie)

What are the benefits?

The scheme is to help home-buyers, who might otherwise be locked out of the housing market, get their first home.

But on the downside, are there many available properties available in Dublin within the €320,000 price range? One housing expert was quick to critique the scheme stating that this will lead to elevated house prices by at least 10%, (Irishtimes.com). It would be worth keeping an eye on house prices over the next few months to see if this prediction materialises, if so, the ‘affordable’ may become the ‘unaffordable’. Last year’s Government Help-To-Buy scheme [a grant of €20,000], was offered to new builds only therefore not increasing overall house prices. Could this approach be taken again?

However, last year’s scheme had other expedients according to Pearse Doherty – figures released after the scheme showed that more than two-thirds of people whom successfully claimed could have afforded the 90% mortgage without the scheme’s help!

Many will argue that this is a meaningless token from the government, not addressing the problem of supply and instead causing a surge in demand. “While this change is welcome and long overdue, people can’t buy affordable homes that don’t exist” (The Labour Party’s Jan O’Sullivan). But regardless of these criticisms is any progress towards increasing home ownership, not a positive action?

Time Is Running Out For Businesses – we can help you become GDPR compliant


Time Is Running Out – Is Your Business GDPR Ready?

If you haven’t already heard about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or you’ve heard of it but your organisation has yet to prepare for the upcoming changes in rules, now is the right time to start. GDPR is a complete overhaul of the legal requirements which much be met by anyone involved in handling personal data of EU citizens, this includes employee records, customer information and client databases.  The stated aim of the regulation is to give citizen’s greater control over what can be done with their personal data by businesses.

What Are The GDPR Fines Or Punishment?

So the focus is on the GDPR and the penalties for non-compliance are eye-watering

  • Infringement of Articles 5, 6, 7 and 9 carries a penalty fine of up to €20M or up to 4% of the total global revenue of the preceding year, whichever is greater.
  • Infringement of Articles 8,11, 25-39, 42 and 43 carries a penalty fine of up to €10M or up to 2% of total global revenue of the preceding year, whichever is greater

In summary, we know that the GDPR is coming, that it will become law in May 2018, that it is important, that it should not be ignored and that there will be some pain if we fall short.

You need to comply to the GDPR.

Summary of current laws on Data Protection.

The current laws on Data Protection are the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003. Under those acts a Data Controller who obtains, stores and processes any data regarding a living individual on a computer or in a physical file is subject to the following obligations:

  1. To keep data secure at all times;
  2. To make sure data is kept accurate and up to date at all times;
  3. To ensure that the data maintained is relevant and not excessive;
  4. To obtain and process all data fairly;
  5. To retain data for one or more explicit and lawful uses;
  6. To use and disclose data in accordance with point 5 above;
  7. To retain data for no longer than necessary; and
  8. To furnish each data subject with a copy of their personal data on request.

When do the current laws on Data Protection change?

On the 25th of May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) comes into force.  The GDPR will revamp and overhaul the existing Data Protection laws in Ireland and will repeal previous legislation in this regard namely the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003.

What does this mean for you?

The GDPR will impose decidedly more obligations on enterprises and grant more rights in favour of data subjects/Individuals with respect to their data.

What specific obligations should you be aware of?

  1. Severe sanctions – Enterprises could potentially face fines of €20 million and 4% of total worldwide annual turnover for serious breaches.
  2. Consent – The GDPR will significantly raise the threshold for valid consent so that it is freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
  3. The definition of personal data is broadened to include online identifiers such as IP address, Cookies and RFID tags.
  4. Lawful Processing – The GDPR will make it harder for enterprises to fall within the existing justifications for processing data.
  5. Additional rights for Data subjects/Individuals – right to data portability, right to be forgotten, right to restrict the processing of date in certain circumstances and reduced timeframes for Data Protection requests.
  6. Mandatory obligation to designate a Data Protection Officer for certain organisations.
  7. Data Processors will be regulated and can be liable for claims taken by Data subjects/Individuals and for sanctions in terms of breaches of GDPR.
  8. GDPR requires a data controller to notify the Data Protection Commissioner of any breach without undue delay and within 72 hours where feasible, and in the case of Data subjects/Individuals without undue delay where there are risks to their rights and freedoms.
  9. The narrative of accountability permeates the GDPR. Organisations are required to implement data protection “by design” and “by default” which requires taking data protection risks into account when creating all new processes, products, and services.
  10. GDPR will apply to any enterprise which processes the personal data of Data subjects/Individuals of EU Citizens whether established in the EU or not.

What GDPR services do we offer?

At Gibson & Associates, our Solicitors have expertise in all aspects of Cyber & Privacy Laws, Reputation Management, and Data Protection Laws. We advise on compliance including conducting audits, drafting and redrafting of relevant contracts,  policies & procedures, data protection requests and the lawful use of image capture technology and other processing equipment.

  1. GDPR Health Check:

Following receipt of our completed pre-audit questionnaire, the GDPR Health Check phase can commence. This first phase is essentially an audit/risk assessment. It requires the identification of the scope and nature of your company, its business and data lifecycle from the entry point to exit/destruction.  We will also need to conduct a number of interviews along with auditing systems, processes and policies.  The areas to be covered by the audit and those specifically not covered need to be identified in the pre-audit questionnaire (e.g. finance, HR, etc.).

  1. The path to GDPR Compliance:

The output of this exercise is in response to the GDPR Health Check.  This phase will take the form of a recommendations Report or action plan to provide a path to become GDPR compliant.  This Report will list out the actions which should be taken, and where possible, a chronology of those actions.  It will also highlight how these actions, once taken, will bring compliance.  It will further highlight the risks associated with not implementing them.

  1. Drafting/Amending of GDPR Procedures & Policies:

This phase requires the completion of the GDPR Health Check and Path to GDPR Compliance.  The Path to GDPR Compliance phase will have identified what needs to be done in terms of processes, procedure, and policy.  The GDPR Health Check and Path to GDPR Compliance will have identified what needs to be reviewed and updated, or created, etc.  This phase may also be expanded to include the drafting/amending of existing employee/data processor contracts in light of GDPR.

  1. Outsourcing of DPO ROLE:

This option involves the outsourcing of the role of Data Protection Officer.  The outputs of this service will be the same as those of an internal DPO, save for the likelihood that this service will be provided in a more focused time period which of course is subject to your needs/preferences. It may be the case that this service is only necessary for a limited period.

What additional services do we provide for Data Controllers/Data Processors?

The preparation of responses to requests under Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 or GDPR.

The preparation of responses to complaints from the Data Protection Commissioner.

The appealing of Enforcement Notices in Circuit Court served by the Data Protection Commissioner.


What additional services do we provide for Data subjects/Individuals?

Reputation Management.

Carrying out requests under Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 or GDPR.

Carrying out of complaints to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Advice on the right to Privacy under the Irish Constitution.

If you want to make sure your business is data compliant – make an enquiry below, and we will contact you back

We’re Hiring!

We're Hiring

“We work hard to deliver on our Mission, Culture, and Values and as a result, we’re growing rapidly.  This is an ideal time to join our team!  We are looking for people who are, frankly, amazing!  You will thrive on working with similarly amazing colleagues and you will actively seek out autonomy and take ownership.”

Applications are now open for two job opportunities in Gibson and Associates Solicitors. The roles are an Office Operations Manager and a Receptionist for our Letterkenny office. The closing date for applications is the 29th January 2018 send your CV to careers@gibsonandassociates.ie

Office Operations Manager (Reporting to Operations Director)

The position of Office Operations Manager is based in Letterkenny. As Office Operations Manager, you will take an in-depth and leading hands-on role across all areas of multi-location office management and across all areas of our Operations.  You will be the first port of call for a range of key corporate services – such as HR, Accounts, Telecoms and ICT oversight.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Staff Management & Motivation
  • Performance Management
  • Reporting
  • Capacity Management
  • Process Management, Review, Improvement


  • Facilities Management
  • Setting standards and expectations
  • Supplier support agreements and SLAs
  • Insurances and renewals

Essential Skills:

  • Communication – verbal & written
  • Time Management
  • People Management
  • Organisation
  • Process Implementation and Process Improvement
  • Software Packages – in particular, MS Excel, MS Word

Essential Experience:

  • At least 2 years’ experience in a similar role.

You will be able to show us that you’re hard working, enthusiastic and motivated.  You can clearly demonstrate your passion and approach for getting the best from those around you.  Alongside outstanding communication and time management skills, you have great attention to detail.

If you can demonstrate you’re the right person for either job, with the right mix of experience, skills, and ability – and if you’re ready to take on a new challenge and help us continually improve what we do and how we do it…send your CV to careers@gibsonandassociates.ie

The closing date for applications is 29th January 2018.

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How to Buy Auction Property in Ireland

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, moving up the ladder or looking to invest your savings in a buy-to-let, purchasing property at auction can be a great option.

Auctions offer so many opportunities and benefits for property buyers. However, there is also an air of mystery surrounding the finer legal details, bidder etiquette and potentially tricky financial implications that can cause worry and stress. A reluctance to see auctions as anything but a safe and viable way to buy is only to be expected.

Auctions are just one of many ways to buy property. In this guide, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about buying a property at auction in Ireland with some helpful do’s and don’ts around the process.

Remember, it’s always wise to do the research and understand your options before diving in. At Gibson & Associates, we’ve got you covered with all the information you might need.

You can use the below quick links to go directly to the different sections of the guide:

Why should I buy property at auction?

In short, auctions can be a simple, speedy and stress-free way to buy property. They are also a fantastic way to get a property at a lower price.

Auctions are great for people looking for unusual properties that estate agents wouldn’t know how to sell. If no one else has noticed its potential, you could find a bargain. Property at auction can be up to 30% cheaper than those bought through a regular sale.

If you win the bidding you have bought the property. It’s as simple as that. Often, purchasing through an estate agent is a nerve-wracking process fraught with potential pit-falls. The possibility of being pipped at the post by a more attractive last-minute offer is an ever-present threat. At an auction, you can see the people you are bidding against in real time; a bidder is able to nimbly react to counter bids.

Unlike other buying methods, the race to get your bid in first does not apply to an auction. All bidders operate from a level playing field making the process more transparent and fair.

Another benefit of buying at auction is that deals don’t fall through due to protracted delays from other parties or breakdowns in communication. All negotiations play out in the bidding.

Auctions offer flexible methods of bidding (by proxy, by phone or online). Attending an auction event in person is still the most popular way to buy property under the hammer but technology is increasingly providing other options.

INTERESTING: Used by some estate agents the modern method of auction allows buyers to bid on a property online. The buyer will pay a non-refundable reservation fee, but will have a longer completion timescale, giving the buyer time to sort mortgage finance.

Finding auction properties in Ireland

DO: your homework.

Decide on the area you’re interested in and contact the auction houses that cater to that area, then ask for a catalogue and subscribe to their mailing list. For a list of upcoming property auctions In Ireland, visit Myhome.ie.

Alternatively, you can find out when there are going to be auctions by reading specialist property magazines and newspapers, as well as asking local estate agents – or looking on the websites of some of the big auction houses.

Auction houses in Ireland:

Before every auction, a catalogue of the properties up for sale will be published. You will usually have between two and four weeks between the publication of an auction catalogue and the sale.

Study the catalogue and make a shortlist of properties you’re interested in. Then contact the auctioneers and arrange an appointment to view the properties. Arrange viewings and, if possible, take a builder or architect with you as this will be a great chance to view and superficially survey the property.

A property auction timeline

  1. Contact auction houses and read auctioneer magazines or websites, ask for property brochures
  2. Work out how much you can afford – use online tools, pull together deposits, research mortgages
  3. Find a property that is within budget and meets your requirements.
  4. Organise viewing appointments for the properties that you are interested in
  5. Contact a chartered surveyor
  6. Find and instruct a solicitor to do the potential legal work
  7. Attend a property auction and make a bid
  8. If you win, pay the deposit on the day with the remainder to be paid up to a month afterwards

Can I get a survey for auction properties?

Chartered surveyors can undertake surveys of the property for sale as long as the auction house allows access prior to the auction. Sometimes they will post a key to the surveyor, in other cases access is limited to a prearranged viewing appointment. External assessments can be made independently of both of the above situations.

INFORMATION: What’s a building survey?

A building survey is an inspection carried out to get an idea of the general condition of a property. A building survey can take different forms and be carried out by various professionals, but it is very important that the professional you do hire is experienced and competent. A building survey will identify any obvious defects that would ordinarily be missed by the untrained eye, and report on these to the client whilst also outlining recommendations.

Chartered Surveyors typically offer two types of survey. The choice of survey will depend on the age, type and condition of the subject property.

Homebuyer reports can be undertaken in two parts; the inspection and an email summary in advance of the auction with a full written report to follow if the bidder is successful. The summary would typically include the key points including structural movement, dampness and timber defects.

Make sure you know what you’re buying – a homebuyer’s report cost will depend on the conveyance solicitor you hire. A structural survey will also be an added cost, too. You’ll lose any money you have spent if you decide not to buy the property or if your bid is unsuccessful

In addition, a Solicitors Pre-Auction Report (SPAR) will:

  • provide insight into the legal state, mortgagability and registrability of the property
  • offer practical and cost-effective legal and indemnity insurance-based solutions

SPAR is a thorough report carried out by an auction specialist solicitor that gives buyers:

  • awareness of legal issues that could impact the value of the property and pre-auction advice about the options and costs of remedying these issues
  • an understanding of the quality of the legal title
  • reassurance that the property will be registrable at the Land Registry in the buyer’s name
  • reassurance that the property meets the mortgage lender’s criteria (where relevant)
  • an understanding of the contract that the buyer will enter into

Try to treat buying a property at auction the same as any other property purchase – make sure you do all the same checks and preparations. Arrange viewings and consider the level of help you might need.

Financial aspects to consider

How much does buying property at auction cost?

A bidder may have to pay an administration fee to the auction house in order to take part. This is normally a registration or subscription fee. Contact your nearest property auction house for specific costings.

  • Solicitor or conveyancer fees will apply if you want to use these services
  • Stamp duty (consult your auction conveyancing solicitor for guidance on costs)
  • On signing the contract you’ll be responsible for insuring the property
  • VAT might be payable depending on the type of property you are bidding on (consult your auction conveyancing solicitor for guidance on costs)

Property auction guide prices

DON’T: rely on the guide price (the advertised price) Instead, ask local estate agents and neighbours for their opinions and compare it with other properties on sale locally. This will give you a realistic “ball-park” price to consider when you go to auction.

To attract potential buyers the guide price is usually set at a lower cost than what the property is likely to be sold for.

DO: monitor the guide price on the run-up to the auction because if it goes up this might mean there is a lot of interest in the property.

How can I finance buying property at auction?

Much like buying properties through more traditional methods you can arrange mortgages or loans to help you pay for the rest of the property. It is very important to be as organised as possible prior to the auction as proceedings can develop very quickly.

DO: have a mortgage agreement in principle arranged first if this applies to you.

If you’re worried about getting the finance in time, it may be worth thinking about taking out a bridging loan to tide you over until you get the mortgage. A bridging loan helps to cover a gap between payments due and money becoming available.

This type of short-term loan normally only takes about 10 days to arrange, quicker than a typical residential mortgage.

Do I need legal help when purchasing properties at auction?

Auction Property Conveyancing

Although conveyancing is much more straightforward with auction properties, it’s still important to have professional legal help. An experienced solicitor in conveyancing, in particular around properties won at auction, is highly recommended.

In lay-man’s terms, conveyancing is the transfer of property from one person to another. This includes dealing with the relevant business arrangements in the exchanging of legal documents and fees incurred. An auction conveyancing solicitor will help you negotiate any of those fees in order to get you the best deal possible.

Gibson & Associates are an Irish law firm with extensive conveyancing experience. Our property auction solicitors provide the peace of mind you need when buying or selling a property. Find out more here.

The legal pack

Auctioneers can give you a legal pack (on request) for properties you’re interested in before the auction. This includes the title deeds, local authority and environmental searches, fixtures-and-fittings list and a seller’s information form, plus any relevant leasehold information.

However – consider asking a solicitor to look over this for any hidden covenants or loopholes that could end up costing you more than you bargained for.

What do I need to bring to a property auction?

Let’s look at what you’ll need on the day and what actually happens when you attend a property auction.

  1. Most importantly, if you intend to bid, you will need to be able to pay a 10% deposit of the total fee. The remainder is then payable 20 to 30 days later. You can use cash, a debit card or a banker’s draft.

IMPORTANT: if you can’t pay the remainder you will lose the 10% as well as the chance of buying the house. You may also have to cover the costs of re-selling the property, as well as any shortfall between the price you agreed and the final selling price

  1. Two forms of valid photo ID with proof of your current address (passport, utility bill or driving license)
  2. Details of your solicitor
  3. Proof that you can afford the 10% deposit.

Bidding at a property auction

How to Bid at a Property Auction

Contrary to the way that auctions are portrayed in Hollywood films or daytime television, auctions are a much more relaxed affair than some people imagine. Scratching your ear or repositioning your glasses won’t land you in hot water with an astronomical bid on a property way above your budget.

When the auctioneer suggests a bidding price, clearly raise your hand to signal that you are making a bid. Respond accordingly as the auction progresses.

DO: know your budget and how far you are willing to exceed that to secure the property you want.

DON’T: get carried away and spend all of your budget on a ‘do’er upper’.

The auctioneer may then clarify who made the bid by referring to some identifier such as “the lady with spectacles” or “the gentleman in the blue jacket.”

If you’ve made a mistake simply shake your head, or approach one of the auctioneer’s assistants. Immediately after the auction, the bidder will be asked to sign contracts and pay a non-refundable deposit.

Auctions can be very exciting, some might find them frightening. In both cases, it’s best to make sure you can play it cool on the day.  

Property Auction Etiquette

A property auction is a very civilised affair. Basic good behaviour rules apply. Auction events are run in an orderly manner. Bidders and auction staff are expected to interact with each other in a respectful way. Auction assistants are there to help if you have a question or a problem.

To recap: here are our top tips for purchasing property at an Irish auction:

  • Be prepared. Have your finances in order before the big day.
  • Go and watch a few auctions and get to know how they work.
  • Try to do as much research on the properties up for sale in the auction beforehand.
  • Know your maximum bid limit. Once the hammer falls you are legally obligated to make the purchase…
  • On the day of the auction, arrive early and make sure you have a good place in the auction room so that the auctioneer can see you and your involvement in the bidding process.
  • Do not be pressurised into making bids that you are not comfortable with or cannot afford.
  • Seek professional advice from a surveyor, auctioneer or/and a solicitor about buying property at auction in Ireland.

About Gibson & Associates

We’re an Irish law firm serving the whole country from our offices based in Dublin & Letterkenny. Our property solicitors have a depth of experience in successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway and from Cork to Donegal.

To find out about or conveyancing package get in touch with our experienced legal team today by sending us an email here.



Have you been affected by a Data Breach?

Gibson Solicitors Data Breach

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has hit headline news this week by admitting to a major data breach which involved details of over 3,000 staff. The Irish Independent first broke the news after a woman contacted the newspaper to report an incident claiming that the CSO had sent her P45 in error to someone else.

A statement from the Central Statistics Office confirms that “…between November 10 and 14, 2017, as a result of an administrative error, personal P45 information relating to 3,000 former employees was disclosed via email to four individuals, in breach of the Data Protection Acts…. The CSO immediately notified the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) of the breach and the individuals affected have been informed by letter.” Source: The Independent.ie.

It doesn’t stop there…  Step forward Bank of Ireland. On Nov 24th, The Irish Times reported that Bank of Ireland staff pay details were mistakenly circulated internally. The bank confirms that pay and benefit(s) information of 110 employees was mistakenly sent to ten senior managers. Bank of Ireland made a notification to the Data Protection Commissioner after the accidental release of the sensitive staff information, some of which was searchable by people outside the organisation.

Other recent and interesting cases involve information relating to 550 AIB customers that was found in a bag and handed into a local business in Spidéal, Galway! Another case, on a major infringement scale, involved well known driver-on-demand company Uber. Information pertaining to 57 million users and drivers worldwide was stolen in 2016.  Not only are the numbers, in this case, staggering – the most notable aspect was Uber’s mishandling of the incident which has resulted in lawsuits filed against the company. What is your view, are data breach incidents on the rise or are we simply becoming more aware of them?

But on a positive note, Europe is experiencing a turning point when it comes to the regulation of personal data. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on the 25th of May 2017, this will result in stricter privacy laws for companies. If you would like to find out more about the GDPR and what this means for you, the Data Protection Commissioner have released a useful guide for individuals and organisations GDPR and You.

What is an employee data breach?

An employee data breach is an incident that results in any unauthorised access to data, this includes, but not limited to, cyber-attacks and lost/stolen information. Last year, a survey conducted by Irish Computer Society (ICS) revealed that almost 61% of organisations experienced some form of data breach; more than ‘50% of the incidents’ were caused by staff misplacing records. If an organization’s response to a data breach is handled incorrectly, employees could file a class action lawsuit!

What do to if you think that your personal data may have been compromised?

Firstly, it is advisable to contact the Data Protection Commissioner, contact details can be found on www.dataprotection.ie. Include any evidence/support communication between you and the organisation. If the complaint is valid, you may be entitled to compensation, in that case, it is best to seek legal advice.

If you believe that your data rights have been ignored, get in touch with our experienced and friendly team today!



Visit us at www.GibsonAndAssociates.ie

Call Gibson & Associates: 1890 989 289

Celebrating Ireland’s “Public-Sector Heroes”: Nominate Yours

Ireland is blessed with thousands of public sector workers who strive to make our country a better place. From the dedicated staff of the HSE through to the Garda the fire service, the civil service and local authorities…these are the people who work long hours to make sure we stay safe, secure, healthy and generally looked after.

At Gibson & Associates, we want to recognise and celebrate these people. That’s why we’re launching our “Public-Sector Heroes” competition.

We’re giving you the opportunity to nominate the important people in your life who work in the Irish public sector. We want to hear your inspiring stories about the real people who contribute to making Ireland what it is. It’s a chance to celebrate their commitment and achievements.

Why the competition?

It’s no secret that the Irish public sector faces enormous challenges. Every other week there’s a news story highlighting the problems faced by the public sector, including the difficult and often dangerous conditions public sector workers are forced to work in.

At Gibson & Associates, we understand that these working conditions can make what are already incredibly stressful jobs even more difficult. This competition is our way of reaching out to public-sector workers across Ireland, highlighting the good that they do day-in-day-out. We want to make them feel as appreciated and acknowledged as they deserve.

How to get involved

If you’re lucky enough to know a public-sector worker who you think deserves to be celebrated, share their story with us on Facebook.

To nominate someone, simply tag your public-sector hero in the comments of our Facebook competition post:

Plus, if you want to, you can also tell us a little bit about why they should win. Maybe there’s a specific story you want to share about their achievements? Let us know!  It can focus on one particular event or simply their day-to-day commitment to the cause.

We’ll regularly share the comments with the most inspiring stories, and the comment with the most likes at the end of the competition at 5 pm on Monday 8th January will be crowned the ultimate Public-Sector Hero.

What’s the prize?

We want all public-sector workers to feel appreciated, valued and to know that people are aware of how important their jobs are. By giving you the opportunity to nominate your Public Service Hero and shout out about their achievements – we hope we can do just that.

For one lucky winner, there’s more. The Public-Sector worker who receives the most Facebook likes will receive a luxury hotel weekend break for two, giving them and a companion a chance to really relax and unwind.

Start nominating your Public-Sector Hero now! It’s time to get involved. We can’t wait to hear all about the amazing people who work hard to keep our families and country safe.

About Gibson & Associates

Gibson & Associates is a law firm with a difference. Based in Dublin and Letterkenny, we service the whole of Ireland with one simple mission: to put you first and work tirelessly to get the best result for you.

Profit Before People? Kobe Steel Falsify Data on Strength of Materials

hitachi staff cutting steel

It has emerged that Japanese company Kobe Steel has been falsifying data around the strength of its metal products – and has been doing so for up to a decade.

The global company recently announced that the thickness of just over 3500 tonnes of steel “had been fabricated”, along with the durability of its aluminum, and copper products. While the company have stated that there: “shouldn’t be a problem with safety”, the scandal has caused concern among both consumers and manufacturers.

So, at Gibson & Associates, we’re asking the questions on everyone’s minds: Are we at risk? What does this mean for Irish consumers? Why has this happened? And who is truly responsible for this outrage?

What’s the Risk to Consumers?

Kobe Steel provides metal materials for major car, train and aeroplane manufacturers, so it’s understandable that consumer safety is a major concern. Latest reports have suggested that as many as 500 companies may have used falsely certified Kobe steel, including Boeing and Airbus, along with several global car manufacturers.

However, Kobe Steel and the manufacturers who use their materials have insisted that there’s been no risk to consumer safety. Boeing even suggested that it does not consider the shocking revelations as a safety issue, but stated that it may raise compensation costs with Kobe Steel further down the line.

Why did this happen?

While it seems for now that there’s been minimal risk to human safety, it’s still very clear that Kobe Steel has behaved negligently – and it could have easily been a different story.

And for what cause? Sadly, speculation suggests cost-cutting and high-profit targets have a big role to play in this scandal, resulting in corners being cut on quality control. With the company dealing with a low cash flow over the last few years, they’ve opted to cut corners potentially directly impacting thousands of unknowing consumers.

Profit before People

Whichever way it’s painted, the Kobe scandal is a shocking revelation. With such a large global presence and a direct impact on a huge number of consumer-facing companies, Kobe Steel have acted in a way that has the potential to put human life at risk in order to keep their own pockets lined.

Sadly, this is not the first-time numbers have taken priority over human safety, and we doubt it will be the last. However, as more people from all industries start to hold those we rely on accountable for their actions – we hope stories like this will become less common.

10 Inspiring Irish Start-Ups to Watch in 2016/17

Ireland is the place to be if you’re looking to start up a business.

Buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit and awash with big international investors, our little country has recently seen an influx of savvy individuals burst out of the recession with fresh and innovative business ideas.

In 2014, Gibson & Associates took a look at some of the talented entrepreneurs emerging in and around Dublin. Two years later, and we’re back to see what’s changed, re-visiting some of the businesses we met then, and discovering some fresh ones too.

So, get ready to be inspired. It could be your business here in 2018!


intiafy logo

Initiafy was born in Dublin in 2012, and since its launch, the company has experienced some really impressive growth.

As a leading supplier of on-boarding software, offering software specifically tailored for contractors and temporary employees, Initiafy has found a niche that is in demand and profitable.

As well as Ireland, the company now has offices located in the UK, the Netherlands, New York and Toronto, and boasts customers across the globe, with tens of thousands of workers hired through Initiafy every month.

Initiafy say the secret to their success is focus. “We focus on one thing and we do it really well. The Initiafy platform is the best in the world at helping you manage the initial steps of your contingent workforce. We have remained steadfast on one core product and continuously improving it.”

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2. Laundrie

laundrie logo

Laundr.ie is ‘Dublin’s first on-demand laundry and dry cleaning delivery service’, and was started by Evan Gray in June 2015.

The app offers a same day pick-up laundry delivery service throughout Dublin, with free pick up and delivery on all orders over 20 euros.

And the app seems to have gone from strength to strength, with 5 people now working with the start-up.

Commenting on how he’s built the company so far, Evan Gray, Founder of Laundrie, told us, “Fortunately we have a great infrastructure here with support through EI & LEO,” adding, “Our government is very good at reducing red tape and making starting your business very accessible. This isn’t always the case in Europe.”

But Evan is quick to add that despite support from the Irish government, starting a business isn’t all fun and games. “ You have to appreciate the work that is involved and the strain this will put on all aspects of your life.” Evan told us, “Don’t do it unless you are 100% committed because it is not a job – it will take over your life and no point in wasting time unless you are willing to see it through!”

But Evan has faith in the Irish community, adding, “Irish people are very quick to adopt new technologies and are extremely entrepreneurial.”

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3. Little Vista

little vista

Little Vista started as an idea jotted on the back of a napkin in 2013, and now, only 3 years later, the company boasts a team of 14 in their central Dublin office.

The cloud-based web software for early education care aims to disrupt the childcare sector, offering a tablet based childcare tool that simplifies the process of activity recording, eliminates paperwork, connects parents, and frees up child-carers to focus on caring for children, rather than admin and paperwork.

The team also offers a learning hub that helps parents and practitioners alike learn to use their software, and the company already has several clients already.

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4. Gaybrhood


Since being launched in 2015 by Chris Fildes and Danny Lane, Gaybrhood has already taken the world by storm, with the app now available in Belfast, London, Manchester, Sydney, New York and San Francisco. However, despite it’s global success, its roots are fully secured in Dublin.

Gaybrhood, a real-time city guide that caters for the LGBT market, gives an up to date commentary on what’s going on in the LGBT community in a range of popular cities.

Co-creator Danny is proud of how far the business has come over the last year, telling us, “Gaybrhood is aimed at an international audience and our goal is to become a one-stop shop for any gay traveler no matter where they are in the world. We’ve just come through a year where the passing of the Marriage Equality Referendum last year put Ireland on the map. I think showing that a startup that is openly gay can grow and develop in Ireland is yet another great sign of how far we have come and might be of encouragement to other LGBT businesses both in Ireland and in countries where gay rights are less progressive.”

Danny also thinks that Ireland is a great place for start-ups, explaining, “There’s a great energy in Ireland at the moment when it comes to start-ups. Ireland has always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, but as a nation, we can be quite shy about our achievements.”

He continued, “But that has changed over the last ten years. With the help of state and local authority-funded programmes and an energetic friendly start-up community the digital start-up scene has blossomed. This has definitely given people a new confidence to take the jump and start out on their own.”

And Danny thinks that other countries shouldn’t judge our little Island on it’s size. “For a small country we definitely punch above our weight when it comes to the creation of start-ups. While larger countries might have certain advantages due to their size, Ireland has used it size to create a thriving start-up community, which is easy to break into and become part of.”

And for any budding entrepreneur looking to get things started, Danny has some simple, but direct advice: “Get out there and talk to people.”

“Starting a new business can be daunting, especially if you have a great idea but do not know how to make it a reality. There are so many people out there who are more than willing to help. Whether it’s getting in contact with the NDRC or popping in for a pint at the Silicon Drinkabout, there is always someone at hand that can steer you in the right direction.”

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5. Jibbr


Jibbr is a social tech startup, aiming to keep you and your friends in the loop with any type of social goings ons. So, whether there’s a big event in the pipeline, or if it’s just for a couple of drinks on a weekend, the jibbr app aims to make it as easy as possible to communicate plans to the masses.

The idea for the app came after it’s makers decided that more traditional tech platforms didn’t provide a seamless way of communicating as a big group. They designed Jibbr to challenge the method of group messages often used on Whatsapp and Facebook messenger, arguing that in the noise of a group conversation, messages get lost and details get missed. With their carefully planned design, they hope to make communication as part of a big group easier than ever before.

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6. OPSH.com

opshThe story behind one of the biggest ecommerce websites to come out of Ireland so far is a story of Irish, entrepreneurial blood.

The Mc Ginn sisters, Sarah, Grace and Jennie, started OPSH with a vision to connect all major clothes vendors, allowing customers to buy clothes and accessories from a whole range of shops and outlets, without having to leave one website. And that website is opsh.com.

The sisters say that they’re at “the forefront of Ireland’s newly booming tech start,” a generation of young entrepreneurs bursting out of the recession with new ideas backed by big international investors. They’ve won awards, moved into the UK and are now seeking global domination.

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7. Nuritas


It’s not just tech start ups making waves in Ireland. The Irish entrepreneurial spirit has even reached the food industry.

Nuritas, a Dublin based food ingredients company, claims to be ‘revolutionizing the discovery of novel and natural active ingredients with scientifically proven health benefits.’

More simply, the company hopes to provide natural, sustainable and scientifically proven health solutions, by unlocking ingredients from food sources in a completely unique way.

Its’ disruptive approach to ingredient extraction combines artificial intelligence and DNA analysis to data-mine billions of molecules, allowing Nuritas to rapidly and efficiently provide access to the most health-benefiting components within foods, called bioactive peptides

And it’s these peptides, currently the subject of pending patent applications, that could provide unique solutions for the maintenance of health and wellness, including anti-inflammatory activity, antimicrobial activity, muscle recovery enhancement, skin anti-aging solutions, and the potential management of blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics.

The company hopes that these ‘dynamic peptides’ have a vast range of applications in multiple industries including functional and medical foods, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and cosmetics and personal care.

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8. Currency Fair

currency fair

Currency Fair, an Irish start up now making waves worldwide, were also featured in our 2014 article. The company has gone from strength to strength, and now has offices in Australia and the UK, as well as their original Dublin office.

The idea behind the business is to offer a ‘fairer’ way to send and receive money from abroad, challenging the expensive conversion rates offered by the mainstream banks. CurrencyFair charges 0.35% of any transaction, along with a fixed fee of €3, a highly competitive rate when compared with many other fees on the market.

With a large team already, the company plans to move into the USA and continue their bank challenging work from there.

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9. Stint Ireland

stint ireland logo

Know anyone who fancies doing a stint in Ireland? Well, the lovely bunch behind Stint Ireland are the best people to help them get the most out of their stay in our beautiful country.

The Dublin start up offers young people from overseas the opportunity to gain ‘international experiences’ in Ireland, by helping them to find individually crafted internships or places of study. The team also assists with finding housing, transport, visas and insurance.

The company also featured in our 2014 article, but since then, a lot has changed for the start up.

“Besides our constant scrutiny of our customer journey to improve every interaction with our program participants, we’ve also implemented internal systems to optimize our workflow.” Explained marketing manager, Jeffrey Shiau.

“Many companies find themselves bogged down by things like inefficient databases, communication channels, and project management procedures. The longer you put off solving these problems, the harder it’ll be to solve them in the future when you’ve grown and taken on more staff,” he explained, adding, “It’s important to think, how will this look in 5 years, when we have X number of staff?”

He added that one of the keys to successfully starting up a business is a great team, explaining, “Startup teams are small. That’s just the way it is. So it’s important that each person on that team carries their weight, working towards a collective vision. That kind of culture has to start with an open and forward thinking leader. We’re fortunate to have that in Melanie, our founder and managing director.”

However, Jeffrey thinks that planning and keeping focused on your goals is also key to the success of a company.

“Imagine this, you’re hiking through the woods and all you know is that where you want to go is somewhere to the north,” Jeffery tells us, “You keep hiking in that general direction, hoping to reach your destination. Maybe you’ll make it. Chances are, you won’t! Now, if you take the time to plan out your journey ahead of time. Identifying checkpoints along the way. We’ll pass by this lake, this valley, this river, etc. Each time you check off a point, you’ll feel like you’ve made progress.”

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10. Food Cloud

food cloud logo

We wrote about Food Cloud two years ago, and just like the other companies we’ve revisited, a lot has happened since 2014.

The company was set up by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien, two women who met at an event in February 2012. They bonded over a love of food and a distaste for waste, so put their brains together and created Food Cloud, a service that allows a food store to donate its left over food to a local charity.

By June 2012, they facilitated the first donation from the Honest 2 Goodness farmers market in Glasnevin to the charity, Don Bosco Teenage Care. Then, after researching business and charity needs, Food Cloud invested in technology to make the process sustainable, and in June 2014 they launched a national partnership with Tesco to roll out to every store across Ireland.

But now, FoodCloud is taking the world by storm, expanding in the UK in partnership with FareShare and Tesco with an aim to provide their service to 1000 Tesco stores by December 2016.

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Gibson & Associates Sponsor 4 Week GAA Fundamentals Course


Come and join the Gibson & Associates team for a FREE 4 week GAA Fundamentals Course.

We’re sponsoring a FREE 4 week GAA Fundamentals Course.

Junior and Senior infants can get a free 1-hour session with experienced coaches!

So, if your kids are in junior and senior infants, come and join the Gibson & Associates Team at the Termon GAA Pitch, Co. Donegal. The first session is this Saturday the 3rd September at 10:30am. See the flyer below for information.

Gibson & associates sponsor GAA course