A cash lump sum of €2,000 is available to regular savers with the bank who meet certain rules and criteria.
With rents at record highs and property prices continuing to spiral out of the reach of many first-time buyers, getting the money together for a house deposit is far easier said than done.
So anything which makes the task even slightly easier to achieve has to be a good thing in our opinion.
Which is why Ulster Bank’s Home Saver offer is something all prospective home buyers should know about.
What’s the offer?
If you’re a first-time buyer who opens a savings account with Ulster Bank you could potentially receive a cash lump sum of €2,000 to help towards your mortgage deposit.
This money is in addition to the €1,500 cash lump sum first-time buyers also currently receive when they take out a mortgage with Ulster Bank.
Here's how it works
- Open a Home Saver account with Ulster Bank - you can apply online or in your local Ulster Bank branch
- Save a minimum of €1 to €2,500 per month for at least six consecutive months by means of a regular standing order
- Build up savings of at least €10,000
- Use the funds in your Home Saver account to purchase your new home with an Ulster Bank mortgage
As mentioned, the offer is only available to first-time buyers and you must draw down your mortgage within 36 months of opening your account.
As you need to build up savings of at least €10,000, this means saving a minimum of close to €300 a month on average over the three years. Although there's nothing to stop you squirrelling away the €10,000 in just six months or a year if you’re able to!
Interest is also paid on any savings in addition to the two grand you could receive, though given how low rates are at the moment it won’t be much!
There’s an interest rate of 0.85% on savings up to €25,000 and an interest rate of 0.15% on savings from €25,001 to €100,000 (paid annually in October).
However DIRT will also need to be paid on any interest you make, as well as on the €2,000 cash lump sum. The rate of DIRT is now 33%, which is down from 41% only a few years ago but hardly an insignificant amount.
There's something somewhat ironic and disjointed about a government trying to help first-time buyers through things like the help-to-buy scheme on the one hand, and then crippling them with punitive tax rates on their savings for a home on the other...but we'll leave that argument for another day!
Getting your deposit together
While getting a cash lump sum of €2,000 will definitely help towards saving for your deposit, you're going to need far more money if you’re to have any hope of getting on the property ladder unfortunately.
Compare with bonkers.ie
Cashback offers and various other deals always pique people’s interest but it’s really important to consider the interest rate you’ll be paying on your mortgage too.
You’ll usually be stuck paying back your mortgage for 20 or even 30 years so being on the lowest rate possible is always wise as your mortgage is one bill you don’t want to overpay on.
Thankfully Ulster Bank’s rates are also among the lowest in the Irish market at present and they have the lowest fixed rates over four and seven years.
However it’s a good idea to compare all rates across all providers before you commit, which you can do easily on bonkers.ie with our mortgage calculator.
Let's hear from you!
Are you a first-time buyer who's on the road to getting your first home? How are you finding the home buying journey? And how do you feel about this new offer from Ulster Bank?
Get in touch with us in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you!