There are many Government initiatives in place to help you get on and move up the property ladder. Please be aware that we do not support all of these schemes.
Right to Buy
We support the Government’s Right to Buy scheme.
This scheme is for tenants who rent from their local council or housing association and allows you to buy your home at a discounted price. There are maximum discount amounts, and more information of these can be found on the Government's website. To qualify for the Right to Buy scheme you must have been a public sector tenant for at least three years.
View the Right to Buy website for more information and to see if you qualify.
Shared ownership is where you buy a share of your home and then pay rent to a Housing Association for the remaining share of the property. You will pay a reduced rent on the share of the property you do not own and will need a mortgage to fund your initial share, which can be anything from 25% to 75%. You will later have the opportunity to buy a bigger share in the property up to 100%, this is known as ‘staircasing’. Anyone living outside of London whose household earns below £80,000 per year, or £90,000 per year in London can buy a home through the shared ownership scheme.
Please note, we are not currently accepting mortgages under this scheme. For more information visit the Governments shared ownership website.
Older people shared ownership
For those aged 55 or over, you may be entitled to receive help from another home ownership scheme called Older People's Shared Ownership (OPSO). The Older People Shared Ownership Scheme works similar to the original Shared Ownership scheme detailed above. However, you will only be entitled purchase up to a 75% share of your property. Once you own 75%, no rent will be payable on the remaining share.
Please note, we are not currently accepting mortgages under this scheme.
Forces Help to Buy
We are supporting the Forces Help to Buy Scheme.
This scheme allows servicemen and servicewomen to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property. To qualify, you must be in regular service and have served for at least two years and have at least six months service remaining when you apply.
There interest free loan amount is capped at a maximum amount of £25,000 so you will need a mortgage to fund the rest of the purchase. The Government loan can also be used towards your deposit and other costs associated with buying a home including solicitors and estate agent fees.
The interest free amount can be repaid over 10 years and you will be able to sub-let your property if your tour of duty requires you to serve away from the area you live in for a fixed period.
The scheme is available until 31 December 2022. For more information visit the Government's website.
Help to Buy: Equity Loans
We do not currently accept mortgages using the Help to Buy: Equity loans scheme.
This scheme is designed to help those who have a small deposit get on and move up the property ladder sooner than expected.
You will need to have a minimum of a 5% deposit saved to allow you to borrow up to 20% of the property price interest free for the first five years of owning your home from the Government. You will then borrow the remaining amount from a mortgage provider, meaning you may be able to get a better interest rate due to the lower mortgage amount required.
This scheme is available until 31 March 2023. For more information visit the Government website.
Help to Buy: ISA
The Help to Buy: ISA scheme was introduced towards the end of 2015 and was designed to support first time buyers by boosting their savings by 25%. This Government supported scheme can help aspiring homeowners save a larger deposit, making it easier for them to buy their first home. For example, for every £200 saved in a Help to Buy: ISA, a government bonus of £50 will be received.
As the minimum government bonus is £400, savers would need at least £1,600 in your Help to Buy: ISA in order to claim any bonus. The maximum amount of bonus that can be claimed via the government is £3,000. In order to qualify for this, a minimum of £12,000 needs to be saved in the account.
The Help to Buy: ISA scheme is no longer available for new accounts to be opened, as of 30th November 2019. But, if you opened an account prior to this date, you are able to continue saving in your Help to Buy: ISA until November 2029.
Starter Home Scheme
The Starter Home scheme is a proposed government incentive, set up to help first time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40, to gain a foothold on the property ladder by entitling them to at least a 20% reduction off the purchase price of the property. The discounted price for these homes should be priced no more than £250,000 outside London, and £450,000 inside London.
Although the scheme is yet to begin, it is specifically designed for new build homes. Aspiring homeowners can register their interest by visiting the New-Homes website.