What help to buy options are there?

The government recently discontinued their help to buy scheme that allowed first time buyers to purchase a home with 5% deposit, however not all is lost as other schemes have come it’s absence.

Shared ownership: if you cannot afford the entire deposit for a home, it can be possible to attain ownership between 10%-75%, you then pay rent on the percentage you do not own. You would still be required to pay a deposit on the part of the home you own and this scheme is only available on select homes; new builds, existing shared ownership homes and homes that meet specific long term needs (such as ground floor living for disabilities).

Help to build: we covered this in depth before and this scheme allows you between £400,000-£600,000 to build a modern home (the higher amount if land is needed to be purchased). This one essentially replaces the original help to buy scheme and is available to everyone, however if you have any pre-existing homes you have 6 months to sell them once your new home is complete. The loan then becomes a low interest mortgage and would then be paid as normal.

Help to buy: didn’t we say this was discontinued? In Wales the scheme is set to continue until 2025, however from April 2023 all homes purchased under the scheme must meet a minimum EPC of B and the price of the homes available to the scheme will rise to £300,000 (up from £250,000), you still pay a 5% deposit with 20% paid by the government. If you have an existing help to buy scheme in England you will have until the end of March 2023 to complete your purchase (applications were stopped in October 2022).

Help to buy ISA: These are no longer available, but if you have one you must claim the 25% bonus by November 2030 and cannot pay into them after Novermber 2029. Fret not, this is very similar to help to the help to save Lifetime ISA.

Lifetime ISA: you can pay in up to £4000 per year, the government will pay 25% bonus on your savings each year (up to £1000 maximum). This account is available to anyone under 40 and cannot be paid into after you turn 50. You can claim the funds for the following; purchase of first home, retirement at 60 or over and if you are terminally ill with less than 12 months to live. Should you withdraw funds from the account for any other reason there would be a penalty charge of 25%.

Right to buy: if you are renting a council property, you could potentially apply to buy your council home if; it’s your main home, it’s self contained, you’re a secure tenant and have had a public sector landlord for a total of 3 years. If you were a council tenant whose home was sold to a private landlord whilst you were still living at the address you could still have the right to buy under the “preserved right to buy”.

Right to acquire: similar to right to buy, you could apply to purchase association housing after 3 years when eligible from any of the following; housing associations, councils, armed forces, NHS trusts and foundations. The property must also have been bought or built after 31st March 1997 or transferred to a local housing association from 1st April 1997. The home must also be self contained and your only/main home. This scheme is also open to joint application with up to 3 other family members who have lived with you for the last 12 months.

You can find out more on all the schemes detailed above at own your home.