Help to Buy – Take your first steps onto the property ladder
January 5, 2017
It is getting harder and harder these days for first time buyers. With house prices rising as fast as people are saving, and deposits increasing making the saving process seem never ending, it's easy to see why so many people lose hope on ever owning their own home, and turn to renting instead.
However, although it looks almost impossible from the outside, there is help available in the form of several government ‘Help To Buy’ schemes.
Help to Buy ISA
The Help to Buy ISA rewards you by adding a boost of 25% to your existing savings, meaning for every £100 you put in, you will actually be saving £125. It is important to note the government will only contribute a maximum of £3000. In order to join the scheme you must open an ISA and deposit up to £1,200, and contribute up to £200 each month thereafter.
In order to qualify you need to be:
- A UK resident
- Aged 16 or over
- A first time buyer
- A national insurance number holder
You must not:
- Own any other property anywhere else (including abroad)
- Contribute/have contributed to another ISA in the same tax year
- Be in the UK
- Cost no more than £250,000 outside of London (£450,000 within London)
- Be the home you will live in
- Be the only home you will own
- Have a mortgage
Unfortunately you are not able to use the £3000 for your actual deposit, however, you can use it towards the cost of your house purchase. It is important that you apply to access your funds once you are close to buying as one of the conditions of the scheme is that the funds must be used as part of the house purchase.
The Help to Buy ISA is not the only scheme in place helping you to take your first steps onto the property ladder. Here are a couple more of the ways the government is helping first time buyers:
Buying a house outright is expensive, and many aren’t lucky enough to be able to afford to do so. The shared ownership scheme enables you to purchase between 25% and 75% of your new home, and pay rent on the remainder.
Help to Buy Equity Loan
The Help To Buy Equity Loan scheme helps those planning to buy a new build.
This scheme could help you increase your funds by 20%, giving you the freedom to choose a slightly more expensive property. The 20% contribution from the government means you only need a 5% deposit, as well as a mortgage to cover 75% of the property value. There are also no loan fees to pay on the 20% stake for the first 5 years, bonus!
If renting isn’t for you, but you’d given up all hope of ever owning a property, hopefully, one of these Help to Buy schemes will change your mind!