So Help to Buy is closed...what now?

Applications for the government's Help to Buy scheme closed on 31st October 2022. With the scheme unavailable to new applicants, what alternatives do first-time buyers have when looking for their ideal first home?

Note: Although Help to Buy is now closed to new borrowers, we can still help you if you’re looking to remortgage your Help to Buy property. For more information, please visit our Help to Buy remortgage page.

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is another government scheme and is a cross between buying and renting. The purchaser buys a share of between 25% and 75%, and then pays rent on the remaining share. When buying a Shared Ownership property, you only need to pay a deposit on the portion that you're buying, which can make it a more affordable route to home ownership than buying outright.

Over time, the buyer will also have the ability to increase their stake in the property, sometimes referred to as 'staircasing'. Once the buyer owns 100%, they won't have to pay rent any longer.

For more information on our Shared Ownership mortgages, or to book an appointment to speak to a Qualified Mortgage Adviser, please click here.

First Homes

Launched relatively recently, First Homes is a scheme where first-time buyers, key workers, and people local to a particular area can purchase a new build house at a discounted price. Discounts range from 30% to 50% of market value.

To be eligible, buyers should earn less than £80,000 a year (less than £90,000 in London), be buying their first property, and be using a mortgage for at least half of the purchase price. 

The First Homes discount will remain applied to the property even when you decide to sell, meaning future generations of first-time buyers will also benefit.

Only a handful of housing developers are currently on the scheme. Prospective buyers can find out if developers are opted-in by contacting them directly or visiting the First Homes page on the government's Own Your Home website.

Joint Borrower-Sole Proprietor

A JBSP mortgage allows two or more people to purchase a property together, but with only one of those people (or parties if you’re buying with someone else) taking ownership of that property.

This arrangement means that first-time buyers can improve their borrowing power, safe in the knowledge that no one else is named on the deeds. It’s a useful stepping stone to financial independence, and a good potential option for parents who want to help their children onto the property ladder, but perhaps can't provide a gifted deposit.

Read this story from our member, Diana Rowe, who used a JBSP arrangement to help her daughter purchase her first home.

These are just three options that could be right for you if you're searching for your first home. To discuss your unique circumstances, book an appointment with one of our helpful Mortgage Advisers. Appointments are available online, in person, or over the phone.

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