Residential Conveyancing - Help to buy legal advice

Help to Buy Schemes

The government has created three different Help to Buy schemes to aid people in buying a new home. At Hunt & Coombs Solicitors we are experienced in dealing with all three of these schemes and we will help you so that the legal aspects of buying your home will run as smoothly as possible.

The three schemes are:

Help to Buy ISA

This involves opening a Help to Buy ISA with an eligible bank or building society. As an example; for every £200 that you save the Government will top this up by £50, enhancing savings by up to 25%. There is however, a cap of £3,000 on the amount the Government will provide you with. It is also important to note that these funds cannot be used for the deposit on exchange of contracts and are sent to your conveyancer on completion of the transaction. Importantly, these accounts are available to each first-time buyer and not per household.

The purchase price outside of London must not exceed £250,000, for London properties this stretches to £450,000. The property must be the only home that you will own, purchased with a mortgage and occupied by the person using the help to buy ISA. This scheme can be used in conjunction with both the equity loan scheme and the shared ownership scheme.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is literally what is says – property ownership which is shared with the Local Authority of their agents. The percentages of which are largely determined by your mortgage capacity. In other words, if you cannot afford 100% of the property then you can buy a share between 25% to 75% of the home’s value. You will pay rent to the Local Authority on the remaining share that is not mortgaged and you will have the option to purchase more of the share in the future. This process is done by conveyancers and is referred to as ‘stair-casing’, which all of our offices can assist you with.

Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?

Your household must earn £80,000 or less per year and situated outside of London. For households in London this threshold for household income must not exceed £90,000. You must be either a first-time buyer or an existing shared owner looking to move. Therefore, properties available will either be new builds or resale shared ownership properties.

If you’re looking to purchase a shared-ownership property enquire through the Government’s website and contact a local Help to Buy agent.

Home ownership for people with long-term disabilities (HOLD)

If as a result of a long-term disability you require a property with particular housing criteria, then you can buy a home that meets your needs and is on a shared ownership basis. It must be evident when applying for HOLD that the alternative shared ownership properties available do not meet your needs.

Older People Shared Ownership:

If you are aged 55 or over you can benefit from the above scheme. Similarly to the general shared ownership scheme you can purchase up to 75% of the property however, once you own a 75% share you will not need to pay rent on the remaining 25% share.

Equity loan

Firstly, this scheme is not exclusive to first-time buyers but can also be used by those who have previously purchased residential property. The key element is that the prospective home must be a new build property with a price tag of up to £600,000. Essentially, with as little as a 5% deposit of the asking price, the Government will lend you up to 20% of the value, meaning that your mortgage would need to cover the remaining 75%. It is important to note that this loan is interest-free for the first five years and appears as a second charge over your property.

On completion of your new build, you cannot own any other property or you will not qualify. As this scheme is only available to residential properties, you cannot sublet or enter into any part exchange deals on your old home.

Developers are keen to utilise this scheme and typically have sales executives that are familiar with the process, as well as contacts with local Help to Buy agents. Please note that whilst this scheme runs in England there are similar schemes operating in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Advice on protecting yourself against online fraud

Online fraud is on the increase specifically in property transactions. To help keep yourself safe from this threat please view our advice on protecting yourself.

Request a quote

For further help and advice on Help to Buy or to request a quote please contact your local Conveyancing Team on:

  • Peterborough  01733 882800
  • Huntingdon     01480 411224
  • Oundle            01832 273506
  • St Neots          01480 702207

Or email the Residential Conveyancing Team directly at:

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