HELP TO BUY SOS
You may have heard various reports about changes to Help to Buy schemes and the ISA over the past few months. Below, get the lowdown on whether any of them could help you if you’re looking to get on the housing ladder.
The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will be finishing at the end of 2016. This scheme allows first-time buyers to purchase a property up to the value of £600,000 within the UK. Buyers need a 5% deposit and they have to occupy the property once purchased, as their only property.
What are my other options?
The Equity Loan Scheme will still be available after the end of this year. This scheme differs to the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme as it is open to first-time buyers and existing homeowners with a minimum of 5% deposit, and the government lets you borrow 20% more, so you only need a mortgage for 75%. This scheme is only available on new build homes up to the value of £600,000 and only if the developer advertises it and if you don’t own any other properties when you buy using this scheme. You won’t accumulate any interest on the 20% loan for the first five years.
The Welsh Equity Loan Scheme is the same at the English one, except that it is on new builds up to the value of £300,000.
The Scottish Equity Loan Scheme is slightly different. Available on affiliated new builds up to £250,000, first-time buyers and existing homeowners need a minimum deposit of 5%. The Scottish Government will then add an equity stake of between 10% and 20% of the property’s value if you are eligible.
Not planning to buy a property for several years yet? You could utilise the Help to Buy ISA Scheme from the government, in which you are allowed to add up to £200 a month into the account, which the government matches at £50 for every £200. They will continue to add this ratio, up to a maximum of £3,000 on their part. There are rules and regulations around the use of the ISA so make sure you read up here.