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first time buyer

First time buyers

In recent years it has been a struggle for many first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. Well, not anymore. The government’s Help to Buy Scheme allows buyers to put down a 5% deposit and apply for a 95% mortgage on houses up to the value of £600,000 making that first step onto the property ladder that much easier.

Help for first-time buyers

And it isn’t just the government who want to help first time buyers – we do too. We offer fixed-fee conveyancing fees so your legal costs are manageable and we have also included a free Parent Loan Agreement (usually £200 +VAT) in our Parent Pack, helping you to get your first home.

We are here to help you achieve your goal of owning a home. Get in touch today here for a no obligation quote on our fixed fee conveyancing services and get one step closer to owning your first home.

To get the ball rolling with owning your first home, complete our online conveyancing enquiry form.

Conveyancing Quote Request

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First-time buyers: Help to Buy FAQs

Help to Buy is new? I thought it had been around for ages, what’s changed? There are two different Help to Buy Schemes that are available for first-time buyers. The first is a shared-equity program that has been live since April 2013. This involved only new-build homes and a 20% equity loan from the government. The second phase is a mortgage guarantee scheme. It can be used to buy any property (not just new builds) up to the value of £600,000 with a 95% mortgage from a participating bank (Halifax, Bank of Scotland or NatWest). This means that you only have to put down a 5% deposit. The government will indemnify the lender against up to 15% of the loss should you default.

How do I know which scheme to choose? The schemes for first-time buyers are both planned to last for 3 years. The first scheme, based on a shared equity loan provides cheaper initial payments (because the equity loan is interest-free for the first 5 years).  However, when you sell your property you have to repay the 20% of the selling price of your home – so if your home goes up in value of the years you won’t get the benefit. The second part of the scheme is based on a mortgage-guarantee and not limited to new-builds. Although initial repayments will be higher you will receive the full value of your house on resale. This part of the scheme is more rigorous and participants have to meet strict criteria (like no missed loan repayments and no CCJs) in order to be eligible.

Have I got to be a first-time buyer? In a word, no. The Help to Buy schemes are open to people looking to move up the property ladder as well (but not exceeding £600,000). There are other criteria that limit applicants to the Help to Buy schemes, e.g. this must be the only property you own anywhere in the world. If you want to buy a second property after you’ve bought with Help to Buy you will have to repay your loan first.

Do I have to buy the house on my own? No, you can buy with someone else on either scheme as long as you both meet the criteria set. If you have a shared equity loan and the person you bought the house with wants to sell their share of the property you will need a “deed of release”.

What if I want to move and change my Help to Buy property into a Buy to LetThis is an option for first-time buyers but you have to repay either the equity loan or mortgage guarantee first. As long as there is Help to Buy mortgage or loan on a property it cannot be let out. There are a few exceptions which can be discussed with Help to Buy agents.

Useful resources for first-time buyers

First Time Buyers Guide to Buying a House‘ – For many first time buyers, getting onto the property ladder can be a daunting process with many pitfalls and processes to go through so we have put together a guide.

EHL Help to Buy Guide‘ – This Guide tells you everything you need to know about the Help to Buy Scheme.

Both outline all the steps you take when buying a house and what you need to do after completion right up to move in day.

Other topics related to first time buyers:

Click on the links below to find out more about:

Conveyancing process

Selling a house

Right to buy

Unregistered properties

Buying a house

Leasehold property or freehold property?

Shared ownership

New builds

Buy to let


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