You’ve probably heard of ‘Help to Buy’ (AKA HTB), but do you know what it is? Do you know how it can help you to purchase your first home? Read on for more information about HTB equity loan, ISAs and shared ownership. Don’t miss the helpful links at the end for further reading.
What is Help to Buy?
Help to Buy is a UK government scheme, aiming to financially help first time buyers, and those looking to move home. Help to Buy can boost your savings and help you get a foot on the property ladder.
What is the Help to Buy Equity loan?
The Help to Buy government backed scheme is available on new build homes in England and Wales for anyone who can afford a mortgage and buy a new home up to the value of £600,000 with a 5% deposit.
For example: you will need a 75% mortgage and the Government will lend you 20% of the purchase price (40% within London), this government loan is interest free for the first 5 years and then you'll pay 1.75% interest on the outstanding amount, rising annually by the increase in the Retail Price Index plus 1%.
Help to Buy is currently available to homeowners and first time buyers, however, in April 2021 the scheme will only be available to first time buyers until March 2023 (when the current scheme will end). In April 2021 regional price caps will be introduced, which means maximum purchase prices will drop to £437,600 in the South East.
Who qualifies for Help to Buy?
- The scheme is currently open to both first time buyers and existing home owners.*
- There is no maximum household income.
- You can purchase a property worth a maximum value of £600,000.
- You will need a minimum 5% deposit to qualify.
- The maximum age is 75 years of age - as this impacts the mortgage.
*Home owners can reserve a new build property as long as their existing property has sold before completing on the new property.
How does Help to Buy work?
The Help to Buy process is as follows:
- Choose your new home
- Once you have found a suitable new-build property with a participating, registered builder - you will need to complete a Property Information Form (1) and Reservation Form with the builder. Both forms will then need to be submitted to the builder and HTB by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reserve your new home and submit the application for your purchase
- Instruct a Solicitor for the purchase of your new home
What is the Help to Buy ISA?
The Help to Buy ISA is great for people who are still saving. Did you know you can get help to save for your first home? The government’s Help to Buy ISA will boost your savings by 25%, so for every £200 you save, you receive a government bonus of £50.
A maximum of £200 a month can be saved, plus an extra £1,000 in the first month. If you pay in £12,000 over 55 months you qualify for the maximum £3,000 government bonus. It will be paid only if the savings are put towards a deposit on a property. The money is paid directly to the solicitor dealing with your house purchase at the point of completion. Remember that if you’re a first time buyer, buying with someone who has already owned a house, you can still open a Help to Buy ISA (although they can’t) and if you’re buying with another first time buyer, you can both open a Help to Buy ISA. Together you could save £400 a month and double the bonus!
What is Help to Buy Shared Ownership?
If you can’t afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, Help to Buy: Shared Ownership gives you the chance to buy a share of it (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share. Later on, you could buy bigger shares as and when you can afford to.
You could buy a home through Help to Buy: Shared Ownership in England if:
- your household earns £80,000 a year or less outside London, or your household earns £90,000 a year or less in London
- you are a first-time buyer
- you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now or are an existing shared owner looking to move.
With Help to Buy Shared Ownership you can buy a newly built home (or an existing one through resale programmes from housing associations). You’ll need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the home’s purchase price, or fund this through your savings.
Note that shared ownership properties are always leasehold.
- HTB Property Information Form
- Which? HTB Calculator
- More information about HTB ISA
- The Government’s HTB website
- Find contact details of your local HTB agent here
- How to get onto the property ladder in just one year
- Watermark Homes new developments qualifying for HTB
- Compare HTB ISAs
- Pros & cons of HTB ISAs
- More about HTB equity loans and how to pay them off
- HTB Buyers’ Guide
- HTB process infographic
- Fees to consider when moving house*
* If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will pay no Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000. This means if you are a first-time buyer, you will save up to £5,000
You may also be interested in the following articles:
- How to get on the property ladder in one year
- How to save a deposit for your first home in record time
No information within this article constitutes legal or financial advice.
Please always seek your own independent legal and financial advice.