Affordable housing and financial assistance schemes available in Scotland
At the TSPC we are fully aware how hard it is to get on or move up the property ladder and every little help and guidance is crucial. Here are just a few options that are available and might just be what you are looking for.
Help to Buy
Through the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build scheme you'll be able to buy a new build home without having to fund its entire cost, and will receive assistance from the Scottish Government.
You'll be expected to pay a minimum of at least 85% of the home's total purchase price and the Scottish Government will hold the remaining % share under a shared equity agreement which it will enter into with you.
Although you'll have complete title to your home and your name will be on the title deeds for it, there will be a mortgage (or 'standard security') on the home to make sure the Scottish Government's share is protected.
When you buy through the Help to Buy scheme you have complete title to your home.
This means you'll be responsible for:
paying your mortgage
home contents insurance
repairs and maintenance
heating, lighting and water bills
fittings and furniture
If you want to buy a new build home using the Help to Buy scheme, the property purchase price cannot be more than the threshold price. The threshold price is £200,000 for the financial years 2018-19, 2019-20 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Further information on Help to Buy and Help to Buy ISAs can be found at www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa
Help to Buy ISAs
Help to Buy ISAs are only available to first time buyers who are saving for their first home.
What is a Help to Buy ISA?
Help to Buy ISAs closed new accounts on 30 November 2019. If you’ve already opened a Help to Buy ISA you can keep saving into your account until November 2029, with a further 12 months to claim your government bonus towards your first home.
A Help to Buy ISA is a government scheme designed to help you save for a mortgage deposit to buy a home. To qualify you must be a first-time buyer and not own a property anywhere in the world.
Savings are tax free just like with any ISA product, but, a Help to Buy ISA gives you the added opportunity of earning a government bonus.
How do Help to Buy ISAs work?
The government will top up any contributions you make by 25%, up to the contribution limit of £12,000. So, for every £200 you save, the government will contribute £50. This means you can earn a maximum of £3,000 from the government if you save the full £12,000.
The minimum amount you need to save to qualify for a government bonus is £1,600 (which gives you a £400 bonus).
You can pay in up to £200 per month. Both your initial deposit and monthly payments qualify for the 25% boost from the government.
Help to Buy ISAs are available to each first-time buyer, not each home. So, if you’re buying a property with your partner, for example, you’ll be able to get up to £6,000 towards your deposit.
If first time buyers save money into a Help to Buy ISA the Government will boost those savings by 25% of the amount saved. So for example for every £200 you save the Government will pay you a bonus of £50. The maximum Government bonus is £3,000.
Further information on Help to Buy ISAs can be found at www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa
The Scottish Government is committed to supporting home ownership in a balanced and sustainable way by helping people on low to moderate incomes to become home owners, where that is affordable for them. Its Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT) brings together several ways to help households access home ownership. When you buy a shared equity home from Link, or on the open market, you pay for the majority of the equity in the property and the Scottish Government pays for the rest.
Link is supporting first time buyers across east, west, central and southern Scotland.
- Priority for social housing renters, people with disabilities, armed forces personnel and recent veterans
- Receive between 10% and 40% of the purchase price from the Scottish Government
- Scottish Government takes an equivalent equity stake which will be redeemed on the sale of the property
- Opportunity to buy out the equity stake in the future
Shared equity and shared ownership
These schemes are designed to help you if you've only got a small deposit but they can seem quite confusing. For example what's the difference between shared ownership and shared equity?
Shared equity, for example, means you own 100% of the property but that a third party has an equity stake in it - they help you to buy the property but they get the same proportion back from the price you receive when you come to sell. Shared ownership on the other hand means you own part of the property and the other part is owned by a third party. There may also be additional occupancy charges levied.
Both are valid ways to get on the ladder but understanding the differences between these various terminologies is really important.