As a first-time buyer looking to purchase a new-build property, it’s highly likely you’ll have come across Help to Buy and Shared Ownership. The two government-backed schemes offer alternative routes on to the property ladder, and are designed to overcome some of the financial challenges associated with buying your first home.
We spoke to Roxanne Tim, Field Sales Manager in our Counties team, to talk through each of the schemes, to help you understand which option is right for you.
First up, what is Help to Buy and Shared Ownership?Through Help to Buy, you can purchase a home with the support of a Government equity loan up of to 20% (outside London) or 40% in London. The loan is interest-free for the first five years, helping to keep down your monthly payments. Thanks to the equity loan, you do not need as large a mortgage to cover your home purchase.
Through Shared Ownership, you part-buy, part-rent your home. You start by purchasing between 25 – 75% share of your property, paying rent to your housing association on the remaining portion. Over time, you can increase the portion of the home you own through buying more shares, through a process called staircasing.
What deposit do I need for each scheme?
Both Help to Buy and Shared Ownership can help buyers with smaller savings purchase a property.
Through Help to Buy, you require a 5% deposit for the total value of the property. For example, if you were buying a £400,000 property, you would need a £20,000 deposit.
Through Shared Ownership, you require a deposit between 5-10% of the share you are buying. So, if you were buying a 25% share of a £400,000 property, your share would be valued at £100,000, you could need a 5% deposit of just £5,000.
What am I eligible for?
Both Help to Buy and Shared Ownership have specific eligibility criteria in place to ensure the schemes help those who most need them.
For Help to Buy, you must be a first time buyer, and you cannot have previously owned a home. Moreover, the property you are purchasing must fall within specific price caps which vary by region. For instance, in the South-East, properties must be priced below £437,600. In London, this price cap increases to £600,000.
To be eligible for Shared Ownership, you cannot have a combined annual household income over £80,000, or £90,000 in London. You do not have to be a first time buyer, however you cannot own a property, or part of a property, at the time of completing on your purchase.
To find out if you’re eligible for an L&Q Shared Ownership property, you must complete our application form. It includes questions about your household income and savings, financial commitments and your current living arrangements.
Once your eligibility has been confirmed you will be assigned an LQSO number, which you will need to book a viewing or reserve a property.
To find out what you could buy through Help to Buy or Shared Ownership, discover our latest homes.