If you cannot afford to get onto the housing ladder, low-cost home ownership may be a good way for you to buy your home.
Help to Buy
The Help to Buy government scheme is ideal if you have a small deposit – typically, a minimum of five per cent – on a property with a purchase price of up to £600,000.
If you do, you may be able to use the scheme in one of two ways:
Equity loan: If you are buying a new-build home, you may be eligible for an equity loan under which you can borrow 20 per cent of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years.
Mortgage guarantee: If you are a first-time buyer or a home-mover for new-build and older homes in the UK, you may be eligible for a mortgage guarantee.
Right to Buy/Right to Acquire
If you are a tenant renting your home from your local council or housing association, the Right to Buy scheme may be for you.
If you qualify, the scheme allows you to buy your home at a discount, which varies according to your location and the type of property you wish to buy.
Before you can buy under this scheme, you must have rented from the public sector (that is, from your local council or housing association) for a period of three years.
This three-year period can be non-consecutive so, if you have rented from the private sector in the middle of a total of three years from the public sector, you may still qualify.
If you do not meet the requirements of the Right to Buy, you may be eligible for the Right to Acquire scheme, which offers marginally smaller discounts.
First Steps London
If you are a low or modest income earner, the First Steps London scheme could help you to buy or rent a property at an affordable price.
Under the terms of this scheme, you part-buy and part-rent a property. It is mostly for new-builds, however some re-sale properties are included.
First Steps London has earnings criteria and you cannot purchase a home on the open market.
Shared ownership involves buying a share of a property from a landlord –normally the council or a housing association – and renting the remaining share.
If you are a first-time buyer or you want a new-build home, shared ownership may be a suitable option for you.
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