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government schemes

How the government can help you buy a home. An overview of schemes

For some people, saving a deposit, securing a mortgage or finding the right home at the right price is such a struggle that they are priced out of buying on the open market. If you're in this situation, it is worth looking into the Government schemes on offer to help you get on the property ladder. In this guide we give you an overview of the schemes and link to our other guides for more detailed impartial advice and tips.

Help to Buy Part 1: Equity Loan

  • The government will lend you up to 20% of the value of a property in the form of an equity loan. You will have to find a 5% deposit and secure a mortgage to cover the other 75% of the cost of the property.
  • Covers new build properties valued under £600,000 only
  • Open to all potential and existing homeowners
  • There is no salary cap or joint income limit applied
  • It will run for 3 years from 1 April 2013 (so until April 2016)
  • This is an expansion of the First Buy scheme

Read our independent guide

Help to Buy Part 2: Mortgage Guarantee

  • This scheme allows you to get a mortgage with just a 5% deposit
  • The scheme applies to all types of properties (new build and old) that cost less than £600,000
  • First time buyers AND existing homeowners can apply
  • You can apply for a Help to Buy mortgage today

Read our independent guide

First Buy (Equity Loans)

  • The government will lend you up to 20% of the value of a property in the form of an equity loan. You will have to find a 5% deposit and secure a mortgage to cover the other 75% of the cost of the property.
  • First Buy can help you if you are a first time buyer, are looking at new builds and are struggling with saving for the average 25% deposit needed in today’s housing market.
  • This scheme still exists and there are many developments taking part. Help to Buy, announced  in April 2013, is simply an extension of this scheme to include existing home buyers (not just first timers)

Read our independent guide

Shared Ownership (New Build)

This allows you to buy part of the property and rent the other part. Over time you can buy more of the property until you own the whole thing

Read our independent guide

Shared Ownership (Resale)

This scheme allows you to take over an existing shared ownership property that the current owner has put on the market. Over time you can buy more of the property until you own the whole thing.

Read our independent guide

Rent to Buy

Rent a newly built home with the intention to buy with shared ownership

Read our independent guide

Right to Buy

If you live in a council house or flat you may be able to buy your home at a discount under the right to buy scheme. The discount depends on where you live, how long you have lived there and whether you live in a house or flat.

Read our independent guide

Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme

This scheme is aimed to help you buy a home with some extra help to top up your mortgage. It is a pilot scheme for members of the armed forces with a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 6 years continuous service.

HOLD or Home Ownership for people with Long term Disabilities

HOLD is a specially tailored option to assist people with long term disabilities to purchase a share in a property under the HomeBuy scheme.

Schemes in Wales and Scotland

The Welsh government and Scottish government also run affordable homeownership schemes in Wales and Scotland – Homebuy in Wales and, in Scotland, there are grants and loans provided under the Scottish government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme.


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4 Comments

  1. i am looking for a home ,i am a first time buyers.where can i apply.thank you so much

    Comment by monika hoxha — March 30, 2014 @ 5:01 am

  2. Thanks a lot for this article! You always provide us with very useful information. We used Help to Buy scheme with my husband as we were first-time buyers. It’s really helpful. This government scheme means you can move into your new home with a deposit as low as 5%. There are some criteria people need to consider before applying but I think everyone who applies is al least 18 years old) If you don’t already own a home you can apply to this program. You should always show that you are not in mortgage or rent arrears as it is not acceptable. Applicants need to have good credit history to demonstrate that they can afford regular payments.

    Comment by Brittany — February 20, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  3. My husband and I own our 3 bed semi out right, but we both have disabilities and would like to move to a bungalow , is there any help for us , possibly our house would fetch approx 135000 most bungalows we like or would benefit us cost anything from 150000. – 160000 .

    Comment by Annette sinclair — February 19, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  4. Hi. We are wanting to buy on the rent to buy scheme but aren’t sure where to go or what the requirements are. Please can you advise us where to go & what to do.
    Yours truly,
    Andrew Gray.

    Comment by Andrew Gray — February 8, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

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