After the unfortunate event that was the 2008 credit crunch, our government opted to create a backup plan, in a bid to try and restart the pulse of the mortgage market. Their focuses were on first time buyers, introducing ways to help them get onto the property ladder, referring to these as government ‘Help to Buy Schemes’.
There are various different Help to Buy Schemes available, some that you might find you are better suited for and others you won’t qualify for. Here is a list of the Help to Buy Schemes available to home buyers and a bonus scheme that might be useful.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan is the most popular of the schemes available to customers. If you are a first time buyer in Durham and are looking to get started on your mortgage journey, this could very well be the scheme for you.
First of all, you must be first time buyer to be able to qualify for this scheme. You must also be purchasing a new-build property too, as this scheme does not apply to regular properties. You will be required to have a minimum of a 5% deposit.
The way this scheme works, is that you will put down a 5% deposit (or more if you can, that usually works out better for home buyers) and then the government will provide you with a loan to make up a total of a 25% deposit. This changes depending on how much you put down, i.e., if you then put down a 10% deposit, they’ll loan you 15%.
Overall, this will leave you with a 75% mortgage and the loan provided by the government to pay off. You get 5 years interest-free to pay back your loan. If you are unable to pay this back within the 5 years, you will start gaining interest on the amount of the loan that is left to pay off, starting at a rate of 1.75%.
As a trusted mortgage broker in Durham, we know that balancing your mortgage payments and the equity loan repayment at the same time can be quite a difficult task. There are many different ways around this, for example, some customers look to remortgage to raise capital for this loan, however, this route will increase your monthly mortgage payments.
The Help to Buy Shared Ownership scheme was introduced as a means of allowing applicants to purchase a percentage of a property and then pay back the remaining amount as rent.
You will usually have to own between 25-75% of the property in question. The remaining percentage will be owned by an outside party, namely the local housing association or council. This share can possibly be increased further down the line, if you happen to find yourself in possession of some more money.
The way that your payments work is that you will be paying back your monthly mortgage payments, but also a monthly rental cost. This basically means you are paying 100% of the ground rent and service charge on your new home. This will still apply, even if your share is the minimum amount.
The Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2014 after the roaring the success of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. This scheme aimed to utilise the same basic concept as the one that came before it, however, this one was focused in on members of the armed forces.
If you do fit into the criteria of the scheme, this is something that could provide a real advantage to you when trying to get onto the property ladder. The government has now extended the deadline/review date of the scheme to December 2022 and we have high hopes that it stays around, as the scheme is incredibly helpful to existing armed forces members who are in need of the extra help.
The Lifetime ISA is often a scheme that people forget. It’s not everyone’s immediate go-to scheme, however, it’s still useful to have some knowledge of it, as it could be the scheme that helps you secure a property as a first time buyer in Durham.
A Lifetime ISA is more or less a savings account where your money grows, completely free of tax. The government will also provide you with a top-up to your savings with an extra 25%. This means that if you meet the £4,000 maximum amount, you will receive a rather welcomed £1,000 bonus to your savings.
You have to pass specific mortgage criteria in order to gain access to this mortgage scheme. All of these details are readily available on the Lifetime ISA website.