Help to buy is a Government scheme launched to help people get on the property ladder when they are are struggling to get a large deposit together. It helps first time and next time homebuyers purchase a new build property with just a 5% deposit.

To qualify for the government help to buy scheme, you will need to have a deposit of at least 5%, be looking to purchase a home worth less than £600,000 and be purchasing a residential property that you intend to live in. You cannot own any other properties at the point you take ownership of your new home.

You can't use the help to buy scheme if you are looking to buy a second property, either as a home or as a buy to let. It can only be used with a repayment mortgage and it can only be used for properties within the set price limits which are as follows:

  • England and Northern Ireland - homes costing up to £600,000.

  • Scotland - the maximum price threshold depends on the value of the property and when your application is completed.

  • Wales - homes costing up to £300,000.

There are 3 main types of help to buy schemes in the UK as follows:
  • Help to buy equity loan

This government mortgage scheme is available to people who are wanting to buy a new build property. It requires a deposit of at least 5% and the government lends you up to 20% of the property's value as an equity loan. You then take out a mortgage on the rest of the property's value.

Example
Cost of home - £300,000
Cost Percentage of total £ value
Your deposit 5% £15,000
Equity loan 20% £60,000
Mortgage 75% £225,000
TOTAL 300,000

You don’t pay any interest or fees on the government’s equity loan for the first five years and then you’ll be charged 1.75% in the 6th year. After that, the interest rate will rise with inflation plus 1% each year. You will also have your mortgage to pay as usual and when you sell your home you will have to pay back the equity loan plus a share on the increase in value (if relevant).

  • London help to buy

This works the same as with the help to buy equity scheme but is for London based buyers. In this case, you can borrow 40% of the property's value from the government and take out a mortgage on the rest.

  • Help to buy ISA

This is a type of tax free savings account for people buying their first home. For every £200 contributed, the government adds an extra £50 (to a maximum of £3000) towards the home purchase. You can use these savings towards buying a home worth up to £250,000 and £450,000 if you're buying in London.

  • Help to buy shared ownership

This scheme is another option if you have a small deposit. It offers you the chance to buy a share of your home and pay rent on the remaining share. For further information on the shared ownership scheme, please click here for our full guide.

For further advice on any of the help to buy schemes, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisers and you can also use our help to buy calculator to do some initial calculations to see how the schemes might work for you. Click here for the government help to buy website and if you are ready to go ahead, you will need to find a local help to buy agent

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