Financial help to buy a home

Financial help to buy a home

If you are interested in finding out about brand new or resales of shared ownership homes or the availability of funding schemes that will help you buy a new home on the open market then Help to Buy North West (a government sponsored agent) can provide information and assistance on shared ownership, rent to buy and the current availability of equity loan schemes. See:

Help to Buy Agents can:

  • help you understand the schemes
  • assess if you are eligible to take part
  • do an initial assessment of affordability to make sure you can comfortably cover all your payments
  • guide you through the home buying process through Help to Buy.

Shared Ownership - can help you to buy a property you couldn't ordinarily afford if you were to try and buy it outright.  

This type of scheme allows you to purchase a share of a property from a social landlord, usually a housing association. The share you purchase is funded by a mortgage, which you will need to arrange with a bank or building society. The remaining share you do not own and is rented from the social landlord.

The larger the share you purchase, the less rent you will have to pay. Later on, if you wish and can afford to do so, you can buy a further share.

The Council works with Housing Associations in order for them to develop shared ownership properties in West Lancashire. New schemes are often advertised through local estate agents, the housing associations own website, Rightmove and through Help to Buy North West (mentioned above).

Existing schemes (available for resale) are often sold through estate agents in the usual way, but sometimes may also be advertised through Help to Buy North West. These are properties where the existing homeowner wishes to sell their share of the home.

Shared Equity Schemes - are designed to reduce the costs of home ownership by lowering the deposit required by lenders, and also keeping monthly repayments down.  This is done in the form of an equity loan, which can provide you with a 'top up' to the normal mortgage in the form of a lump sum - to enable you to reach the purchase price. This could either be a fixed sum or a percentage of the property you are buying. For example, if a property was valued at £120,000 you could receive 25% of this sum (an equity loan of £30,000) to assist you in buying the property. You would then have to raise a mortgage of £90,000.

Rent to Buy - this type of product is not that common but its availability is expected to increase slightly in the coming years.  The scheme is exactly how it sounds, you rent a new property from a housing association for usually 5 years and at the end you buy it. The rent on the property is set at 80% of the market rent (including service charge) allowing you to save money towards a deposit to buy the home.

Discounted Market Housing - The use of this type of affordable housing is not that common in West Lancashire. Resales of existing Discounted market housing will be advertised through estate agents and their property adverts should make clear that the property is being discounted and that certain eligibility criteria apply. The level of discount varies across schemes but remains fixed on the individual property.  For example, if a property was sold at first sale with a 35% discount, this discount percentage will apply for all future sales of that particular property.  The discount percentage will apply to the assessed open market value of the property at the time it is put up for sale.

First Homes - The Government has introduced a scheme called First Homes. This is a form of Discounted Market Housing and is aimed at increasing the availability of discounted market housing across the Country, with minimum discounts at 30%.. This means that in the coming years, there is likely to be an increase in the availability of this type of product on brand new housing developments. First Homes are likely to be marketed by market housing developers as part of their local marketing campaigns for their new sites. This may include marketing through estate agents and other media  forms.

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