Financial help to buy a home

As of November 28, 2023, there are currently no government financial assistance schemes available for purchasing homes. However, several affordable home ownership options exist nationwide:

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.

New schemes and existing shared ownership homes are often advertised through local estate agents, the housing associations own website and Rightmove or similar websites. Existing shared ownership homes are properties where the existing homeowner wishes to sell their share of the home.  The Government has established a website which provides details of housing associations providing shared ownership homes by Local Authority -  This website may be useful, in addition to the methods mentioned above.

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. These schemes are presently inactive.

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.  These homes may be advertised through estate agents, housing associations websites or via Rightmove or similar websites.

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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