Is Help-To-Buy still a help?

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Help to Buy isn’t finished. It’s just changed. And if it’s your first time on the housing ladder and you’re keen on a new-build home, you can still benefit.

Here’s an update as to what’s gone and what’s staying in 2017.

What’s changed?

The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme has just ended. This allowed a 1st time buyer only to buy a property of up to £600,000 in the UK. They needed a 5% deposit, they had to live in it & it had to be their only residence.

What remains and what’s the difference?

The Equity Loan Scheme stays & you can access it if you’re an existing home owner.

– you need a 5% minimum deposit

– the Government will lend you up to 20% of the property value

– it’s only available on new builds

– you can look at houses up to the value of £600,000

There are different schemes in Scotland & Wales, reflecting, in part, lower property values, as well as individual their parliament’s desires. The Welsh Equity Loan Scheme is like the English one but for homes of up to £300,000. The Scottish Equity Loan Scheme is available through participating new-home homebuilders on homes of up to £250,000 (£200k after March). The Government will assess it’s contribution which will be anywhere between 10% & 20% of the property’s value.

Not ready to buy yet?

You could consider the Help to Buy ISA scheme. This is a scheme to help you get a deposit together for your first house.

Initially you can put in £1000 then up to £200/month to which the Government will contribute £50 for each £200. Like any other ISA you get tax free interest on it. The Government will also give you a 25% bonus when you buy a house.

For more information the Money Advice Service offer a helpful first-time buyer guide and you may also find their Mortgage Affordability Checker useful.