First-Time Buyers Initiative

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Kiri Kkoshi

Partner (LLP Member)

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Over the years a number of Government schemes to enable lower income families to get on the property ladder have been introduced. Shared equity agreements, First Time Buyers Initiative and Help to Buy are just some of the ways those who would find it difficult to buy a home with a conventional mortgage have been offered assistance. As with all home purchases, the services of an experienced conveyancing solicitor are essential for anyone embarking on an assisted buying scheme.

There are a number of criteria which must be fulfilled to enable potential buyers to apply for one of the schemes. Regional Housing Boards decide who qualifies and assistance is usually offered in terms of greatest need for housing.

Who can receive assistance to buy a home?

The qualifying criteria for applicants will vary between schemes, but usually include the following:

  • A capped income, typically around £60,000 for a couple.
  • Must be a qualifying first-time buyer unable to afford a new home. Applicants must not be able to buy a home suitable for their housing needs within a reasonable travelling distance of their work place without assistance.
  • Must be able to demonstrate access to savings or sufficient funds to pay a deposit (which may be up to 5% of the purchase price), legal fees, stamp duty and other costs of moving.
  • Must be able to sustain home ownership in the long term. Typically, applicants will be employed on a permanent contract of employment (there are exceptions for key workers). If self-employed, the applicant must be able to provide accounts for at least three years.
  • Cannot already be a home owner or named on a home mortgage. If an applicant has had their name on a mortgage they will have to provide evidence that it has been (or is in process of being) removed.
  • Applicants must have a good credit history.

Affordable homes for sale on designated developments

Some schemes offer all homes on a development as assisted buys, while some, newly built estates and development projects, will include a percentage of the properties for sale through an assisted buying scheme such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy.

Potential home-owners who want to find a property in a particular area will need to use one of the official regional HomeBuy agents in England, which act on behalf of the Government to administer the schemes.

To find out more about the range of schemes available and how you can apply, the Gov.UK website offers key information and links for potential applicants.

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How We Can Help

With all assisted ownership schemes, there are a number of aspects to be considered by buyers when comparing the transaction with a conventional home purchase. Most first-time buyers are unsure of the procedures and legal complexities involved in buying a home, but this is where the experience and expertise of Healys can help.

Our residential conveyancing experts can provide a cost-effective and straightforward service, and will communicate regularly with you to ensure the property transaction proceeds smoothly.

To find out how Healys can help you buy your first home, why not call for friendly no-obligation legal advice on our residential conveyancing solicitors’ services.

Recommended by Legal 500

Healys Residential Property practice is recommended by Legal 500, and noted as a “firm to watch”.

Kiri Kkoshi, head of Healys Real Estate, is individually recognised as a leading practitioner in her field, and ranked as a Recommended Lawyer by leading industry directory Legal 500 and the Spears 500 private client advisor guide.

"The super knowledgeable, punctual and thorough team at Healys LLP is led by Kiri Kkoshi who acts for a broad range of clients from high-net-worth individuals to property developers and banks."

Legal 500

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Healys lawyers don’t believe in legal jargon, but rather in having straightforward, open discussions, updating you every step of the way on the progress of your case.

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