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The Help to Buy scheme

The Help to Buy scheme has been greatly expanded and can now provide help to far more buyers than before. Check out Homeward Legal's comprehensive guides to shared ownershipHelp to Buy ISA and equity loan. So, if you thought you wouldn't be able to buy a home because you would have to borrow more than 80 percent of the price, think again.

Experienced Conveyancing Solicitors

With the help of Homeward Legal's nationwide panel of property lawyers, who are all expert Help to Buy conveyancing solicitors, you can be on the road to home ownership quickly and at low cost.

Here we demolish some of the most common misunderstandings about Help to Buy:

  • “It's only for first-time buyers.” No, it's now available to people who already own a home or have done so before, as well as first-time buyers. So if you already own a home but want to move, this is a great opportunity. (You will have to sell your existing home at the same time as or before you complete a purchase with a Help to Buy mortgage.)
  • “It's only available on brand-new properties.” No, you can now get help to buy any property, however old it is. You are not restricted to new developments. You can choose an existing property - perhaps somewhere in a more convenient location for you. But, of course, it's still available on new homes if that's what you prefer.
  • “You can only get help if you are buying a cheaper home.” In fact, the scheme is available on all homes worth up to £600,000, which covers the vast majority of residential properties.
  • “Help to Buy is only available in certain areas.” No, it covers the whole of the UK.
  • “You can only get mortgages through a few lenders.” Well, this is partly true, as not all lenders have joined the scheme. However, those that have include all the major high-street banks as well as some other lenders, so you have plenty of choice.
  • “You will have to make higher mortgage repayments.” No, the monthly mortgage repayments will be calculated in exactly the same way as for any other mortgage. Of course, the exact amount you pay will depend upon the amount you borrow and the interest rate applicable, but you can get a quote before making a full application.

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme is quite straightforward in operation. You need a minimum deposit of 5 percent of the property value and can apply for a mortgage for the remainder. While many lenders will not lend more than 80 percent of the value of a property, with a Help to Buy mortgage, you can borrow up to 95 percent. The lender gets a guarantee from the government that covers the amount by which the loan exceeds 80 percent of the price.

You'll need a Help to Buy conveyancing solicitor who is on the lenders' panel to act for you and the mortgage company. Fortunately, all of the conveyancing solicitors on the Homeward Legal nationwide panel are also on the UK lender panels. Buyers do not have to pay any fee for this guarantee. Nor do they have to pay any additional fees because they are applying under the Help to Buy scheme. You will need to meet the lender's usual income checks and other lending criteria. You will also have to show you have not had any previous financial difficulties. When you're buying with someone else, your joint incomes will be taken into account.

  • The property must be for your own occupation, you can't let it to anyone else.
  • The scheme's rules mean you cannot own another property anywhere when the purchase and mortgage are completed. You can own a home that you will be selling at the same time as you complete the purchase.
  • Your mortgage must be a repayment one, not interest only. The scheme also excludes offset and guarantor mortgages.
  • You can't use the mortgage guarantee scheme with any other government schemes such as equity loans or shared ownership. Nor can your deposit for the property come from a government scheme.

Take other costs and fees into account. Along with your deposit, you will need to pay Land Registry fees, any stamp duty, legal and survey fees. Legal fees will be no higher than for any other purchase. You can get an instant quote from Homeward Legal by calling .

Your Fixed Legal Fee** quote from Homeward Legal ensures that you pay no more than we have quoted you for and is based on the information you’ve provided to us being true and accurate.

There are specific circumstances on a minority of transactions that may require additional charges that could not be foreseen at the outset.

A list of those charges and explanations can be found here with details of the potential cost. These will only be charged following discussion with your conveyancer with a clear explanation of what they are for.

No Completion No Fee is our promise that in the unfortunate event that your property transaction falls-through you will not be liable for any of the conveyancer’s fixed legal fees for the work completed.

To secure this benefit a fee, already included in your quote, is taken upon on deciding to go ahead with your transaction.

Should your transaction fall through, for whatever reason, we can hold this amount on account for your next transaction or provide a refund.

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