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5 years of Help to Buy and thousands of 1st-time buyers have benefited

April marks five years since Help to Buy was launched. The Government-financed scheme has helped tens of thousands of first-time buyers get on the property ladder, either through assistance on deposits or through shared ownership schemes that make a first home more affordable.

With £10 billion funding for Help to Buy guaranteed until 2021, the scheme’s popularity is sure to continue.

For many first-time buyers, the Help to Buy scheme – from equity loan to ISA to shared ownership – has made the difference in them being able to afford to buy their own home. Government figures suggest around 300,000 people have been helped by the scheme so far.

The main benefit of the equity loan element of Help to Buy is that buyers need only a 5 percent deposit to buy a home with a 75 percent mortgage. Help to Buy makes up the difference with an interest-free (for the first five years) loan.

The London Help to Buy equity loan maximum is 40 percent of the property’s value, reflecting higher property prices in the capital.

April 2018 also marks the first time that those who were among the first tranche of buyers using the equity loan in April 2013 must start paying interest on the loan, assuming they are still in the same property. The rate is set at an initial 1.75 percent and will rise each year by 1 percent above the RPI rate of inflation.

The interest payment does not clear the loan, which has to be repaid in full when the mortgage period ends or when the property is sold, whichever comes first.

You can read more here, here and here about Help to Buy to find out which scheme would work for you.

Free Guides for First Time Buyers

Homeward Legal has put together some handy guides to help you with your first property purchase. Let us know if there is anything we've missed, and as ever, feel free to call 0800 038 6699

Whose advice can you count on
Step-by-step guide to buying
Essential checklist for moving as a first-time buyer
10 things to know when you view a property

Everything you need to know about buying a property for the first time

5 years of Help to Buy and thousands of 1st-time buyers have benefited
Declaration of trust/gift – what it is and why you need it
Whose advice can you count on? Ask the experts
10 things to know when you view a property
The First-Time Buyers' Hub - all the advice you need in one place
First Time Buyer A - Z
The DIY Move - what you can do yourself and what you should leave to the experts
Essential checklist for moving as a first-time buyer
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Stamp duty – what it is and what it costs
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