FTBs confused by home-buying jargon

Jargon used in property buying and mortgage lending is bamboozling first-time buyers.

More than half (52 percent) of FTBs don’t understand how a Help to Buy equity loan works; almost half (47 percent) are confused by Lifetime ISAs; while more than a third (36 percent) say they’re unsure what a Help to Buy ISA does.

That confusion over the borrowing options means than nine out of 10 (89 percent) of FTBs believe it’s extremely difficult to get on to the property ladder.

Specialist bank Aldermore quizzed FTBs about their knowledge and understanding of the most commonly used terms in mortgages and housing.

The results reveal that many FTBs could be missing out on the help that’s available from the Government’s Help to Buy schemes. For example, the Help to Buy ISA offers up to £3,000 tax free towards a deposit, while £1,000 a year can be gained through a Lifetime ISA for those trying to buy for the first time.

The Help to Buy equity loan lets FTBs buy with a government loan, while shared ownership allows FTBs to buy an affordable share of a new build.

But lack of knowledge about these options means that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of prospective FTBs say that buying a home is out of reach for them right now, while seven out of 10 (71 percent) think there’s too little support from the Government.

The terms that caused the most confusion include starter home initiative (59 percent did not understand it), Help to Buy equity loan (52 percent), Lifetime ISA (47 percent) and Help to Buy ISA (36 percent). Shared ownership baffled 35 percent of those questioned.

Of those who had bought within the last three years, more than half (57 percent) said the whole process of buying a home had been confusing, specifically the legal jargon, how long the process takes and the mortgage process.

However, seven out of 10 (71 percent) said the hassle and confusion was worth it all in the end to become a homeowner.

Damian Thompson, director of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “Buying a first home is a challenging process, and it is being made harder as future buyers clearly do not feel they are being informed enough about the options open to them.

“Collectively, as an industry, we need to do a better job with educating prospective buyers to ensure they are knowledgeable of the products and initiatives available so they are not missing out.

“This will help ease the stress and anxiety of what should be an enjoyable and exciting time in their lives.”

Homeward Legal’s easy-to-access guide for FTBs cuts out all the jargon and delivers the information you need to get on the property ladder.