Affordable Home Ownership
Help to Buy is a government scheme providing a range of home ownership options designed to make it more affordable for you to buy a home. The local agent is called ‘Help to Buy Midlands’ who cover the West and East Midlands and help people to get a foot on the property ladder, and guide them through the home buying options and processes. There are a range of products designed to make it more affordable for people to buy or rent a home to meet their needs. The basic information about these schemes is below.
Equity Loan Scheme is open to both first time buyers and existing homeowners. There is no income cap for applicants and you can buy a new-build property with a value of up to £600,000. The scheme helps you to buy your home with an equity loan of up to 20% of the full price of the property. You won't have to pay any interest charges on this loan for the first five years and you own 100% of your own home from the start.
Shared Ownership scheme provides for you to get a foot on the property ladder but can’t afford to buy a home on the open market. It allows you to buy a share in a brand new leasehold property (either a house or an apartment) on a part buy/part rent basis and pay a subsidised rent on the part that you do not own. It is not just new properties that are available to buy under Shared Ownership. From time to time, properties that were originally sold under Shared Ownership become available for resale.
Discounted Market Sale or Fixed Equity – you buy your home at a discounted rate, usually up to 30% less of the market value and when you sell the property it will be sold at the same discounted percentage. To qualify for this type of property you will usually need to have a local connection to the area the property is in.
Older Persons Shared Ownership (OPSO) are homes built for people over the age of 55 who may want to downsize to a smaller property or a home that is more suited to their needs. OPSO works in a similar way to shared ownership and enables you to buy a share in a new home. This share will range from 25% to 75% depending on what you can afford. The maximum share you can buy with OPSO is 75%. If you purchase the maximum shared of 75% you will pay no rent on the remaining 25%.
Rent to Buy: This option offers new build homes to rent for a pre-defined period of time with the expectation that you will buy a share of the property at the end of the rental period. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on assured shorthold tenancies with an affordable rent of 80% (or less) of market rents. Some of these schemes are marketed with different names, for example ‘Try Before You Buy’ or ‘Rent Save Buy.
Intermediate Rent: This option offers new build homes to rent at 80% (or less) of typical market rents. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on an assured shorthold tenancy, usually for an initial period of six months. This is reviewed regularly. The expectation is that the savings made on the reduced rent will be used towards a deposit to enable the purchase of a property at a later date.
Social HomeBuy allows housing association and local authority tenants to buy their home on a shared ownership basis or outright, with the benefit of a discount. This scheme is open to housing association and council tenants whose landlord is participating in the scheme. Tenants usually buy their home on a shared ownership basis with a minimum share of 25 per cent, but you can also buy the property outright.
The Forces Help to Buy scheme has been designed to help Regular Service Personnel with the cost of buying a home. For information about this scheme you need to contact the Joint Services Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) on 01252 787574 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD) is a route into shared ownership for people in receipt of Disability Living Allowance High or Middle Rate Care (under 60s) or Attendance Allowance (over 60s), together with other qualifying benefits, who are unable to work in conventional employment (under 60s only). Applicants should be first time buyers, or be defined as being in housing need, with a household income of less than £80,000 per year. Visit www.mysafehome.info for more information.
Help to Buy ISA – If you are saving to buy your first home, you can save money into a Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. For every £200 you save, you can receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000.
Visit www.helptobuymidlands.co.uk for more information.
Local shared ownership and Discounted Market Sale properties are also advertised on www.homechoiceplus.org.uk.
Another option if you are a social housing tenant already is Right to Buy - a Government initiative enabling some housing associations and Council tenants to purchase their existing home at a discounted rate. If you are eligible the discount you get is dependant on how long you've been a tenant and the type of property you're buying (a flat or a house). In the first instance please contact your landlord to see of you are eligible and for more information please open this link: www.righttobuy.communities.gov.uk.