Help to Buy Scheme
Looking to buy a new home but only have a small deposit? The government-backed Help to Buy Scheme can help you to get on the property ladder and own your own home. The scheme allows buyers to get a new build property with a deposit as little as 5%.
When buying a new home, you must complete the legal ownership process known as conveyancing.
At Banner Jones, we have a wealth of experience dealing with conveyancing under the Help to Buy scheme. We explain the entire process in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner. For a free, no obligation quote call 0330 017 6309
How the Help to Buy Scheme works
You need a 5% deposit to qualify. The government will provide you with a 20% deposit that is interest-free for the first five years. However, after five years you will pay a monthly administration fee.
The equity loan from the government must be paid off in full, by one of the following terms whichever happens first:
- After 25 years
- At the end of your mortgage agreement
- When you sell your home
On an equity loan, you will always pay the same level of interest rate. However:
- If your property increases in value, you will pay more money back.
- If the property loses value, you will pay less back than you borrowed.
For more information on the help to buy scheme, contact our team of specialists in Chesterfield, Dronfield, Mansfield and Sheffield on 0330 017 6309
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Key Facts On The Help To Buy Scheme
- The loans are available on new build properties only
- It is open to both first time buyers and people who have a property to sell
- It must be the person’s main residence. It cannot be a sublet or be a second home
- You cannot keep your existing property and let it out
- You must take out the standard first mortgage with a qualifying lender
- There is no higher income threshold
- The maximum purchase price is £600,000
- The loan will be repaid on the sale of the property or after 25 years, whichever comes first. You can also make voluntary repayments
The Help To Buy Scheme Process Explained
Homebuyers can now consider whether to take advantage of the second phase of the Government's Help to Buy scheme, brought in three months early in a bid to help revive the property market.
Phase 2 is available to existing home-owners looking to move to any type of property, not just first-time buyers. The buyer must still put up at least a 5 per cent cash deposit, but the Government no longer lends actual cash to the buyer. Instead, it guarantees up to 15 per cent of the mortgage granted so that, if the borrower defaults and the property is repossessed and sold for less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender can apply directly to the Government for repayment under the guarantee.
The buyer needs to contribute a cash deposit of 5 per cent of the purchase price, and to satisfy the lender's usual checks. The aim is to reduce the risk to lenders so that they can offer cheaper interest rates to buyers. The lender pays the Government a fee for its guarantee.
The property must be worth less than £600,000, and borrowers must not own any buy-to-let properties or intend to keep the home they currently live in after the purchase.
Help to Buy Home Scheme Example
In an example where you purchase a £200,000 home under the help to buy scheme, the agency’s contribution of the equity loan totals £40,000 or 20% of the purchase price. You will be required to produce a 5% deposit of £10,000 and a mortgage of £150,000.
The equity loan is interest free for the first 5 years. After 5 years you pay a fee of 1.75% rising annually by the increase in the retail price index plus 1%. In year 6 on the previous example of £40,000 this would be approximately £58 a month.
How to Buy a Help to Buy Home
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Frequently Asked Questions
You can withdraw from a sale or purchase up until the point contracts have been exchanged. Any deposits paid after exchange of contract will then by non-refundable. After contracts are exchanged you are then responsible for the property you are buying and should arrange suitable insurance from this date.
A local authority search completed for a house purchase is valid for 3 months.
We usually say 4-6 weeks for an average sale or purchase. Queries and concerns can often come out of the local authority searches which need further investigation and sometimes this leads to re-approval from the Mortgage lender. This can add further time into the process.
You can indemnify the work by taking out an insurance policy. This means that you can not be held liable for any future fault on the work that was done. We can arrange this for you
Stamp Duty is a tax levied by HM Government on a transfer of property. For residential property this tax is calculated at 1% for property values between £125,001 and £250,000, 3% for values between £250,001 and £500,000 and 4% for those of £500,001 and over. Duty may also be chargeable on any rental charge (leases only) - this affects both residential and commercial leases where different thresholds are applied.
Tenants is Common is where two or more people are entitled to the proceeds of sale in distinct shares - on the death of one, his/her interest will not pass to the survivor(s) but will be part of his/her estate. Joint Tenants are on the other hand 50/50 Co-owners of land - when one of them dies, his/her rights of ownership pass to the survivor(s).
Each company will be following their own policies and procedures as well as the government guidelines, which may result in a slower service or more precautions being put in place, or indeed surveys being cancelled.
Unfortunately, in this situation the seller will not be able to give vacant possession, which will lead to completion delays. As a preventative measure, as per question 1, we can offer to exchange contracts and complete on the same day, which ensures that contracts are only exchanged if all parties in the chain are able to move on that day, thus reducing the risk to all parties. This can be more stressful so we ask that clients be sensible and accommodating of the situation.
The majority of the searches are automated through computer systems and will therefore not be affected, however, the local authority searches are done by visiting the council offices. Please therefore expect lengthy delays on the return of those searches as some council offices are not allowing visitors.
As things stand, it will be down to the individual companies who will have their own policies in place so the best thing is to contact our remover and discuss their policy with them.
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How to Buy a Help to Buy Home
Stage 1 - Application
An application needs to be made to the local help to buy agent. The application includes a Property Information Form which shows details of the proposed purchase, main mortgage, deposit and household income. The Property Information Form also confirms your agreement to the funds due being paid directly to the house builder.
You will need to sign the Property Information Form with a copy of the Builders Reservation Form which must be sent to the local home buyer agent.
Authority to proceed
The local home buyer agent assesses the application and if passed they will issue an authority to proceed. This is valid for 3 months and exchange of contracts must take place within this period.
Stage 2 - Exchange of Contracts
You will need to go through the normal conveyancing process with regard to the property but you will also need legal support with the signing of the help to buy equity loan agreement. Banner Jones can help you with this.
We will need to check that the mortgage offer, property price and available funds are consistent with the authority to proceed and request permission to exchange contracts from the local home buyer agents.
An approval is received before contracts can be exchanged.
Stage 3 - Completion
- The agents pay the funds direct to the developer.
- We return confirmation of the sale to the local home buyer agent who will then register the details with the post sale home buyer agent.
- We deal with the registration of the second charge. ie, the loan
Sale of the Property
Consent from the post sale home buyer agent is required and the agencies mortgage will only be released with their permission. Their main concern is that the sale of the property is at the correct market value and they can request an independent valuation to ensure this.
What happens after 5 years?
When you have had your Help to Buy loan for 5 years you will need to start to pay back the interest. There are a few options open to you at this stage and we can discuss with you which might be the best one.
- Do nothing and start to pay the additional interest, however, if your house has significantly increased in value over the first 5 years this maybe more than you thought.
- Pay off the balance due to Help to Buy from your savings if you have enough.
- Pay off the balance due to Help to Buy by re-mortgaging your property.
- Pay off the balance due by selling the property.
- Pay off part of the balance by “staircasing” which means that you will reduce the Help to Buy stake in your property from 20% to 10% for example. If your house has increased in value this would be a sensible option so that you would then own more of the property's equity than before.
At Banner Jones we’ve devised a simple fixed fee Help to Buy service for anyone who needs their legal ownership updating. For £350 plus vat we will help you decide which option is best for you, take your instructions, arrange a valuation from a Chartered Surveyor if you need help with this (payable to the surveyor), and deal with all of the Help to Buy paperwork. We can also assist with a mortgage broker as well if you need assistance with a re-mortgage. There will also be a small fee payable to the land registry to update the ownership.
If you are in a position to pay off the full equity loan in year five or six, that’s great, but don’t be put off opting for a Staircasing payment if that’s more manageable. It’s a relatively simple process, and it means that another 10% of the value of your property belongs to you, and you alone. For more information on our Help to Buy service speak to the central quotes team on 01246 560 560 . We have specialists in our offices in Sheffield, Chesterfield, Dronfield and Mansfield.