A&J Stephen

2021: Your Year to Climb the Property Ladder?

As we prepare to exit lockdown, many of us will be contemplating a long-awaited house move.

What’s more, if you’re a first-time buyer, there’s a new fund to support you.

The First Home Fund is a new scheme run by the Scottish Government and aims to help first-time home buyers purchase a new property in Scotland.   The funding provided by the scheme will help over 8,000 first-time buyers purchase their first home.

The scheme was hugely successful last year and helped thousands of first-time buyers secure their first home.  Having closed to new applications in October 2020, the First Home Fund will re-open next month, 1 April 2021, for purchases completing in financial year 2021-22.

So how does it work and which of our homes could be eligible?

What does the scheme offer?

Up to £25,000 is available to all first-time buyers towards the purchase of both new build and existing properties.  This is the very maximum the Government will provide, or up to 49% of the property valuation figure or the purchase price (whichever is lower). If you purchase a property for less than the valuation figure, then the maximum Scottish Government contribution is £25,000 or 49% of the purchase price.

What can we offer you?

Because there is no limit on the maximum value of the property, each and every Stephen home is eligible for the First Home Fund!  Please browse our site – we’re currently building everything from apartments and bungalows to villas throughout Perth and Perthshire, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire.

Stephen’s Chapelton development, Aberdeenshire

How does it work?

Buying through a shared equity scheme means you split the cost of purchasing the property with the Scottish Government.

For example, if your deposit and mortgage pay for 85% of your home’s value when you buy, the Scottish Government will hold a 15% share. This means that when you sell, you will receive 85% of the final sale price and the Scottish Government will receive 15%.

Are there any hidden costs?

There are no monthly payments or interest payments to the Scottish Government for their contribution. Instead, you will normally pay it back when you sell your property, or you can choose to increase your equity share over time.

What do I need to do to take part?

First off, you need to be a first-time buyer, meaning that you don’t own – or have previously owned – a property in Scotland or anywhere else in the world, either as a sole or joint owner.

You will not be able to apply to the scheme if you are a cash buyer. The scheme is not open to buy-to-let properties and the property must be the applicant’s sole residence.

You will need to provide a minimum deposit of 5% (subject to individual lender requirements, but any amount over valuation must be cash funded) and your mortgage must be at least 25% of the purchase price.

What about other financial assistance schemes?

If you plan to apply to the First Home Fund, you cannot apply to other Scottish Government shared equity schemes at the same time, eg. Help to Buy (Scotland).   If you have an open application to any other shared equity scheme in Scotland you must withdraw this before you apply to this scheme. However, you can use a Help to Buy: ISA or Lifetime ISA to go towards your deposit.

Will I own the house?

Yes.  Although the Scottish Government will have an equity share in the property, you will own the property outright and hold the full title.

What now?

The scheme re-opens on 1 April 2021. To browse our developments and arrange a visit, take a look at our website or give us a call.  It’s then just a case of consulting an independent financial advisor and getting the application process moving.

For more information, please contact our Sales office on (01738) 620721, email sales@stephen.co.uk or visit www.stephen.co.uk.

ENDS