property ladder

Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Mortgages made easy with Help to Buy experts

Helen Pierson - The Mortgage Bureau

Getting a mortgage for the first time can be quite a daunting process – but not if you have the right advice and support. Here, Helen Pierson from The Mortgage Bureau answers some of the questions you might have about borrowing to buy your first home…

Is there a minimum income which you need to buy a home on Help to Buy?

There’s no minimum – you just need to make sure that what you earn gets you the mortgage you’ll need in order to buy. Generally this is 75% of the property value, so if the sale price is £150,000 you would need a mortgage of £112,500. Most lenders will calculate what you can borrow by multiplying your income by 4.5 – after deducting any loans and credit card balances.

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

With a recent survey* by Countryside revealing two thirds of Generation Z renters are already saving for a home deposit, Telford couple Aimee and Ryan have secured their first home at age 23 thanks to Help to Buy.

The couple, who have been together for six years, were the first residents to move into Countryside’s new Silkin Green development in Telford, having picked up the keys to their New Stamford home last month.

Aimee, who works as a Sales Coordinator, commented: “We’ve both always been in the habit of building up our individual savings, so we’d actually been saving for a while before we decided to buy a house. We weren’t looking for very long - we started house hunting one Saturday in October, last year, and then reserved our home the very next day!

Harri and Georgie secure first home at Crest Nicholson’s Artisan

First-time buyers

First-time buyers Harri and Georgie had been living down the road from the development for some time, and felt that now was the right time to buy. The couple used the Government’s Help to Buy scheme to buy their new home, meaning that they only needed a 5% deposit to secure their new home. The rest was covered by a 75% mortgage, and a 20% loan from the Government.

Georgie said:

“There are only a few developments in Brighton and Hove that have properties on the Help to Buy scheme, so when we saw Artisan being built we were really interested.”

While drawn to the great location and fantastic quality of the properties, it was the communal rooftop and private balcony that had them sold.

Credit where credit is due

Credit where credit is due

The way that first-time buyers prepare their finances before they get on the property ladder is being revolutionised and largely driven by tech. But how? There used to be two main ways anyone on an average salary could buy their first home. These were to either scrimp and save for a deposit or borrow cash off their parents. But whichever way they did it, many were disadvantaged by a poor credit report. Maybe they had defaulted on a mobile contract when they were younger, or missed a loan payment, for example.

Now, tenants can do something about this. Anyone who is saving up to buy a property can use their regular rent payments to improve their credit history and therefore their chances of getting the best mortgage deal.

First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

Research the location

In a recent Daily Mail survey, 58% claimed the location of their new home is what made them fall in love with the property. Whilst location is consistently top on the list of home buyer priorities, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look around at other properties in similar or ‘less desirable’ areas in order to form an impression of what is available for your budget.

If you have an area chosen, do your research. Go visit at different times of the day/week, visit the surrounding areas, visit the local shops, try the local restaurants etc… areas may be quiet during the week but an active social hub during the weekends. You will be living there a long time, make sure the day to day works for you.