With its intricacies and increasing abundance of opportunities, the British property market has become a land of great deals and a maker of dreams.
Thanks to the fact that hundreds of listings change hands every day, and it’s a whole lot easier to seek financing nowadays, it’s no mystery that there’s no better time to buy or sell a home than now. The problem, however, is that it’s so interlaced with intricacies, details, and hurdles to the point where simply getting on the property ladder can prove to be an obstacle course on its own.
As you do the necessary research for buying a home or parting with a listing in your name, there will be certain concepts and keywords that will stand out from the others—all of which will make a significant impact on your transaction. One of these specific concepts just so happens to be the “Help To Buy” scheme that has become far more prevalent in the property market than ever.
An Imminent Change
In an effort to encourage real estate market activity (especially in times like these where the government and affected firms hope for a much-needed recovery), Help To Buy schemes have become more relevant than ever.
Available in an assortment of forms, the scheme in question has become a pivotal concept in the world of home buying. Given the way it affords thousands annually with the opportunity to experience homeownership and easily seek financing from the get-go, it’s easy to see why many are looking to capitalise on it themselves.
Thanks to the advent of Help To Buy schemes, it has become vital to know which kind of scheme variation you qualify for. With the impending changes to be made in the property sector over the coming months, however, buyers looking to use the financial assistance in question must accommodate future updates that can affect their experience!
What Was the Help To Buy Scheme Like Before?
Traditionally speaking, the Help To Buy equity loan is built on a simple premise: it offers homebuyers a loan for up to 20% of the cost of their newly built home.
While the format may not seem too different from regular plans, it is distinct in the sense that it only requires buyers to provide a five per cent cash deposit with a 75 per cent mortgage to make up for the balance. Another form of this tool—the London Help to Buy scheme—offered a loan for 40 per cent of the purchase price (with a special Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme being released shortly after).
In terms of its purpose, the Help to Buy scheme was developed to help buyers who were struggling to save a deposit or were struggling to purchase a home in an otherwise expensive area.
If you’re new to the idea of using the scheme, here are some key details about it that you should take into account:
The scheme applies to newly-built homes costing less than £600,000.
The house that is bought using the scheme must be the buyer’s only property.
For the first five years, the loan does not charge any interest—after this period, however, interest is then charged.
The loan can be repaid in either a lump sum or in parts.
This option is available to any buyer, so as long as they are using it to buy their only home and are not using part exchange.
What’s New for 2021?
With a new set of regulations in place, a set of changes is expected to be implemented in the home buying process—all of which have started this April 2021.
The most prominent change caused by amendments made by pertinent government entities is that the availability of a Help To Buy scheme is now only limited to first-time buyers. This restriction was implemented due to previous concerns from consumers and real estate entities over the fact that it was easily available to those who needed it—making it hard to get for those it was actually made for.
Beyond the current state of availability, however, the overall plan for this home buying scheme is a set cap in terms of duration and cost scope. The government seeks to achieve this plan by ending the scheme altogether by 2023, while enforcing a regional price cap to make the focus on helping those who need the scheme the most.
How You Can Qualify Under the New Rules for the Help To Buy Equity Loan in 2021
If you’ve been thinking about using the Help To Buy Scheme (or any of its other iterations) to fund your home purchase, it’s important to know whether you qualify for it or not right off the bat. To help ensure that your efforts towards your aspirations of homeownership are set in the right direction, let’s go over the necessary requirements you must comply with to receive assistance:
When it comes to qualifying for the updated version of the Help To Buy Scheme, here’s a checklist of vital requirements that you need to comply with before all else to ensure your eligibility:
[ ] You must be a first-time homebuyer: To qualify for the Scheme under the guise of the recent updates, you must first and foremost never have owned a property in the UK or overseas. If you are particularly buying as a couple, neither of you should have owned property, in the UK or overseas.
[ ] The property you’re buying needs to be newly built: As we’ve previously mentioned, one of the main qualifying components of the Help To Buy loan is that the property being purchased must be newly built. During your application, you can comply with this component by providing the necessary supplementary records.
[ ] The builder must be registered with the Help to Buy Equity Scheme: One of the latest additional compliance components that recent amendments have brought about is the need for a builder to be registered with the Help To Buy Scheme. This requirement was implemented to help ensure that all other specific qualifying requirements are met!
[ ] You must be able to provide a minimum five per cent deposit for your loan: This particular qualifying component is self-explanatory. By providing your minimum five per cent down payment, you’ll be able to gain access to the loan—but it’s worth noting that you can put up to 75 per cent of the total closing price down!
How a Conveyancer Can Help You Maximise a Help to Buy Scheme
Given the current level of demand surrounding the Help To Buy Equity Loan, it’s vital that you get to close your transaction as quickly as possible after qualifying. The best way you can do this is by expediting the purchase of your home in a much more feasible manner by getting the right conveyancer to help you out.
Thankfully, this is a task that can be done faster by using our Conveyancing Calculator to find the best professional for your budget in a much more conveniently and easily accessible manner!
With the advent of Help To Buy Equity loans and shockingly low market prices, it’s clear that there’s no better time to purchase a home than now. Thankfully, following this guide closely will allow you to get the best results possible so that you capitalise on the opportunity to make your dream of homeownership come true!
Are you looking to streamline your home buying or selling process without taking any unnecessary risks along the way? Check out our conveyancing fees calculator today to get the best and most accurate results from our team of fully regulated and trained professionals!