What is the First Home Fund?
The First Home Fund is a shared equity scheme run by the Scottish Government and aims to help first-time buyers purchase a property. Up to £25,000 is available to all first-time buyers towards the purchase of both new build and existing properties.
A first-time buyer is anyone that does not own, or has previously owned, a property in Scotland or anywhere else in the world. If you are applying for a joint mortgage, only one applicant needs to be a first-time buyer to qualify for the scheme, provided that none of the joint applicants still own another property by the time you are ready to complete the purchase of your new property. If you and your partner are both first-time buyers you will only be able to receive one contribution towards the property from the Scottish Government.
In order to take part in the scheme, you will be required to provide a minimum deposit of around 5% (subject to individual lender requirements) and your mortgage must be at least 25% of the purchase price. Although the Scottish Government will have an equity share in the property, you will own the property outright. There are no monthly payments to be made towards the Scottish Government and no interest will be charged.
You will normally repay the Scottish Government’s percentage equity share when you sell your home, however you can choose to pay this off earlier.
What is Shared Equity?
Buying through a shared equity scheme means you split the cost of purchasing the property with the Scottish Government. You will fund your share through a deposit and a mortgage, with the remaining share being provided by the Scottish Government.
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.
As an example, if your deposit and mortgage pays 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%.
This does not mean that the Scottish Government has an ownership right to the property. You will own the property outright and hold the full title.
Who is the First Home Fund for?
The scheme is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland who are taking out a mortgage. You will not be able to apply to the scheme if you are a cash buyer or if you have previously owned a property in the UK or abroad at any time (as either a sole or a joint owner).
While the scheme is open to all first-time buyers there are a few requirements that you will need to be aware of:
- The maximum contribution from the Scottish Government is £25,000 or 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.
Find out more
To find out more information on the First Home Fund and discuss how it may be able to help you own your first home get in touch with David Butler.
Telephone: 01224 050929 or 01224 784030
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep repayments on your mortgage.