LIFT – Open Market Shared Equity

The Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers – LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme might be for you.

Unlike the Help to Buy scheme which is only for new build homes from house builders the Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme is for homes that are for sale on the Open Market. So if you want to buy your first home but can’t afford the total cost this might be the right scheme for you.

How it Works

The Scottish Government will give assistance to qualifying first time buyer by taking an equity share in your new home.

You will own the largest share usually between 60% and 90% of the purchase price with the Scottish Government holding the remaining share under a shared equity agreement. The mortgage lenders will typically require you to have a minimum of a 5% deposit based on the full purchase price/market value.

If you were to purchase a 75% share of your new home, the Scottish Government will provide assistance for 25% of the purchase price.

You will own 100% of your home and have the title deeds in your name but the Scottish Government will have a “standard security” on the home to protect their share. It also means that when you sell they get a their share of the sale proceeds back.

How to qualify

You need to be able to show that you can’t afford to buy a home that meets your needs without help from the OMSE scheme. If it looks like you’d be able to buy a home without any help, your application won’t be eligible.

Maximum price thresholds

There are maximum price thresholds and criteria on what you can purchase. The price threshold varies depending on where you are purchasing and the size of property you are eligible for. You can typically purchase a property that is one apartment larger than you require an apartment is classed a room. So, a 3 apartment property is a 2 bed property.

In Aberdeen City a one bed property (2 apartment) has a maximum price of £110,000 and a 2 bed (3 apartment) £130,000. In South Aberdeenshire these figures increase to £125,000 for a 1 bed (2 apartment) and £170,000 for a 2 bed (3 apartment) property.


If you can get for example a mortgage of £85,000 you could if you qualify for the scheme purchase a 1 bed property in Aberdeen city for £110,000 and 82% share, £90,500, made up of your £85,000 mortgage and a deposit of £5,500.

What to do next

Get in touch and we can discuss the scheme in detail and your eligibility. The next step is to apply to the scheme administrators and if approved you will be issued with a “passport letter” then once you have found your home a copy of the valuation has to be provided so that the property can be approved.

If it seems complicated, don’t worry, we are here to assist at every stage of the process and make it as easy as possible.

To get more information or arrange an appointment give David a call on 01224 784030 or email

Portlethen Financial Services

Mortgage Advice Aberdeen

David Butler, Portlethen Financial Services, Unit 14 The Green, Portlethen, AB12 4UN

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


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