Government Property Purchasing Schemes

Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked about the various Government property purchasing schemes on offer at the moment (correct May 2020)

What is ‘Help to Buy (Scotland)’?
Help To Buy (Scotland) can give you up to 15% of the purchase price of a newly built residential property through a ‘shared equity’ scheme.   This means the Government would own a stake in your property.  You would have to repay the government if and when you sold the property.  The repayment will be 15% of the sale price NOT the purchase price.    Help to Buy (Scotland) is applicable to properties costing up to £200,000.
What is a ‘Help To Buy ISA’?
For a number of years, the Scottish government supported the “Help To Buy ISA” scheme where it would match a proportion of savings made into a special bank account.  The scheme closed to new applicants in 2019, although existing Help to Buy ISA holders can still save through the scheme.  Wallace Quinn are licensed solicitors for this scheme.
Who is eligible for Help To Buy (Scotland)?
You could be eligible for Help To Buy if the property will be your main and only residence.  Help To Buy is only available on new-build property and only selected builders are included in the scheme.  You cannot part exchange a property using Help To Buy.  You would still need to ensure you have a deposit of at least 5% of the full purchase price.
What is the ‘First Home Fund’
Introduced in 2020, the ‘First Home Fund’ is a shared equity scheme offering up to £25,000 towards the purchase price of a property.  Unlike “Help To Buy (Scotland)”, this scheme is available to both new build and resale residential property and there is no upper limit on the purchase price of the property.  This scheme is only available to people who have never owned property anywhere in the world at any time in the past.
What is a ‘Lifetime ISA (LISA)’?
A Lifetime ISA is a savings account open to anybody aged between 18 and 40.  You can save up to £4,000 per year until you are 50.  The government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.   You can withdraw the money to buy your first home or for any other reason if you are aged 60 or older.  You can also withdraw the money if you are terminally ill, with less than twelve months to live.  Withdrawing the money for any other reason will incur a 25% charge.
I would like to find out more about these schemes, what should I do next?
The information contained in this document on the government schemes are for illustrative purposes and the information may change, therefore should not be used to make decisions on whether they are right for you – to do that, you should discuss these schemes with your Independent Financial Advisors.