Thu 17 Jun 2021

How can first-time buyers benefit from the first homes scheme?

The First Homes scheme allows first-time buyers and key workers in England to purchase a new-build home at a 30%-50% discount of the market value. This new initiative is aimed at helping first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder by providing discounts on new-build homes.

The scheme was launched on 4th June 2021 in the Bolsover district and East Midlands. More First Homes will be available later in the year.

How does it work?

The First Homes Scheme provides opportunities for first-time buyers, serving members and veterans of the Armed Forces and key workers (NHS nurses, police and teachers) to purchase a new-build property at 30% less than the market value.

For example, if a property was valued at £250,000, a first-time buyer could be eligible for receiving a 30% discount of £75,000 and purchase the property for £175,000.

Eligibility criteria of the first homes scheme

If you are interested in the scheme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a first-time buyer.
  •  If you are buying as a couple or individual, your combined annual household income should not exceed £80,000 (or £90,000 in Greater London).
  • A mortgage or home purchase plan to fund a minimum of 50% of the discounted purchase price.

People with a local connection to the area where the property is will be favoured over people who have no connection. This could mean that you have family in the area or work nearby. There is also a price cap on properties (after the discount is applied) that are eligible for the scheme. In London there is a maximum property price of £420,000 and £250,000 everywhere else in the UK.

Other costs to consider when buying a first home

Buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial decisions that you will ever make. There are other costs that you should consider before applying for the scheme:

  • Solicitor fees.
  • Surveyor’s fees.
  • Valuation fees.
  • Removal costs.
  • Insurance.

The First Home scheme is designed to save first-time buyers money on monthly mortgage repayments because the mortgage required is significantly smaller. This saving can be used to help with other living expenses.

How to apply

Sign up to new-build developments in your area or contact local developers to find out if they are in the scheme. Properties that are eligible for the First Homes scheme will also be listed on Rightmove. Visit the Help to Buy website for the latest information on government home buying schemes, including First Homes, Right to Buy and Help to Buy initiatives.

Whether you are a first-timer or looking to downgrade your existing property, an experienced team of estate agents will provide personalised services and show you a stunning range of housing stock.

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