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What is the First Home Fund?
The First Home Fund is a Scottish Government scheme to help first-time homebuyers to purchase their first home. 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 who does not own, or has previously owned, a property in Scotland or anywhere else in the world.
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
If you have never considered shared equity before and are not quite clear on what it means, here is an explanation.
Shared equity means that the cost of your properties purchase price is split with the Scottish Government. Your share will be through a mortgage and deposit, with the remaining share provided by the Scottish Government.
You will be required to pay this back on the sale of your property, but at any time you can increase your equity share. The Scottish Government will not charge any monthly or interest payments. If your deposit and mortgage pays for 85% of your home’s value, 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.
Anyone who is a first-time buyer in Scotland and is taking out a mortgage will be eligible to apply for the scheme. If you are a cash buyer or have previously owned a home either in Scotland or anywhere else in the world, including joint ownership or sole owner, you *will not* qualify for this scheme.
There are however some requirements you should be aware of –
- The Scottish Government’s maximum contribution is £25,000 or 49% of the purchase price or valuation figure, whichever is lower. If your purchase price is less than the valuation figure on that property then the maximum Scottish Government contribution will be £25,000 or 49% of the purchase price.
- There is a limit to one application per property. You can submit a joint application however you will be limited to one award of £25,000
- Your mortgage must be at least 25% of the purchase price.
- The property must be the sole residence of all applicants. The scheme is not available for buy-to-let properties.
- You cannot apply for other Scottish Government shared equity schemes (e.g. Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build, Help to Buy (Scotland) Smaller Developer, New Supply Shared Equity or Open Market Shared Equity) while also applying for this scheme. If you have an open application to any other shared equity scheme in Scotland you must withdraw this before you apply for this scheme. However, you are able to use a Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA to go towards your deposit.
John’s deposit and mortgage – £75,000
SG contribution – £25,000
SG equity share – 25%
In this example, John can receive the full £25,000 contribution as this would be a 25% equity share for the Scottish Government.
Property valuation and purchase price – £50,000
Amy’s deposit and mortgage – £25,500
SG contribution – £24,500
SG equity share – 49%
Amy is not awarded the full £25,000 because the Scottish Government equity share cannot exceed 49%. The maximum amount she can receive is £24,500.
Terms and conditions apply
For further information on this or any other incentive telephone 01786 811811.