First Home Fund

The Scottish Government has launched its new national pilot scheme, helping first-time buyers with the deposit for a new home. Launched to provide a total of £150 million until March 2021, the new funding will help at least 6,000 people buy their first home, whatever its price. 

Here we explain how it works and what’s in it for you.

 

What is the First Home Fund? 

First Home Fund is a new Scottish Government shared equity scheme that aims to help aspiring first-time buyers onto the property ladder by providing up to £25,000 as an equity loan towards the purchase of a new home in Scotland.

What is a Shared Equity Scheme?

Shared equity means the purchasing cost is split between yourself and, in this case, the Scottish Government's First Home Fund. Scottish Government will secure their equity share on the home you are purchasing but you will own the property outright.

What type of home can I buy?

The scheme can fund the purchase of either existing properties or new build properties, including any Stewart Milne home from across Scotland. 
The maximum First Home Fund contribution towards a Stewart Milne home is £25,000.

Can anyone use the funding?

The fund can only assist ‘first time buyers’.   Confirmation of the buyer’s status must be provided by your solicitor.

What if I’m buying with someone else?

If you are making a joint application to the First Home Fund, only one of you needs to be a first time buyer.

What do you need?

Buyers must contribute a deposit of 5% of the purchase price (subject to lender requirements) and have agreed a mortgage of at least 25% of the property value.   You will also have to pay an administration fee of £550 on application after you have reserved your new home but this is refunded if your application is unsuccessful.

Can I use other ‘help to buy’ schemes?

First Home Fund cannot be used with another equity scheme such as Help to Buy (Scotland). You can however still use a Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA.

When do I need to repay this?

When you sell the home although, if you choose, you can repay the loan in full at any time before then at current market value.  Meantime, however, there are no monthly repayments to be made on Scottish Government’s share of the loan.

How much do I pay back when I sell the house?

Again, you pay back the equivalent percentage. For example, if the Scottish Government committed 20% of the purchase value, you pay back 20% of the resale price at current market value.

Can I use the home purchased as a buy to let?

The home cannot be used as a let property; it must be your main residence.

Which lenders are offering mortgages for the First Home Fund?

•    Barclays
•    Glasgow Credit Union
•    Leeds Building Society
•    Lloyds Banking Group
•    Nationwide
•    Scottish Building Society
•    Scotwest Credit Union
•    TSB

The First Home Fund offers a greater flexibility to first time buyers, allowing them to benefit from lower interest rates available on lower ‘loan to value’ mortgages, without a limit on the property value. However, we would still recommend speaking to a New Homes’ Mortgage Specialist as every mortgage lender will have their own requirements.

For more information about the new scheme check out:
https://www.gov.scot/collections/first-home-fund