Helping local first-time buyers and key workers onto the property ladder…
If you’re an eligible first-time buyer, you may be able to buy a home for 30% to 50% less than its market value. This offer is called the First Homes scheme, launched in June 2021 as another government initiative to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. The home can be a new home built by a developer or a home you buy from someone else who originally bought it as part of the scheme. The First Homes scheme is only available in England.
To be eligible to apply, you must be 18 or older, a first-time buyer, able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home and buying the home as part of a household where total income is no more than £80,000 (or £90,000 if you live in London). The local council may also set some additional eligibility conditions. For example, some councils may prioritise giving First Homes discounts to essential workers, people who already live in the area, and those on lower incomes.
There are exemptions for armed forces and their families. You’re exempt from council conditions about being an essential worker or living in the area if you’re: a member of the armed forces; the divorced or separated spouse or registered civil partner of a member of the armed forces; a widow or widower of a deceased member of the armed forces (if their death was caused wholly or partly by their service); or a veteran who left the armed forces in the last five years.
You can look for new homes in your area that developers advertise as part of the First Homes scheme. Every home sold is valued by an independent surveyor to ensure the discount is based on actual market value.
The homes cannot cost more than £420,000 in London or £250,000 anywhere else in England after the discount has been applied. You can only sell the home to someone who is eligible to buy a First Home. You must give them the same percentage discount that you got, based on the home’s market value at the time of sale.
To apply, you need to contact the developer (or estate agent if you’re buying from a previous First Homes buyer) and tell them you want to buy a First Home. They’ll help you complete the application and send it to the local council. You’ll have to pay a fee if the First Home you want to buy is a new build. The developer sets the amount. You’ll get the fee back if your application is unsuccessful.
The local council will check your application to make sure you’re eligible. They’ll contact you to tell you their decision. They’ll also contact the developer and your mortgage adviser. If your application is missing any information, they may ask you to provide it. There are a number of major high street lenders such as Lloyds, Halifax and Nationwide Building Society, along with local building societies that are currently offering 95% loan-to-value mortgages for First Homes.
If you are a first-time buyer from Liverpool and would like help and advice in navigating the procedure of buying your first home then please visit our first-time buyer’s page where we go into more detail about the process to best prepare you, or if you want to get in touch and see how we can help, then please visit our contact page. We wish you the best of luck in your house hunt and we are here to offer friendly support and advice as we know how tricky of a process this can be, but we believe that buying your first home is a milestone which should be enjoyed.