Aside from the Equity Loan, the government has also released other affordable schemes such as the Help To Buy ISA, and Shared Ownership properties.
The Help to Buy: ISA scheme allows first-time buyers to save more money, with the government boosting their savings by 25 per cent. For every £200 that you save, the government will add a bonus of £50. The maximum amount of money that you can receive from this scheme is capped at £3,000.
The criteria for eligibility for a Help to Buy ISA is as follows:
- The home you are buying is in the UK.
- You are purchasing a house with a maximum price of £250,000 (£450,000 if in London).
- The property is the only home you will own and live in.
- You must use a mortgage to purchase the property.
Once you have saved at least £1,600 after applying for the ISA scheme, only then can you claim the minimum government bonus of £400.
The ISA scheme ceased accepting new accounts on 30 November 2019. However, it remains in operation for those who have opened an ISA account before the said date. ISA members can continue using their accounts until November 2029.
You should also consider the Shared Ownership scheme, which allows you to buy a percentage share of a new or existing property, usually between 25 and 75 per cent, then pay rent on the remaining shares.
The shared ownership scheme also allows for increasing your share in the property up to 100 per cent as you are able to afford to. This is a great option for those who couldn’t afford a 100 per cent mortgage of their homes up-front.