Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is the Help to Buy Scheme available?

  • The Help to Buy Scheme is available I England, Wales and Scotland. However there is a slight difference, in England you can purchase a property up to the value of £600,000 in Scotland the limit is £400,000 and Wales its £300,000.

  • I need to sell my house to purchase a bigger one, do I qualify for the scheme?

  • Yes the scheme is designed for people who need to move up the property ladder. As long as the property price does not exceed £600,000(in England) and the property is your only residence.

  • Do I have to pay stamp duty?

  • Stamp Duty does still apply to properties bought through the help to buy scheme, with the usual tax outlines. The tax is required at the time the property is purchased and is calculated on the full price of the home.

  • After I have bought the property am I able to take out another loan or increase the mortgage?

  • To do this you would need permission from the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent. Mortgage Advances taken out to pay back the equity loan in part or full are usually approved. Mortgage advances for other purposes will need to be considered by the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent.

  • Do I need to pass certain affordability and credit checks to be approved for a mortgage on the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • Yes, you will need to prove that you do not have a bad history defaulting on payments and a reasonable credit rating, depending on your lender. You will be required to meet the lenders eligibility. You will not be approved for a mortgage through the help to buy scheme if you have owed payments totalling to 3 months payments on any loans, had a County Court Judgement over £500 or have declared bankruptcy in the past three years.

  • Is the scheme only applicable for first time buyers?

  • No, the Equity Loan and Mortgage Guarantee are applicable for first time buyers and existing homeowners.

  • What happens after the first 5 years of the Equity Loan part of the scheme?

  • From the 6th year of owning your home you will be required to pay interest on the 20% loan from the government. This can be paid annually or in monthly instalments and will be collected by direct debit or standing order. You will receive a statement a month in advance for this.

  • Am I able to make alterations to the property or add an extension?

  • You are unable to do this without permission. This is because the scheme is aimed at getting people moving who do not have large deposits and if you are able to pay for alterations then the first thing that should be considered is repaying part or all of the equity loan. However if an application is made the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent will act within reason and consider all applications.

  • Can I buy a second home after buying a home through the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • The property that you buy through the Help to Buy scheme must be your only home. If you are able to afford a second home then you will be required to pay back the Equity Loan. You cannot rent out your Help to Buy property and purchase another.

  • Who pays for the repairs and maintenance for the property?

  • It will be your own responsibility to maintain and repair your home as you will own 100% of the property. If you have purchased a new build home through the Equity Loan part of the scheme then the property will usually come with a guarantee that covers some defects for up to 10 years (NHBC Certificate)

  • Am I able to buy an off plan property through the Help to Buy Scheme?

  • Yes you are. As long as the developer is taking part in the help to buy scheme. You can reserve your new home off plan at any time. Just bear in mind that your mortgage offer is only valid for a certain amount of time and the sale will need to be completed within 6 months from exchange of contracts.

  • Will it be difficult for me to sell the home if I bought it through Help to Buy?

  • In the terms of the Mortgage Guarantee part of the scheme it will be the same as selling any other property.

    If you bought the property through the equity loan part of the scheme then you will have to repay the loan, plus any increase on the sale of the property if you have not already done so.

  • How can I find out which lenders are part of the help to buy scheme?

  • You can find a list of lenders here at the Help to Buy website.