Affordable home ownership and financial assistance schemes available in Scotland
At TSPC, we understand it may be difficult for you to get on or move up the property ladder. We have outlined below some options that are currently available in Scotland and might just be what you are looking for.
LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme
Want to buy a home on the open market but don’t think you can afford the full price? Through the Scottish Government's Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT), applicants can receive up to 40% funding towards the price of a home on the open market. Link Housing administers the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government throughout Scotland.
Here's how it works:
- The Scottish Government contributes between 10% and 40% towards the price of a home you have chosen on the open market.
- When the property is sold, the Scottish Government would receive the equivalent percentage of the sale price that it originally contributed.
- In most areas you can increase your equity share to 100% over time if you choose to do so.
- The Scottish Government’s contribution depends on the amount of mortgage you ?can ?get compared to the value of the property that meets your needs. Size and price thresholds apply.
The LIFT scheme is open to first time buyers, social renters, people with a disability who can demonstrate a housing need, members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the last two years, widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel who have lost their life while serving in the armed forces within the last two years, and people aged over 60 who can demonstrate a housing need. If you can raise more than 90% of the value of the property, you will not be eligible for the scheme.You must be unable to afford the property without the scheme’s support.
The LIFT scheme is free to apply to and there is no obligation to buy a property once you have been approved.
Find out more about the Link Housing LIFT Scheme.
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
A Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a long-term savings product intended to support younger people save for purchases such as their first home.
You can save up to £4,000 each tax year which will attract a government bonus of 25% on each new payment. Funds can be withdrawn without charge 12 months after opening the LISA, if they are used as a deposit for the account holder’s first home (subject to certain conditions).
This scheme is aimed at adults aged 18-39 who are saving for a first home and buying with a mortgage for a property valued under £450,000.
Help to Buy ISA
A Help to Buy ISA is a government scheme designed to help you save for a mortgage deposit to buy a home. To qualify you must be a first-time buyer and not own a property anywhere in the world.
This scheme is closed to new applicants but if you already opened a Help to Buy ISA before 30 November 2019, you can keep saving into your account until November 2029, with a further 12 months to claim your government bonus towards your first home.
You can pay in up to £200 each month and the government will top up your savings by 25% (up to £3,000) when you buy your first home. If you are buying with someone who also has a Help to Buy ISA, you’ll be able to get up to £6,000 towards your deposit.
When you buy your property, the home you buy must:
- have a purchase price of up to £250,000
- be the only home you own
- be where you intend to live
Your solicitor or conveyancer will apply for the extra 25% and you do not have to pay it back. Savings are tax free just like with any ISA product, but, a Help to Buy ISA gives you the added opportunity of earning a government bonus.
Further information on Help to Buy ISAs can be found at www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/help-to-buy-isa/