Affordable home ownership
There are a number of affordable home ownership schemes available if you would like a foot on the property ladder but you can't afford a property which meets your needs on the open market.
List of home ownership schemes available:
The Rent to Buy option offers you the opportunity to rent a new build home for a pre-defined period of time with the expectation that you will buy a share of the property at the end of the rental period. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on assured shorthold tenancies with an affordable rent of 80% (or less) of market rents. Some of these schemes are marketed with different names, for example ‘Try Before You Buy’ or ‘Rent Save Buy.
There is also the option to rent a new build home at 80% (or less) of the typical market rate, through Intermediate Rent. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on an assured shorthold tenancy, usually for an initial period of six months (this is reviewed regularly). The expectation is that the savings you make on the reduced rent, you can use towards a deposit which will enable you to purchase a property at a later date.
Our partner for affordable home-ownership is government scheme Help to Buy Midlands, that offers a range of ownership options, covering the West Midlands and East Midlands region:
First-time buyers and existing homeowners are eligible for the Equity Loan Scheme. Available on properties up to the value of £600,000, there is no income cap for applicants and the scheme can be used to purchase new-build properties. Your new home can be purchased with an equity loan of up to 20% of the full price of the property.
Shared Ownership Scheme allows you to buy a share in a brand new leasehold house or apartment, on a part buy/ part rent basis (usually 50/50 basis) and pay a subsidised rent to a housing association on the part that you do not own. There is also the opportunity to purchase resale properties that were originally sold under shared ownership.
Buy your home on a shared ownership basis or outright, with the benefit of a discount through Social HomeBuy. This type of ownership is open to tenants that have a housing association and council landlord participating in the scheme. Tenants usually buy their home on a shared ownership basis with a minimum share of 25%, but you can also buy the property outright.
With Discounted Market Sale or Fixed Equity, you can purchase your home at a discounted rate usually up to 30% less of the market value (when you sell the property it will be sold at the same discounted percentage). To qualify for this type of property you will usually need to have a local connection to the area the property is in. Visit www.homechoiceplus.org.uk to view properties.
Right to Buy is a government initiative enabling some housing associations and council tenants to purchase their existing home at a discounted rate. If you are eligible, the discount you get is dependant on how long you've been a tenant and the type of property you're buying (a flat or a house). In the first instance, to check eligibility, please contact your landlord directly and for more information please click on this link: www.righttobuy.communities.gov.uk or call the hotline on: 0300 123 0913.
Older Persons Shared Ownership (OPSO) are homes built for people over the age of 55 who may want to downsize to a smaller property or a home that is more suited to their needs. The scheme allows you to buy a share in a new home, ranging from 25% to 75% depending on what you can afford. The maximum share you can buy is 75%. If you purchase the maximum share of 75% you will pay no rent for the remaining 25%.
If you are saving to buy your first home, you can save money into a Help to Buy ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. For every £200 you save, you can receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000.
For information on eligibility criteria on the above schemes and to view availability in your area, please contact Help to Buy by visiting: www.helptobuymidlands.co.uk or call 03458 502050. Find out about our Home Choice Plus and Wychmove home options.