What is the First Home Fund?
The Scottish Government has revealed that it will launch the First Home Fund, a brand new scheme for first time buyers in Scotland, on the 18th of December. Here is everything you need to know about the new fund.
What does the First Home Fund do?
The fund will provide first-time buyers with a loan of up to £25,000 to top up their deposit on the purchase of their first home. This scheme has been put in place to help first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder.
When does it launch and how long will it run?
The fund will be launched on the 18th of December and it is currently set to run until March 2021.
We have seen that existing schemes like Help To Buy (Scotland) have been extended, so there may be a chance that in the future the government will take a decision to extend the fund beyond 2021.
Who qualifies for the First Home Fund?
The scheme is open to first-time buyers. This means that they cannot have previously owned or part-owned a new home.
What kind of home can be purchased with this scheme?
Both new build homes and existing homes can be purchased under the First Home Fund.
How will buyers fund their first time home purchase using this scheme?
Buyers will need to fund a minimum of 5% of the value of their new home from their own savings and put this towards their deposit.
- For example, if a property was worth £100,000, the first time buyer(s) would need to put £5,000 of their own funds towards a deposit.
All first-time buyers using the First Time Fund will also need to take out a mortgage.
The minimum amount that the mortgage needs to cover is 25% of the property value.
- For example, if a property was worth £100,000, the mortgage would need to cover at least £25,000.
Is this scheme means tested?
No, this scheme is not means tested, meaning you just need to be a first-time buyer to apply.
What is the maximum price of the property that can be purchased with this fund?
There is no price cap – houses of any value can be purchased with this scheme.
When will the loan be repayable?
The loan can be paid back in full at any time.
The loan must be repaid if the home is sold.
There will be no monthly payments to arrange.
How does this affect existing ISAs for home buyers?
How can first time buyers apply for funding?
First time buyers must first ensure that their offer has been accepted on a property.
In the case of new build properties, that means they must first reserve a plot.
Then, they can make an application to the First Time Fund.
What other fees apply?
When applications to the First Time Fund are approved, all applicants will be charged a £550 administration fee.
If the purchase of the home falls through, the administration fee will be refunded.
Does this impact the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme?
The Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme is still in operation until March 2021 and will run alongside this new scheme. You can learn more about the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme here.
What about joint applications?
When joint applicants apply for the fund, only one of the applicants needs to be a first-time buyer in order to be eligible for this scheme.
However, if both applicants are first-time buyers, the financial assistance will only apply once per property purchase (i.e. the financial assistance would be shared between the applicants).
How can the home be used?
First-time buyers must use the home as their main residence – it cannot be let out, used to home lodgers, or have shared occupations (unless the home was purchased with a joint mortgage).
More terms and conditions may apply. We recommend consulting an independent financial advisor if you are interested in purchasing your first home with the First Time Fund.