From Right to Buy to Help to Buy, the Scottish Government is committed to supporting home ownership by helping people on low to moderate incomes to become homeowners and there are now a number of ways now available to help get your foot on the property ladder.
Last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Alex Neil announced £70m of funding focused on OMSE in the financial year 2015/16.
The Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) is part of the Government’s Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT), which brings together several ways to help households access home ownership.
The OMSE allows first time buyers to buy a property on the open market. It is a shared equity scheme, which means that you can buy a home without having to fund all of it. You would still own the property outright, and you pay for the majority share in it. The Scottish Government pays the rest under an agreement which it enters into with you and when you later sell your home, the Government will receive the value at the time of sale of the percentage equity stake funded.
Likewise a LIFT scheme can be entered into with a private housebuilder and the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme allows first time buyers to buy a new build property from a housing association.
There are other schemes that might help you get that foot on the property ladder including Right to Buy which allows most council tenants to buy their council home at a discount, and Help to Buy which helps people to buy a new build home in Scotland from a home builder who has been approved to participate in the scheme without having to fund all of the purchase price.
Right to Buy however will end on 1 August 2016, which means that tenants with a right to buy that they are allowed to use will have until 31 July 2016 to do so.
Help to Buy also has its limits. It is only available on new build homes from participating home builders and on homes up to a maximum value of £250,000. The scheme has been very popular however the good news is that it is coming up to a new financial year and therefore new funding of £130 million has been made available by the Scottish Government for the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme for financial year 2015/16.
McQueen Legal work with an Independent Financial Adviser who can advise you on the different schemes available to you and the process that you need to go through in order to become a homeowner.