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Maximising Your Opportunity as a First Time Buyer



Maximising Your Opportunity as a First Time Buyer

With property prices in Scotland steadily increasing and the number of first-time buyers reaching a 23-year high, taking the first step on to the property ladder can seem, in many ways, more difficult than ever.  Affordability constraints prevent many first-time buyers from securing their first home in such a competitive market. So, what options are available to ensure you secure your dream first home?


Help to Buy ISA

Designed to help first-time buyers save a mortgage deposit for their home, the Help to Buy ISA is a government run scheme implemented across the UK.  The ISA is beneficial to first-time buyers as the government “top up” any contributions you make to the ISA by 25%, up to the value of £12,000. Essentially, this means that for every £200 your deposit into the ISA, the government contribute £50 (or a quarter).  Taking full advantage of the £12,000 limit would mean a net gain of £3,000 in governmental contributions. This type of ISA is only available to first-time buyers aged 16 or over and is only available to use on houses under £250,000 (£450,000 in London).  Restrictions, including opening deposit apply. You can read more on Help to Buy ISA here:


Help to Buy Mortgage Equity

In new build homes, the Scottish governments Help to Buy Affordable New Build scheme offers opportunity for first-time buyers to purchase their dream home with governmental aid. Unlike the Help to Buy ISA, this scheme is based on a loan like model. In this scheme, first time buyer are able to secure an equity loan from the Scottish Government up to 15%, meaning they usually only have to contribute a 5% deposit and find an 80% mortgage. The Help to Buy equity loan can then be repaid at any time or on the sale of your home. Restrictions do apply to this scheme, with house values capped at £200,000. To find out more here:


Land and Buildings Transaction Tax

First time buyers in Scotland can benefit from relief from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (commonly known as stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland). Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) applies when you buy a residential property, or piece of land costing more than £145,000. Many first-time buyers over this threshold can gain relief from this tax, but there are strict restrictions. If you qualify for relief, you will pay no tax on properties up to the value of £1750,000.


For affordable first time properties visit our estate agency page.

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