The First Homes scheme offers 30% discounted house prices to potential first time buyers and key workers in England.
The government’s First Homes scheme is designed to help first time buyers and key workers buy homes in their local area. It offers houses for 30% less than their market value price, which is a huge saving for any first time buyer. Just think what a 30-50% saving could mean for you. This could pay for removal costs, surveyor fees, or go towards furnishing and decorating - imagine those Pinterest boards coming to life! Most of all, it could be the difference between owning your own home and being stuck in rented accommodation.
How it works
The First Homes scheme offers discounted house prices to encourage first time buyers and key workers to buy homes where they currently live or work.
It is only available in England, and the house you chose must be either:
- A new home built by a developer
- An existing home that was originally bought as part of the scheme
To use the scheme you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be 18 or older
- Be a first time buyer
- Have a minimum deposit of 5% of the discounted price and no more than 50%
- Have a combined household income less than £80,000 (or £90,000 if you live in London)
- After the discount has been taken off, the home must cost less than £420,000 in London, or £250,000 anywhere else in England
Your local council may set additional eligibility conditions and can prioritise:
- Essential workers
- People who already live in the area
- Those on lower incomes
There are also further exemptions for the armed forces and their families.
Terms and conditions
Like with any big purchase, it’s important you understand the ins and outs of the scheme. Your specialist new build adviser will go through this, and any of the other finer details with you.
- When it’s time to remortgage, you’ll remortgage based on the price of the house, minus the discount you received
- If you want to sell the house, you’ll need to get it valued by a surveyor registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered surveyors (RICS)
- You can only sell the house after a minimum of 90 days. The new buyers will get the same discount that you received based on the market value of your house at the time of the sale
How to apply
If you’re interested, let the new build developer or the estate agent know that you want to buy a house using the First Home scheme.
They’ll help you fill out an application form and send it to your local council. If it’s a new build you’re interested in, you’ll have to pay a fee, but if your application is unsuccessful you’ll get the full fee back.
For more information about the First Homes scheme, check out official releases on the government website.
For more advice on buying your first home, get in touch with one of our mortgage advisers or read our expert articles.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.