Conveyancing

Help to Buy Solicitors

If you are looking to use the Government Help to Buy scheme to get you onto the first vital rung of the property ladder, our expert conveyancing solicitors will be by your side every step of the way.

In the past few decades, spiralling house prices, tight mortgage lending criteria, and the requirement for enormous deposits have made it increasingly difficult (near impossible in some areas of Bristol) for individuals, couples, and families to buy their first home. The Help to Buy Government schemes were therefore introduced to help first time buyers purchase a home they otherwise would not be able to afford.

At Devereux & Co, we have in depth expertise helping client access all three of the Help to Buy schemes:

  • Help to Buy: Equity Loan
  • Help to Buy: ISA
  • Help to Buy: Shared Ownership

As well as reliable, practical advice about the process of buying a home, we will handle the entirety of the transaction for you, including researching the background of the property, liaising with interested parties such as the developer and your mortgage lender, and applying for Help to Buy on your behalf.

Get in touch with our Help to Buy solicitors in Bristol by giving us a call at your local branch in either Shirehampton or Westbury on Trym, by requesting an initial interview, or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.

Why choose our Help to Buy solicitors in Bristol?

The following are just a few of the reasons to choose our firm for your conveyancing needs:

  • We are members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accreditation, a mark of our expertise and excellent customer service in all conveyancing matters
  • We promise to address your matter with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring all legal documentation is completed accurately and eliminating any potential for future issues
  • You will have a direct line with your own personal conveyancing expert in case you have any questions or worries throughout your matter
  • We will keep you up to date with all important developments in your case and ensure you are happy with the way things are proceeding
  • We will explain the Help to Buy process in detail so you know exactly how purchasing through the scheme works
  • We will endeavour to complete your purchase as swiftly as possible. No delays will ever be caused on our end
  • Our fees are clear and transparent. We will provide you with a written fixed fee quote at the beginning of your case and there will be no “hidden extras” throughout the process. Assuming matters progress as they should, what we quote at the beginning of your case is what you will pay at the end.

How does Help to Buy work?

You can use Help to Buy when you purchase a new build home in England or Wales. You have a number of options depending on which suits your individual circumstances:

Help to Buy: Equity Loan

Usually, you need to pay at least a 10% deposit when you purchase a home. With the Equity Loan, you will only need to save up 5% of your new home’s purchase price up to a maximum purchase price of £600,000. The Government will then contribute up to 20% of the purchase price and you will need to obtain a mortgage for the remaining 75%. For properties in London, the Government will contribute up to 40%.

For example, if your dream home is worth £200,000, you will only need to save up £10,000 (5%). The Government will contribute £40,000 (20%), and your mortgage provider will contribute the remaining £150,000 (75%).

You do not need to make payments on the Government loan and it will not accrue interest for five years. After five years, the loan will attract interest of 1.75% rising by RPI +1% for every year thereafter.

When you sell your home, the Government will recover the same percentage as they put in. For example, if the Government contributes £40,000 to a £200,000 house purchase, if you sell for £220,000 after five years, the Government will get £44,000. This also applies if the property drops in value. For example, if after 5 years your house has fallen from £200,000 to £180,000, you will only repay £36,000 on the Equity Loan.

Help to Buy: ISA

If you are saving for a deposit to purchase your first home, open a Help to Buy ISA and the Government will top up your saving by 25%. You only have until 30 November 2019 to open a new Help to Buy ISA. After that date, you can continue saving and have until 1 December 2030 to claim your bonus.

The minimum the Government will contribute is £400 so you must save a minimum of £1,600. The maximum the Government will contribute is £3,000. To get that much, you will need to save £12,000.

When you are ready to buy your new home, we will apply to the Government for your bonus on your behalf. However, it cannot be used to pay for your deposit when contracts are exchanged; it can only be used at the point of completion as part of the purchase monies for the property (not for solicitors’ fees or any other costs).

To qualify for the Government bonus, your property:

  • Must be a new build
  • Must have a purchase price up to £250,000 or £450,000 in London
  • Must be in the UK
  • Must be your main residence and the only property you own
  • Must be bought with a mortgage

Help to Buy: Shared Ownership

The Shared Ownership scheme will allow you to purchase between 25% to 75% of a property where you cannot afford to buy 100%. You then pay rent on the remaining share.

You must either buy a new build home or a “resale” home through a housing association. You can either get a mortgage to buy your portion of the property or use your savings. The nature of your ownership will be leasehold. This means you are actually purchasing a long lease to occupy the property. However, you can buy further shares in your property – this is called staircasing. Once you have purchased 100% of the property, you will be the full owner and no longer have to pay rent.

There are two other Shared Ownership schemes for:

  • People with disabilities – you can apply for Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD) if you find any property which suits your needs and you have a long-term disability
  • Older people – if you are over 55, you can use the Older People’s Shared Ownership Scheme to purchase up to 75% of a property without having to pay rent on the remaining share

Can my partner and I both use Help to Buy?

You can both open separate Help to Buy ISAs meaning you could receive a Government bonus of up to £6,000 to put towards your property purchase.

If you are buying through the Equity Loan scheme or the Shared Ownership scheme, both you and your partner can be named as owners of the property.

Can I use Help to Buy on a shared ownership property?

Yes, you can use money from your Help to Buy ISA to buy a stake in a shared ownership property.

Contact our Help to Buy Solicitors in Bristol

Get in touch with our Help to Buy solicitors in Bristol by giving us a call at your local branch in either Shirehampton or Westbury on Trym, by requesting an initial interview, or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.