4 things you might not know about Help to Buy

We’re still finding that many buyers are coming to us without really understanding just how Help To Buy can help them – or even if they’re eligible. If you’re one of them, you could be missing out on a fantastic opportunity to get onto the property ladder, much sooner than you think. To help shed some light, we’ve pulled together the top 4 things you need to know about the scheme in 2020 and beyond. 

Launched in 2013, Help to Buy was created to help level the playing field for those struggling to save a deposit large enough to secure a mortgage. Now, since its inception, over 263,000* properties have been bought using the Help to Buy equity loan! 

1 – Help to Buy isn’t just for first time buyers

Great news if you’re looking to upsize into a new Countryside home this year… Help to Buy isn’t just for first time buyers! Until December 2020 homemovers are also eligible to reserve their new Countryside home using the scheme, providing that you will be selling your existing house prior to exchanging contracts. 

At the time of writing, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme is available to both first time buyers and homemovers buying newly built homes under £600,000. However, if you’re buying a second home, or a buy-to-let property, then you would not be eligible for the scheme. 

As a sole purchaser, Help To Buy has genuinely enabled me to buy my dream property with the four bedrooms I’ve really wanted for my family. As I’ve owned a property before, I hadn’t really considered it as I thought it was only for first time buyers – obviously it will be for anyone reserving after December 2020 so I’m glad I managed to get in before the deadline. I’ve used it to get a stunning forever home, as well as a decent mortgage.

Sian, City Fields, Wakefield

2 – Your Help to Buy ISA and the Help to Buy scheme can be used together

Many buyers have come to us under the impression that because they have saved using a Help to Buy ISA, then they are not eligible for the Help to Buy equity loan. Naturally, they are always delighted to find out this simply isn’t the case. The fact is, as long as you meet the criteria for Help to Buy, then you can still benefit from the equity loan whilst using your ISA. 

Remember, applications for the Help to Buy ISA are closed, however if you already have one then you can continue saving into your account until November 2029. 

We had been saving for a while with Bethan using a Help to Buy ISA and myself a Lifetime ISA, but we didn’t know anything about the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme until we spoke to the sales team at Countryside. We had seen the signs at the development but just assumed that they meant we could use our ISAs and not that we were eligible for an interest-free loan.

Joe, Abbotsfield, St Helens

3 – There’s a Help to Buy scheme for armed forces personnel 

If you work in the Armed Forces then you could be eligible for an exclusive version of the scheme. The Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) initiative allows applicants to borrow up to 50% of their salary, interest-free, to use as a house deposit. Loans are capped at £25,000 and must be repaid over 10 years. 

If you’re thinking of taking advantage of this scheme within the next couple of years, then you’re in luck as the FHTB initiative has been extended until December 2022!

Using the [Forces] Help to Buy scheme made buying our home so much easier. Getting a mortgage was something we were worried about, as we had never been through this process before. If we hadn’t used Help to Buy, then it would have been a very stressful time for us.

Luke, Wellington Place, Ellesmere Port

4 – Help to Buy is changing from 2021

Help to Buy, as we know it, will soon be coming to an end in England, with the Government set to overhaul the scheme from April 2021. From then, equity loans will only be available to first time buyers and the maximum amount you’ll be able to spend on a property will be capped, depending on which region you’re buying your new home in. 

Buyers not quite ready to reserve just yet will be able to take advantage of the new scheme at a number of our developments. Please get in touch with your nearest sales office to find out more. 

Have a question about Help to Buy? Get in touch with our sales consultants today to book your personalised, one-to-one appointment and our teams will be happy to help.

*Help to Buy Statistics, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, May 2020