In certain areas of the country, the local councils may have their own criteria too. The councils may give priority to essential works, low-income families or local residents who have lived in the area for a long time. It is worth noting that there are exemptions to these conditions if you are a member of the armed forces, divorced or separate from someone who is a member of the armed forces or a veteran who has left the armed forces in the past 5 years. If you require further information, then the government website provides a very comprehensive guide: First Homes scheme: discounts for first-time buyers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
If you are interested in purchasing a new-build property through the First Homes Scheme, then the first step would be to look for houses advertised by developers within your area. The developers would be selling some houses on the development through the First Homes Scheme and some may be marketed at the usual purchase price. However, the houses should be valued at less than £250,000 and £420,000 for London. The discount available to you would be between 30% to 50%. Therefore, if you are purchasing a house worth £225,000.00 at a 30% discount, you would have to ensure you arrange mortgage and deposit totaling £157,000.00 (subject to additional expenses including developer’s costs, solicitors legal costs and disbursements etc). The developers can also help you complete the application with the local council to check your eligibility before you proceed.
Once the local authority confirms that you are eligible to buy the house through the First Homes Scheme, you can make the payment of the reservation fee with the developer and then arrange a mortgage. You would also have to instruct solicitors at this stage who can liaise with the developer’s solicitors on your behalf. Our expert solicitors at our Telford and Stafford offices have assisted clients with First Homes Scheme purchases and are well-versed with the process and would be more than happy to carry out the conveyancing on your behalf so you can relax and enjoy the process of purchasing your first home.
As always, our expert solicitors at ORJ are happy to assist you with any queries that you may have in relation to this scheme or with the process of buying a new-build house.