Home Buying Mortgage Advice in Birmingham

Help to Buy was introduced in the 2010’s, off the back of the UK government’ previous FirstBuy Scheme. With a series of pre-existing and new schemes placed under that banner, it was designed to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder.

Over the years we have seen schemes under this banner disappear, whilst others have carried on without that branding. The most popular and well-known of these was the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme, which was closed to new applicants towards the end of 2022.

What this means is that first time buyers are no longer able to use a Help to Buy in Birmingham or anywhere in the UK, though this doesn’t necessarily mean that support for home buyers has ended. There are still a variety of schemes that can help to buy in Birmingham!

Forces Help to Buy Scheme

The forces help to buy scheme was introduced to help regular armed forces personnel get onto the property ladder. It was brought into the mortgage market after it was found that there was a large number of servicemen and servicewomen who were struggling to obtain a mortgage.

It was originally a pilot scheme, however, due to its popularity and helpfulness, the government decided to make this an enduring policy. Here is another helpful video from our MoneymanTV YouTube channel. Take a look for an in-depth look at the Forces Help to Buy scheme:

The scheme is very helpful if you can qualify for it; it can allow you to borrow up to 50% of your annual salary, with the total being capped at £25,000. This amount that you have borrowed can be used for your deposit or other fees that come with buying a home, such as solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees.

You can access the scheme if:

  • You have completed the pre-requisite length of service.
  • Have more than 6 months left to serve at the time that you apply.
  • Meet the right medical categories.

If you meet the scheme’s criteria, you can apply for it through the Joint Personnel Administration System or seek mortgage advice in Birmingham on how to apply for it.

As a mortgage broker in Birmingham, we can help explain this scheme for you in full, and tell you whether or not you’ll be able to access this scheme. They will sort everything out for you, making your mortgage experience stress-free and simple.

When applying for this scheme, you should know that you will still have to prepare documents to aid your application. Our team of mortgage advisors in Birmingham can help you get prepared for this so that you are mortgage ready!

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It’s free to speak with our mortgage advisors, so feel free to leave us a message or arrange a callback to discuss your options.

Shared Ownership Scheme

Shared ownership is the scheme that often gets applicants confused. The scheme allows buyers to purchase a share in a home. This means that you are sharing ownership of the property with a housing association. Here’s a helpful summary video on “What is Shared Ownership”:

With Shared Ownership in Birmingham, you will pay a mortgage on the share that you own, then pay rent on the remaining share. You will pay rent to the housing association linked with the property. The percentage of the property that you buy usually has to be between 25%-75% of the property, though this can be different. The lower your percentage share is, the lower your mortgage and your deposit is likely to be.

Further down the line, if you have the funds, you can opt to buy the remainder of the property if the housing association let you. People usually do this once they are settled in, have a higher income or even once their share has been paid off.

To access the shared ownership scheme, you have to meet its criteria:

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age.
  • If you are applying for the scheme, your annual household income has to be less than £80,000.
  • You cannot own another property in the meantime, you must sell your current home or property if you want to access this scheme. This is likely to not apply to you as a first time buyer in Birmingham.
  • You should not be able to afford a house on the open market that is suitable for your housing needs.
  • You can’t be in mortgage or rent arrears.
  • Your credit history need to be good (no large debts or CCJ’s).
  • You’ll have to demonstrate that you can afford regular payments and all of the costs of buying a home.

For further Shared Ownership mortgage advice in Birmingham, make sure to get in touch with our experienced mortgage advisors in Birmingham, we will be more than happy to explain the scheme for you and see whether you qualify for it or not.

Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA scheme is not at the forefront of the mortgage market despite its great ability to help get first time buyers in Birmingham onto the property ladder. The scheme is often confused with an expired government-led scheme called the “Help to Buy ISA”, and that’s partially why we believe that not many people take advantage of the scheme.

The Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account) can be used for one of two things: to buy your first property or to save for later life. You must be between the age of 18-40 to access this scheme.

The Lifetime ISA lets you put money into an interest-free savings account, the maximum amount of money that you can add to ISA each year is £4,000. Every year, the government will top up your savings with a bonus of 25% of whatever you’ve saved.

Focusing on using the Lifetime ISA towards the purchase of your first home, you must know that in order to take money out of the ISA, you must have had the ISA account for at least 12 months. Here is the criteria for when you want to use your Lifetime ISA savings to buy your first property as First Time Buyer in Birmingham:

  • The property that you are planning to buy must be £450,000 or less.
  • You must be over 12 months into your Lifetime ISA scheme.
  • You must use a conveyancer or solicitor to act for you in the purchase.
  • You must be purchasing with a mortgage.

If you withdraw funds from your Lifetime ISA for an unauthorised reason, you will be charged a withdrawal charge. This charge is usually around 20-25% of the savings.

Date Last Edited: June 20, 2024