First Time Buyer Guide

About this guide

There are a number of methods and government schemes that can help first-time buyers complete the process of buying their first house. It often feels like a daunting task and so it’s important you understand all the options available to you before committing to the purchase. 

Compare My Move has created a comprehensive guide to help you with your research and ensure you have all the information you need as a first-time buyer.

  • 1. What is the Help to Buy ISA?

    The Help to Buy ISA is a savings account for first-time buyers which is supplemented by a 25% government bonus.

    The government made the decision to stop new accounts being opened as of 30 November 2019. Those who opened a Help to Buy ISA before this date will be able to continue saving into their accounts until November 2029.

    To have opened a Help to Buy ISA you will have needed to be a first-time buyer and over the age of sixteen.

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  • 2. What is a Lifetime ISA?

    A Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a government scheme that allows you to save a deposit for your first house or to use later in retirement. You’ll receive a 25% government bonus on anything saved, with a maximum amount you can save at £4,000 a year.

    The Lifetime ISA will allow you to earn interest on your bonus, you can open the account if you’re aged between 18-40 and the bonus applies until you’re 50 years old.

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  • 3. Help to Buy ISA vs Lifetime ISA - which is better?

    If you’re looking to boost your house deposit savings, taking advantage of the government’s Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA is a wise option. Although the Help to Buy ISA ended in November 2019, those with ISAs open can still save into it until 2029.

    Compare My Move’s experts take a look at both ISAs to help you decide which will benefit you the most when it comes to saving for a house deposit.

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  • 4. What is shared ownership?

    Shared ownership is a government scheme that allows first-time buyers or those with a low income to buy a share of a house whilst paying rent on the remaining. The share you buy starts at a minimum of 25%, with 75% being the maximum.

    You will need to take out a mortgage for the share you purchase. By going through the shared ownership scheme, you have the chance to purchase more or all the property later down the line.

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  • 5. Shared ownership vs shared equity

    There are a variety of affordable housing schemes that are government-funded and a great way to help buyers get onto the property ladder. Two of these schemes include shared ownership and shared equity. Although these schemes help those with an income of less than £60,000 get onto the property ladder, they won’t be available to everyone.

    Shared ownership helps first-time buyers and those with a lower income purchase a home by allowing them to buy shares of a property whilst paying rent on the rest. With shared equity, however, buyers can pay a small deposit for a property and then use an equity loan to top it up. To help you make an informed decision, Compare My Move has worked with property experts to create a guide describing what each scheme is, the differences between them and how they may relate to you.

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  • 6. How does the rent to buy scheme work?

    The Rent to Buy scheme aims to help first-time buyers transition from renting to buying their own home. The government scheme works differently across the UK, but will essentially offer a lower market rate rent for a period of time whilst you save up to eventually buy the property.

    Compare My Move explain the Rent to Buy scheme, the eligibility criteria and how to apply for the scheme.

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  • 7. Stamp duty for first-time buyers

    When budgeting to buy your first home, it’s important to include all the extra fees besides the initial deposit. It can be easy to forget the different costs involved, but one of the most important ones to remember is Stamp Duty. Stamp Duty is the tax you must pay when purchasing a property or land in the UK.

    Compare My Move has worked alongside property and finance experts to create this guide explaining what stamp duty is, why it’s important and how it relates to you as a first-time buyer.

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  • 8. Buying a home with a friend

    Buying a home with a friend or a partner is a great way to get on the property ladder. You will need to get a joint mortgage and decide which is the best type of ownership, joint tenants or tenants in common.

    Compare My Move work with property experts to ensure we bring you the latest and most insightful articles to guide you through the buying a house process. This guide will explain everything you need to know about buying a house with a friend.

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