Help for First Time Buyers

There is help available from the Scottish Government and the UK Government to help first time buyers who would be able to afford the mortgage payments on a home but are having difficulty saving for a deposit.

Help to Buy (Scotland)

Help to Buy in Scotland is available on new-build homes from certain developers in Scotland. It allows buyers to contribute a deposit as low as 5% with the Scottish Government contributing an equity stake of up to 15% of the value of the home.

The Scottish Government’s stake in the home can be repaid at any time or when the home is sold. The repayment is based on the value of the home at the time of repayment.

More details about eligibility, participating developers and details about how to apply for the scheme are available on the Scottish Government’s website.

Open Market Shared Equity

The Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme aims to help first-time buyers and priority access groups on low to moderate incomes to purchase a property on the open market.

The Scottish Government takes between a 60%-90% equity stake in the property.  Once you own a home through this scheme, you’ll be able to buy a bigger share later if your financial situation changes.

More details about eligibility and how to apply are available on the Scottish Government website.

Help to Buy ISA

The Help to Buy ISA was introduced by the UK Government to help first time buyers save to buy a home on the open market. This scheme can be used to buy a new build home or an existing home.

This scheme allows the first time buyer to open a special ISA with a participating bank. First time buyers can deposit an initial lump sum of up to £1,200 and deposit up to £200 each month. The UK Government will contribute an additional 25% on these savings up to £3000.

The bonus will only be paid when the saver is ready to purchase their home.

There are strict rules about when the bonus will be paid so depending on what type of mortgage you have in place, the funds may not be paid until after the sale has been completed. Advice should be sought from a mortgage advisor or solicitor to help you decide if this scheme is right for you.

More information about the scheme, eligibility and how to apply is available on the UK Government’s website.

Case studies

Four young first-time buyers share their Help to Buy experience

(courtesy of Avant Homes)

Avant Homes’ Chacefield Loan development in Denny was one of the homebuilder’s first developments to feature its new starter home range. One year later and three-quarters of buyers are young people in their 20s and 30s.
Today’s house hunters have more choice than ever. A greater range of locations, designs, sizes and prices means that young people in particular have the opportunity to get onto the property ladder with their dream home.
To help mark Scottish Housing Day, Stirling-based homebuilder Avant Homes shares the Help to Buy experiences of four first-time buyers at its Chacefield Loan development in Denny.
Launched with the aim of bridging the gap in the supply of high-quality starter homes for young people at an attainable price point, Avant’s Bridge range has seen 45 sales with an average selling price of £175,000.
Every home in Avant’s Bridge range is priced under £200,000, making them compatible with the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme which helps buyers purchase a new home with a five per cent deposit.

Kerry Kennedy’s story

“Buying our first home through Avant was an excellent choice. The Help to Buy scheme allowed us to secure our purchase with only a five per cent deposit. Without Help to Buy it would not have been possible for us to move out of our parents’ house and into our dream home.”

Jay Addison’s story

“I was living with parents and determined to get onto the housing ladder for myself, but due to rising house prices and the need for a substantial deposit, it was an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. Not only would I have to pay for all the costs of a new home, but I would have to fund all the extras that came with it, from sofas and beds to knives and forks.
“Using Help to Buy, I was able to more comfortably afford to purchase my new home whilst having enough money to actually furnish and decorate it after I had moved in. I couldn’t be any happier with my new purchase and its modern appeal is exactly what I was after on my house hunt. I would recommend Help to Buy to any first-time house buyer that is moving out on their own for the first time. The financial boost it gives is invaluable in turning your house into a home.”

Jo Maycock’s story

“I would not have been able to purchase my home if I didn’t use the Help to Buy scheme. It really helped to make the mortgage repayments affordable and I was able to buy a home with a higher value than I thought would be possible. My mortgage broker dealt with all the paperwork, which was fantastic, and all I had to do was sign it, so there was no hassle involved at all. I am really pleased that Help to Buy is available, because without it I wouldn’t be living in my beautiful new home.”

Chloe Paterson’s story

“The Help to buy scheme is beneficial as it has given me and my boyfriend the chance to get our feet in the door within the property ladder. With only a 5% deposit needed we were able to afford a new build house without needing a large deposit of money, which at our age can be difficult to save up. This has given us the opportunity to move out of our parents’ homes and start to live independently by ourselves.”

To find out more about Avant Homes visit

Shoes off at the front door!

(courtesy of Cruden Homes)

Photography by Whyler Photos of Stirling

After renting a flat in Bridge of Allan for six years, assistant HR officer Laura Stewart (25) was desperate for her own place and, as is the case for so many young buyers nowadays, her parents had started saving to help with a deposit.

Thanks to this and the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, Laura finally moved into a new home in Stirling a couple of months ago.  Now living just ten minutes’ walk from work, she says:

“I knew that if I wanted to stay central, with my budget I would need something like Help to Buy for this to be achievable.  Also, if things like the fridge/freezer and washing machine weren’t included in the price, I don’t think I’d have been able to afford them because they can be so expensive.”

After living in the house for a few weeks, the novelty of finally owning her own place still hasn’t worn off as Laura adds:

“I still walk in and think, ‘Wow, this is mine!’  And I want to keep it looking nice, so it’s shoes off at the front door!”

Help to Buy makes it a family affair (courtesy of Taylor Wimpey)

Young schoolteacher Jodie Munn, above, is thrilled to have stepped onto the housing ladder using the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy Scheme to purchase her first home on a new development in Broomhouse.

“I was actually visiting the sales office to see what range of properties they might have that were suitable for my dad but had also been saving up to buy a property of my own.  Still thinking it was beyond my reach, I was so excited when I found out about the Help to Buy scheme and how it worked. I started to think that actually I could afford this.

“And moving into my new home has been lovely – there’s no DIY to worry about. I just literally had to move-in, unpack and that was me. It has been such a stress-free experience. I would recommend it to anyone.”

It will soon be a family affair for Jodie at the development as her dad has also reserved a new home and is set to move into his property early next year!

Courtesy of Persimmon Homes

First-time buyers Nicole Sutherland and her fiancée Colin Stewart (both 24) from Aberdeen took their first step onto the property ladder thanks to the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme. Nicole says:

“We found renting in Aberdeen to be very expensive but Help to Buy made purchasing our own home a genuinely affordable option and we now pay less each month on our mortgage than we did in rent.”

Cruden Homes
Courtesy of Cruden Homes

Emily Yates (above) is settling into life as a resident of The Village after falling head over heels in love with Glasgow during her time as a Commonwealth Games volunteer in 2014. Emily says:
“I’m a wheelchair user, so the accessibility of the homes at The Village is really exciting, as is the affordable price, the on-site support and the energy efficiency of the homes.  I’ve wanted the security of owning my own home for a while now, so was encouraged to buy once I saw the affordability and access.”

Young farmer David Paterson,  from Biggar, wanted get a foot on the property ladder but stay close to family and friends at the same time. He took advantage of the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme as otherwise buying his own home would have been out of his reach.  David says:

Courtesy of Story Homes

“Even with a full time job, it’s really hard for first time buyers like me to get on the property ladder so having this additional help was very welcome.

“I wanted to move out of my parent’s home to give me my own space and independence but not be too far away to pop home to help out on the farm and for a good Sunday lunch!”