The First Home Fund is a newly created, £150 million shared equity pilot scheme that will provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 to help them buy a property that meets their needs and is located in the area where they want to live.
It is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland and can be used to help buy both new build and existing properties.
What is the First Home Fund?
The First Home Fund is run by the Scottish Government and aims to help first-time home buyers purchase a property. Up to £25,000 is available to all first-time buyers towards the purchase of both new build and existing properties. A first-time buyer is anyone who does not own, or has previously owned, a property in Scotland or anywhere else in the world. In order to take part in the scheme, you will be required to provide a minimum deposit of around 5% (subject to individual lender requirements) and your mortgage must be at least 25% of the purchase price. Although the Scottish Government will have an equity share in the property, you will own the property outright. There are no monthly payments to be made towards the Scottish Government and no interest will be charged. Please note that lenders will have their own individual requirements when providing a mortgage. The lender or a mortgage advisor will be able to fully explain these requirements to you. You will normally repay the Scottish Government’s percentage equity share when you sell your home, however you can choose to pay this off earlier.
What is Shared Equity?
Buying through a shared equity scheme means you split the cost of purchasing the property with the Scottish Government. You will fund your share through a deposit and a mortgage, with the remaining share being provided by the Scottish Government. There are no monthly payments or interest payments to the Scottish Government for their contribution. Instead, you will normally pay it back when you sell your property, or you can choose to increase your equity share over time. As an example, if your deposit and mortgage pays for 85% of your home’s value when you buy, the Scottish Government will hold a 15% share. This means that when you sell, you will receive 85% of the final sale price and the Scottish Government will receive 15%.
This does not mean that the Scottish Government has an ownership right to the property. You will own the property outright and hold the full title.
Who is it for?
The scheme is open to all first-time buyers in Scotland who are taking out a mortgage. You will not be able to apply to the scheme if you are a cash buyer or if you have previously owned a property in the UK or abroad at any time (as either a sole or a joint owner)