Listening to the chattering classes with an agenda, it’s easy to think getting onto the property ladder is impossible save for those on huge salaries or with seriously rich parents.
But there are 10 straightforward, everyday ways for first time buyers to join the ranks of homeowners. None of these ways is particularly difficult, rare or exceptional.
Of course, every way will not apply to everyone – but several ways will apply to some people and almost everyone should be able to take advantage of at least one method – even if they have to apply a little thought, effort or application to do so.
1. Use the Right to Buy
The right of council tenants to buy their accommodation at a discount has been around since the 1980s – but with the rise in house prices many council tenants think the opportunity is beyond them on financial grounds.
However, the Right to Buy (RTB) doesn’t just apply to tenants. Up to 3 family members living at the property for 12 months can apply with the tenant for the RTB.
There is therefore an opportunity not just for the council tenant – but also family members – to become a homeowner.
2. Use the Right to Acquire
The Right to Acquire is similar to the RTB but for housing association tenants with a much smaller discount and limited scope.
However, as I write ( 22nd August 2018), the government has recently announced a pilot in the Midlands to extend the Right to Buy scheme to housing association homes. If the scheme is successful, it is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the country.
3. Negotiate an early legacy
If you are due a legacy from a parent or grandparent, you may be able to negotiate the early release of that legacy as a gift – enabling you to raise a substantial deposit which may otherwise be beyond you.
Inability to raise a deposit is usually the number one reason given as to why would-be first time buyers can’t get on the home ownership ladder.
4. Make use of the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
If you qualify, the government’s equity loan scheme provides you with a low cost loan of up to 40% of the purchase price of certain new-build properties – with the government sharing in any future increase in value according to the amount of its loan.
The effect of the loan is to reduce the amount of mortgage you need, thereby putting within your reach properties which would otherwise be too expensive.
5. Go for Help to Buy shared ownership
The government’s Help to Buy shared ownership scheme enables qualifying buyers to purchase as little as 25% of certain properties with the right, usually, to purchase up to 100% at a later date.
Buyers pay a rent on the part of the property which they do not own.
Shared ownership makes home ownership more affordable and accessible.
FINANCIAL HELP AND STRATEGIES FOR FTBs
Government help to buy (government financial help for first time buyers)
More help from the government (right to buy, right to acquire and shared ownership)
Mum & dad to the rescue (how parents can help their children to buy their first home)
6. Raise a deposit using a property owned by someone you know
Use a property owned by someone you know – typically a close family member – to raise a deposit by borrowing against it.
Depending on the status of the property and the financial circumstances and wishes of the property owner, funds can be raised by a mortgage, remortgage, second mortgage, further advance or equity release.
7. Opt for joint ownership
Joint ownership is where two or more people purchase a property together, thereby reducing all their purchase costs – including the all-important deposit and mortgage.
If there are two joint purchasers, the effect is to reduce the outlay of each buyer by one half – making the purchase more affordable for both.
8. Find a guarantor for your mortgage
If your age or credit status is deemed lacking in some respect, providing a guarantor in the form of a parent or grandparent who can guarantee your mortgage payments in the event of default may be a way to secure a mortgage which would otherwise be unavailable to you.
There are other “family assist mortgages” which some lenders have available. Consult an independent financial adviser (IFA) to find out what is on offer.
WAYS TO RAISE A DEPOSIT OR DOWN PAYMENT
Quick house deposit (BOOK: 50 ways to raise a deposit in 6 months)
Buying a property fast (wacky and wicked ways to raise a deposit)
Raising a deposit (14 common ways to bag a deposit with ease)
9. Rent to buy
Although by no means common and not without its drawbacks, rent to buy (R2B) is another way onto the property ladder. With R2B you rent a property with the right (but not the obligation) to buy it for an agreed price within a fixed timescale – typically 2-5 years.
Pending your purchase, you can use the time to save a deposit and increase the value of the property by making improvements.
10. Employer help
Although not available to everyone, employer help may be a possibility for some people.
Might it be possible for you to negotiate a loan from your employer to be used as your deposit?
If you are lucky enough to work for a builder or developer where they offer you a significant discount on one of their properties, you will probably want to grab the offer with both hands.
If they don’t make you such an offer, you may feel able to suggest it to them at your next annual appraisal or pay review.
It is challenging to get on the property ladder, and will get harder as house prices continue their relentless increase and homes become less affordable.
Therefore, the sooner you can purchase your first home the better.
By exploring the 10 possibilities covered in this blog, you may become a homeowner much sooner than you think.
Are you looking to become a homeowner for the first time? Do you have any concerns or worries you are prepared to share? Please leave your comments below.
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com