Q and A

Director, Douglas & Gordon

Q I’m very confused about the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. Does the fact that I have owned a property before affect my eligibility?

A You do not need to be a first time buyer to take advantage of the Help to Buy scheme, merely unable to afford to buy (they will check, by the way). The scheme applies to properties up to the value of £600,000. The whole idea is to allow people to put down a five per cent deposit because, for many, the rate quoted by their mortgagee is too high.

Stage 1 of the initiative was designated for new build homes only and was designed to encourage house-builders to increase supply, which is something we need. Stage 2 applies to older homes. This scheme seeks to boost that deposit to 25 per cent, adding 20 per cent to your five per cent deposit, with an interest free loan (terms do apply after five years), persuading mortgagees to give a more affordable loan rate. While any scheme designed to help buyers get on the ladder is welcome, it does seem counterintuitive to be lending to those who can afford to buy a £600,000 property. If you’re in London try going here for help: sharetobuy.com/firststeps.