Our Guide To Help-to-Buy Conveyancing

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Our Guide To Help-to-Buy Conveyancing

Getting onto the property ladder can be difficult for first-time buyers. The government has made it a lot easier and more manageable for those wanting to purchase a house with the Help to Buy schemes available in recent years.

Read this article to understand more about the Help to Buy schemes and to get more information on conveyancing for Help to Buy schemes through our guide.


What is Help to Buy Conveyancing?

Help to Buy conveyancing refers to a government scheme that helps first-time buyers get onto the property ladder in the UK. It enables people who may not be able to afford a property without the scheme to become homeowners.

The Help to Buy scheme provides a helping hand to those who need it most, and eligible buyers can purchase a property with a deposit as low as 5%.

There are different Help to Buy schemes available, each with its own set of criteria that must be met to gain the scheme's benefits. These schemes include:

  • Help to Buy for first-time buyers
  • Shared Ownership for sharing home ownership
  • Equity Loan for new homes in England
  • Help to Buy new homes in London


Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme

A new Help to Buy equity loan scheme opened for applications at the end of 2020 and will continue until 2023. The previous Help to Buy scheme spanned from 2013 to 2021.

Under the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, the government will contribute up to 20% of the purchase price of a new build or up to 40% in London.

To be eligible, you must contribute at least 5% of the cash deposit and obtain a mortgage to pay for the rest. For the first 5 years, you will not be charged interest or fees on the loan.

When you sell the property you bought with the help of this scheme, you will need to repay a percentage of the total amount that the government contributed. For example, if you bought a property for £200,000 and the government contributed 20% (£40,000), and the property is now worth £250,000 when you sell it, the government will take back 20% of the final sale price, or £50,000 in this instance.

The Help to Buy ISA

You are no longer able to apply for a Help to Buy ISA, as the scheme closed to new applicants in November 2019. However, if you managed to meet the requirements and secure this ISA before the deadline, you can still benefit from it and continue saving until November 2029.

This Help to Buy ISA works by the government boosting your savings by 25%, up to a maximum of £3000. With this ISA, you can save a maximum of £200 each month in your account.

When you come to use your ISA, you must buy a property worth up to £250,000 (or £450,000 in London). You cannot have an active cash ISA in the same tax year, and you cannot own any other property worldwide.

Your conveyancing solicitor will apply for the money when you are at the right stage of the conveyancing process and closer to buying your home.

When the government releases the funds, they will be put towards the final price of the property. You cannot use this bonus for your exchange deposit, or any other costs associated with the conveyancing process.

Shared Ownership

The Help to Buy shared ownership scheme is for those who cannot afford an entire mortgage for a new build home. Shared Ownership allows you to buy between 25% and 75% of the property and pay rent on the remaining share.

You are eligible for the Shared Ownership Help to Buy scheme if your household earns £80,000 per year or less. If you live in London, the threshold is £90,000 or less. Similarly, you are eligible if you are a first-time buyer or are no longer able to afford to buy a property. You can also be eligible if you are an existing shared homeowner looking to move, or if you want to buy a new build property.

How Long Does Help to Buy Conveyancing Take?

After successfully securing a mortgage with Help to Buy and instructing a conveyancing solicitor, the conveyancing process will begin.

The length of time for conveyancing for Help to Buy can vary due to several factors:

  • The length of time it takes to consider the Contract pack, raise any necessary additional enquiries and have responses to them.
  • The timescale to acquire Authority to Exchange from Help to Buy so that Contracts can be formally exchanged.
  • The length of time it takes for a new build to be completed (this can also be subject to disruption and change).

Overall, conveyancing takes between eight to twelve weeks, starting from the moment you get in touch with your conveyancing solicitor to the completion date of the property and the handover of keys.

Your Help to Buy Solicitor with Bell Lamb and Joynson

At Bell Lamb & Joynson, we are specialist solicitors who are experts in dealing with all aspects of conveyancing law. We offer a wide range of conveyancing services to help you secure your dream home.

We assist with buying and selling, remortgages, equity transfers, and of course, conveyancing for first-time buyers, including Help to Buy and Shared Ownership transactions."

It is essential to come to a solicitor with experience in dealing with Help to Buy conveyancing schemes so that we can advise you and guide you through the conveyancing process with ease.

At Bell Lamb and Joynson, we ensure that all Help to Buy transactions comply with the legal aspects of conveyancing. We advise you on all the information surrounding Help to Buy and how it works. We also liaise with other solicitors, mortgage lenders, estate agents, and surveyors on your behalf.

Please contact us today if you would like to discuss your conveyancing needs further. You can find all our contact details on our website.