New Build HomeBuy - The key for key workers

If you want to buy a home of your own on the open market but don't think you can afford it, did you know there are Government funded schemes which can give you an equity loan to cover a proportion of the cost?

The schemes are available to key workers in London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Kent, Sussex, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

If you would like to buy a newly built home you can share the cost of buying your home by taking part in the New Build HomeBuy scheme. Under this scheme you buy at least 25 per cent of the property and the housing provider charges you up to a maximum of three per cent per year on the value of the property that it owns.

You must be able to buy at least 25 per cent of the property. You can buy further shares of the property if you are able to afford it. The purchase of further shares is always at market value.

If you are a first time buyer you may be able to take part in the First Time Buyers initiative which is run by English Partnerships to help you by a newly built property.

Under this scheme you buy a minimum of 50 per cent of the value of the property and English Partnerships will charge you a fee for the remaining value of the property. This fee is payable after three years. If you sell the house you will have to pay English Partnerships the same share at the current market value. The scheme is only available on certain housing developments so check with the HomeBuy agent for your area.

If you want to buy an older property the Open Market HomeBuy scheme works by giving providing an 'equity loan' for 25 per cent of the value of your home. An equity loan is a loan where the lender shares in any rise (and sometimes any fall) in the value of the property over the course of the loan. Half of the money comes from a participating bank or building society and the other half comes from the Government through a HomeBuy agent.

If you are eligible, you do not have to pay the money provided by the HomeBuy Agent until you sell your home. You will have to pay back the money lent by the lender once you have paid off your mortgage, although you will not pay any interest for the first five years.

After five years you will be charged a maximum of three per cent interest per year on the lenders loan, and after 10 years you will be charged no more than the standard rate of the lender. However, the amount you will have to repay the lender and the HomeBuy Agent will be linked to the value of your home at the time you sell it, plus an extra fee (called a redemption fee) where this is charged.

You do not need a deposit, but, depending on the lender, if you have some money you can use this to reduce the amount of the equity loan or mortgage.

In order to qualify for the schemes mentioned above your household income must not exceed £60,000 a year or, if you're from a priority group specified by the Regional Housing Board, £49,000 a year.

Different police forces have different criteria to qualify for key worker schemes. All serving officers and PCSOs are generally included, though there may be requirements as to the length of a service left to run - five years is a common period. In some forces, civilian staff such as intelligence analysts, control room staff, public enquiry officers, forensic nurse practitioners, detention officers or civilian investigators are also eligible.

For further information visit and follow the home ownership links from the Home & Community link in the main menu.

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