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Help to Buy Mortgage – Scotland

Is help to buy different in Scotland? Find out here.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 29, 2022


📢 *UPDATE 06/04/2021: The Help to Buy scheme has now entered its third phase (2021-23) and a few of the rules around it have been altered. Some of the information in this article may be subject to change but you can read up on the latest update to the equity loan scheme here

Help to Buy is a UK-wide scheme designed to help homebuyers and home-movers to buy an affordable new-build.

This article looks at how you can use a Help to Buy mortgage to buy a new home in Scotland.

What is the Help to Buy scheme in Scotland?

Scotland’s Help to Buy consists of two schemes – the ‘Affordable New Build Scheme’, and the ‘Smaller Developers Scheme’.

Both work in a similar way, the difference being the size of the home builders involved. The Scottish Government will loan you up to 15% of the property’s value, so you can put down a 5% deposit and secure a mortgage at 80% loan-to-value.


📢 *UPDATE 06/04/2021: Applications for the Affordable New Build scheme closed on 5 February 2021

The scheme is only available through participating home builders, and your application must be submitted no more than 9 months from the expected purchase date of your new home.

The scheme will run until April 2021, so you should aim to have your application completed by then. The program will be extended until 2023 but, at that time, it will be restricted to first-time buyers only.

Example: buying a £175,000 house with a 15% equity loan

Price Percentage
Total price of home £175,000 100%
Your Deposit £8,750 5%
Your Mortgage £140,000 80%
Scottish government equity loan £26,250 15%
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How to apply for a Help to Buy mortgage in Scotland

The process of buying a home through Help to Buy in Scotland is a little different from the way it works in England.

In Scotland, you have to go through the additional step of securing the government’s equity loan, which involves an administering agent and some forward planning.

The steps you have to go through to secure your Help to Buy mortgage in Scotland are:

  • Step 1: You reserve a home – getting a ‘reservation agreement’ in writing from the builder (this may incur a fee).
  • Step 2: Once you have the reservation agreement, you apply for funding through your local administering agent. If you qualify, your agent will send you ‘Authority to Proceed’.
  • Step 3: Once you have Authority to Proceed (and only then), you submit your mortgage application.
  • Step 4: Assuming your mortgage application is successful, your solicitor will check that all the paperwork is in order. They’ll then gather the funds from your deposit, the government and the lender – which will be used to pay the builder.
  • Step 5: Assuming this is all successful, you can move in.

If you would like help with all, or any, of this, get in touch and speak to one of the experts we work with.

They will be happy to answer your question and work with you to get the house you want and a mortgage with the best available rates for your circumstances even if you have bad credit (example, if you’re looking to get a mortgage with a debt management plan), we work with expert bad credit mortgage brokers who will be able to review all your circumstances and get you the best deal available.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry for a free, no obligation chat.

The advantages

There are a number of obvious benefits to using Help to Buy.

  • Homeownership – Though you share some equity with the Scottish government, you, for all intents and purposes, own the house – in much the same way you would with a conventional mortgage on your home.
  • You can buy sooner – You don’t need to save a large deposit, which can allow you to buy sooner.
  • You can save money – The smaller mortgage can result in lower monthly repayments.
  • You can buy more equity in your home – You have the option to buy an increasing amount of equity in your house when it suits you (though you’ll have to do this by at least 5% each time). However, you’ll have to pay all of the additional costs associated with this.

The disadvantages

There are some downsides to the scheme, which we’ve outlined below.

  • There are restrictions on what you can do with the house – As the Scottish government is a stakeholder in your house, you’ll have to ask for their permission for more major things – such as subletting, remortgaging, renting the house out, or major renovations.
  • The government has a stake in your house until you buy them out – As such, the government will benefit from any rise (or fall) in its price when you sell, unless you ‘tranche up’ and buy them out before selling.

Am I eligible for a Help to Buy mortgage in Scotland?

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be buying a new build home from a participating builder, in Scotland, that is valued at less than £200,000
  • Have a deposit of at least 5%
  • Be taking out a repayment mortgage of at least 25% – interest-only mortgages are not allowed
  • Be able to make up at least 85% of the purchase price with your mortgage and your deposit
  • Not own (or part own) any other property. If you’re an existing homeowner, you’ll have to sell your other home before getting help from the scheme
  • Be aiming to obtain a mortgage of no more than 4.5 times your income (if single) or 3.5 times (if in a couple)
  • Be able to ensure that your monthly costs (mortgage, fees and service charge) are no more than 45% of your net disposable income

If you think you are eligible for the Help to Buy mortgage scheme in Scotland but want to check you’re right or have questions about how it will benefit you, get in touch on 0808 189 2301 for a free, no obligation chat.

What is the term of the mortgage and loan?

The government’s equity loan can be repaid at any time within 25 years. The loan does not accrue interest at any point but must be paid off by the sale of the property. If you sell the property with some of the loan outstanding, the proceeds will be used to pay off the equity loan in full.

Your mortgage will be much the same as any other residential mortgage. You can choose a range of time-frames for repayment, most people opt for 25 years.

How does Help to Buy in Scotland differ from the rest of the UK?

There are a few differences between Help to Buy in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

For example, in England and Wales, the government’s equity loan goes up to 20%, not 15% as in Scotland. The price limits in England and Wales are higher too – £600,000 and £300,000 respectively.

Most interestingly, the Scottish Help to Buy equity loan is interest free forever, whereas the English and Welsh equity loans begin to accrue increasing interest from year 6.

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Speak to a Help to Buy mortgage expert

We’ve helped over 120,000 people find the right mortgage, in fact our customers consistently rate us 5 stars on Feefo, mainly because of the level of service and the fact that OMA offers a 5-star service-, with access to leading brokers who:

  • Are experts on Scottish Help to Buy – accredited by OMA and the LIBF
  • Cover the whole market
  • Can help you find the best lender for your needs

If you have questions and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry.

The service we offer is entirely free. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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