First Time Buyers

If you are ready to become a homeowner, now is the time that you need really, really good advice!

Whether You Are Excited or Terrified, or a Bit of Both!

At Willowlace Ltd, we want you to be well-informed buyers, with information which will help you through your lifetime of being a homeowner.

We will take the time to ensure that you know the pro’s and con’s of the different elements of your mortgage, so that you can make the right decisions for you. Sadly, you won’t get this help and advice from a bank direct!

Whilst there are lots of options to get onto the ladder for First Time Buyers, it is important that you have a Mortgage Broker who can help you understand and compare all the options which are available to you.

There is a lot of jargon in the mortgage market, so please refer to our Glossary if you are unsure of any of the terminology.

1. You Have Saved a Deposit

For most First Time Buyers saving for a deposit can be quite a struggle, particularly if you are renting, but some of our First Time Buyers have managed to do just this! The more deposit you have available, the lower the Loan to Value which will give you access to lower rates of interest and more products.

2. Professional Mortgages

There are some lenders who are more generous for young Professionals. So, if you are a doctor, accountant, solicitor etc then you may have access to these products.

3. Help from the Family

This can come in the form of a monetary gift, acting as Guarantors, owning the property with you, standing on the mortgage but not on the Deeds, or putting funds into a savings account with a Lender in case you don’t make your mortgage payments.

We would like to thank you so much for making our first home purchase as easy as possible - we have loved working with you and your team, we’ll be recommending you for sure!
Mr E & Miss B

4. Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is a way to buy a share of a property in which you wish to live. You will need to contact the Housing Associations which offer Shared Ownership, and register with them so they can check you are eligible, but you are free to use your own Mortgage Broker.

  • You buy between 25% and 75% of the property from a Housing Association, and you rent the rest of the property, paying this to the Housing Association on top of your mortgage payments.
  • You can buy more of the property later on, but the price will be based on the market value of the property at the time you wish to do this.
  • Affordability will be calculated based on both your mortgage and rent payments.
  • When you come to sell your home, the Housing Association has the first option to buy it from you. Even if you own the property 100%, the Housing Association retains this option for 21 years.

5. Help To Buy - Wales

This is ONLY available in Wales, up to a maximum price of £300,000.

You will need to provide a 5% deposit and the scheme provides a shared equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price. The remainder of the purchase price must be on a mortgage, which must be over a term of 25 years or less.

You are able to purchase additional amounts of the property (staircasing).

You are not allowed to sublet any part of the house you are buying, and you are not able to rend out your existing home and buy another home under this scheme.

More information can be found at

6.Discount Market Sale Scheme also known as Council Shared Equity Scheme

This is a low cost home ownership product where you can buy a new build or existing property at a discounted price from a local council which is participating in the scheme in collaboration with developers (who are often Housing Associations).

The discount is usually around 20%, but it can be as high as 50%.

Some people describe DMS as ‘shared ownership without the rent’.

A restriction is place on the property’s Land Registry Title to ensure that the property remains at a discounted rate in perpetuity for future purchasers. Some Council’s may allow you to Staircase (to buy the discounted part of the property), but please check this carefully with your local Council and with your solicitor.

There are some circumstances where the Stamp Duty payable is only on the purchase price and not on the full market value, but always check the most up to date criteria with your solicitor.

You can sell your home when you wish to, but you do have to notify your local authority in writing of your intention to sell, which is known as an Availability Notice (available on your local council’s website), but The DMS scheme is part of the Low Cost Home Ownership scheme so prospective buyers themselves must be eligible in the way that you were (so this will restrict the resale of your property.)

7. First Time Homes Scheme

The new scheme will be designed to help local First Time Buyers and Keyworkers onto the property ladder, by offering homes at a discount of 30% compared to the market price.

For more information, please visit the Government website here:

8. Deposit Unlock Scheme

Available in England, Wales and Scotland, this helps first time buyers and home movers buy a new build home from a participating home builder with a 5% deposit. The mortgages are only available through mortgage brokers and they are exclusively for new build homes.

Mortgage Lenders are often stricter on the amount they are willing to lend on the purchase of new builds, in order to protect themselves from the inevitable devaluation of the property in the early years and other risk factors. In order to do this they often set minimum deposits of 15% or even 25%.

The Deposit Unlock scheme is backed by mortgage indemnity insurance funded by the developer, which shields lenders from any potential loss if the property is sold for less than the owner paid for it.

There will be no extra cost to buyers, however the buyer’s obligations to the lender remain unchanged.

The maximum loan you can take out to buy a property through this scheme is currently £750,000, depending on the Lender and your circumstances.

The new scheme will be designed to help local First Time Buyers and Keyworkers onto the property ladder, by offering homes at a discount of 30% compared to the market price.

For more information, please visit the Government website here:

Other Useful Resources for First Time Buyers

Help to Buy ISA

If you opened an account prior to 30th November 2019, this can be a great boost to your savings.  This won’t be available to new savers after 30th November 2019. (see Lifetime ISA below.)

Investigate the details here:

Stamp Duty

If everyone who is party to the mortgage is a genuine First Time Buyer (ie have never owned a property anywhere in the world), then there you may benefit from a reduction in Stamp Duty, or there may be no Stamp Duty to pay whatsoever.

Lifetime ISA

This is available to help you save for a mortgage deposit to buy a home.

Investigate the details here:

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and struggling to make repayments, then you can contact your lender who may be able to help taking account of your individual circumstances.

You may want to contact one of the free impartial money guidance and debt advice services such as StepChange, Citizens Advice, or Turn2Us.