Since 2013 the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has helped more than 270,000 buyers find a home to call their own. A new version of the scheme will run from 1 April 2021 until March 2023. This updated scheme introduces property price caps and is restricted to first-time buyers only, supporting people onto the housing ladder. 

How Does It Work?

If you’re a first-time buyer in England, you can apply for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan.

This is a loan from the government that you put towards the cost of buying a newly built home.

You can borrow a minimum of 5% and up to a maximum of 20% of the full purchase price of a new-build home.

You must buy your home from a home builder such as Bussey & Armstrong which is registered for Help to Buy: Equity Loan. 

In the North East the maximum property price is capped to £186,100


What is the new eligibility criteria for Help to Buy in 2021?

If you’re hoping to purchase through Help to Buy after the changes to the scheme, there are certain eligibility criteria that you will need to meet:


  • You must be a first time buyer. This means that you cannot already own, or have owned previously, a property or residential land in the UK or abroad.

  • If you are buying a property with another person, you must both meet the definition of a first time buyer to benefit from the scheme.

  • While there is no minimum or maximum income brackets, you must be able to fund at least 80% of the purchase through a combination of deposit and mortgage.


How do I pay back the Help to Buy equity loan?

The Help to Buy equity loan is interest-free for five years – you are only required to pay a monthly management charge of £1 during this time. After five years, the purchaser pays an annual fee of 1.75% on the amount of the outstanding loan; this fee will increase each year with inflation.

You will have to pay back the Help to Buy equity loan when you sell your home or at the end of your mortgage period – whichever comes first. However, you can also pay back some of the equity loan without selling your home; you can pay back either 10% or 20% of the total amount, as long as the loan is worth at least 10% of the value of your home.


How can I apply for the new Help to Buy scheme?

Once you have found and viewed a property that you would like to buy, you will need to reserve the home by paying a reservation fee of no more than £500 to Bussey & Armstrong. This fee will need to be paid before you can apply for the equity loan and, if at this stage you are found to not be eligible for the scheme, the amount will be refunded to you.

Once you have paid your reservation fee and your equity loan is approved, you will be given what is called ‘Authority to Proceed’. This will remain valid for three months and allows you to continue with the home buying process, including applying for a mortgage and appointing a solicitor to assist you with the legal aspects.

Please note that you will need to exchange contracts within three months of receiving the Authority to Proceed, and must complete the purchase of your home within six months of exchanging contracts.


What Bussey & Armstrong houses are available using this scheme?

We are delighted to be eligible for the Help To Buy scheme and we have the delightful Barnard house type which meets the criteria. The Barnard is a two-bedroom house in the heart of West Park Garden Village. For more information on the Barnard please click here.  


Are there other ways to save?

The chancellor also announced a new "mortgage guarantee" in the Budget.

Starting in April, the government will provide a guarantee to lenders who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of just 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000. 

Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will be offering 95% mortgages from April, with other lenders expected to launch products later.

For more information on the Mortgage Guarantee scheme please click here

For more information about Help To Buy please contact our sales office.

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Help to Buy: Equity Loan



Superb 2 bedroom home offering an open plan lounge/dining room with patio doors leading to a rear garden.

Available from: £154,950