Buying your first home
If you are thinking of buying your first home there are a number of things you will need to consider.
You will need a deposit of at least 10% of the total purchase price. You will need to have savings that cover the costs of solicitors and other fees such as stamp duty.
The government has lots of different ways to help first time buyers which can be found on the regional Help to Buy South website.
The council offers opportunities to help first-time buyers buy a home.
Rent to buy apartments
Rent-to-buy apartments are available in Eagle House, through Rentplus. This is a no-deposit scheme to help those on low or middle incomes get on the route to home ownership.
The apartments in Eagle House are right in the centre of Bracknell, within The Lexicon shopping centre. Residents initially rent their new home for a minimum of 5 years, before being offered the chance to buy.
Cash incentive scheme
If you are a tenant of a housing association living in Bracknell Forest and you occupy a family-sized property, the council can offer you a grant of up to £60,000 to help you buy a property on the open market.
To be eligible for a grant you must:
- have been a housing association tenant within Bracknell Forest for at least 2 years
- have had a clear rent and council tax account for a least 6 months
- have a local connection to the borough
- be occupying a family-sized property
- work full time or more than 16 hours per week and have an income of between £20,000 and £60,000
- have a good credit history (subject to an Experian check)
The level of grant will depend on the property value, the mortgage offer amount and the savings that applicants have.
Housing associations own a number of properties which can be purchased on a part rent/part buy basis. These are usually new build properties and are advertised on the BFC My Choice website. Shared ownership resales are also available.
Shared ownership enables home buyers to purchase a share in a property with their own deposit and mortgage, and pay rent on the share that they don’t own. The initial percentage share which can be purchased may range from 25% to 75%. Further shares can be purchased in instalments of 10% or more when the home owner can afford to do so.
How do I qualify?
The eligibility criteria for purchasing a shared ownership property may differ from scheme to scheme. However, the following criteria give an idea of what is required.
- be a UK citizen
- be in employment
- earn between £20,000 and £60,000 per year (although some schemes require a minimum income of £26,000 per year)
To find out more about how shared ownership works and what you may be able to afford, contact the Welfare and Housing Service.