Get Your Best Mortgage Deal... FOR FREE!
In this guide:
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    House prices are often very high which can be especially difficult for first time buyers, however, thanks to the First Homes scheme, first-time buyers and key workers can buy a new build property that is discounted from its open market value.

    To learn more about this route to affordable housing, keep reading to learn more.

    What is the First Homes scheme?

    The First Homes scheme launched in June 2021 and it is another government initiative to help first-time buyers get their feet on the property ladder. The first home scheme offers first-time buyers the ability to buy a new-build property for a discount of at least 30% – 50% of the property value.

    This same discount will remain on the home forever, for all future sales, which means that every time this ‘First Home’ is sold, each buyer will benefit from a purchase price that is cheaper than the market value or market price on equivalent properties.

    Who is eligible for this first-time buyer scheme?

    According to Gov.UKthe eligibility criteria is:

    • 18 years or older
    • A first-time buyer
    • Able to get a mortgage for at least half the property value
    • Have a household income that does not exceed £80,000 (or £90,000 in London)

    Some local authorities will prioritise first-time buyers who are key workers.

    Key workers included for the first home scheme

    • Teachers
    • NHS workers
    • Armed forces personnel
    • Police officers
    • Local authority workers
    • Probation officers

    The local authority might also prioritise first-time buyers with a low income or who are already living in the local area.

    Learn more about mortgages for professionals here.

    First Homes Scheme near me

    Is the First Homes scheme still available?

    The First Homes scheme is available to first-time buyers in the UK but there are currently a limited number of First Home houses available.

    The scheme is aimed for local first time buyers. It ultimately depends on where you live as the programme is being rolled out on a site-by-site basis. If you live in Bolsover, West Midlands, where the scheme was first introduced, you may be able to buy a First Homes property.

    The scheme has also been rolled out in certain areas within Staffordshire, Durham, and Hampshire. To find out about the availability of this new scheme in your area, you should contact your local authority.

    First Momes Scheme Properties

    Are there price caps on First Home properties?

    Properties on this scheme are subject to a £250,000 price cap after the discount has been applied.

    The exception is in London, where there is a higher cap of £420,000.

    Local planning authorities are able to reduce these caps but they don’t have the power to raise them.

    How much house deposit would I need using the First Homes scheme?

    The 30%-50% discount will certainly make properties more affordable for future first-time buyers but a deposit will still be needed for the mortgage.

    In some cases, you may need as little as 5% of the of the discounted purchase price dependening on the property. However, this will depend on the mortgage lender and your personal circumstances, as you may be required to pay more.

    Other costs to consider when buying a property using the First Homes scheme

    Thanks to high property prices, buying a home is always quite costly. Not only do you need to pay for the mortgage but you need to budget for other costs too. These apply to all buyers, as well as those on the First Home scheme.

    Costs include:

    • Solicitor fees
    • Valuation fees
    • Surveyor’s fees
    • Removal costs
    • Life insurance
    • Home Insurance

    These costs do add up so if you’re looking to get on the property ladder, you should start saving as soon as possible.

    Thankfully, you can save money with your mortgage by seeking the help of a mortgage broker who has access to the cheapest loan deals (get in touch with our team).

    If you meet the local eligibility criteria for one of the affordable homes within the First Home scheme, you will also benefit from the discounted price of the property.

    If you don’t qualify for the First Homes scheme, all isn’t lost when you are trying to get on the housing ladder. You may still be eligible for other government schemes, such as the Help to Buy Equity loan programme that is also available for buyers new to the property market.

    How can I apply for the First Homes scheme?

    To apply for the scheme, you first need to contact the developer of the new-build home or an estate agent if you intend to purchase it from a previous First Home buyer.

    After paying the reservation fee, they will help you complete the application which then needs to be sent to your local council.

    If your application is successful, you will receive an Authority to Proceed and an Eligibility Certificate. You will need to give these to your mortgage provider (or your broker), and conveyancer so they can begin the next steps in the mortgage and buying process.

    Before you apply, you should make sure you’re eligible for the scheme by contacting your local authority. If you are a key worker, your chances of approval will be improved.

    We have many years of experience helping Nurses, Doctors, The police, and Teachers with first-home schemes. It’s been our observation that these schemes work really well at getting the first-time buyer on the property ladder. Our opinion is that their schemes are overly complicated however this is where our expert mortgage advisors can help as they have lots of experience and will help and guide our clients. – Stephen Roberts (Director)

    What happens if my First Home application is approved?

    If your application is approved, you need to…

    • Hire a conveyancer to help you with the property purchase
    • Give your conveyancer and lender (or your broker) the full details of the property
    • Make your mortgage application
    • Complete the legal documents sent to you by your council
    • Exchange contracts with the developer (or property seller) if you receive a mortgage offer

    After completing this next step you will be legally committed to buying the home. When the sale of the property has gone through, you will then be given a moving-in date.

    Using a fee-free mortgage broker to manage my First Homes scheme property purchase

    If you meet the local and national criteria for a property on the First Homes scheme, we can help you with the property purchase.

    By criteria, we mean you are buying your first property, have local connections, and are considered to be a key worker (although some local authorities may waive this).

    If you are eligible for the significant discount that is being offered through this scheme, you will be able to apply for your mortgage. We will:

    • Help you find a lender that is suited to your circumstances
    • Calculate how much you may be able to borrow after assessing your household income
    • Assist you with your mortgage application
    • Give you all the advice you need as you embark on your mortgage journey.

    Get in touch with us today if you would like to learn more.

    First Homes Scheme FAQs

    For the best deal on a mortgage, contact our expert team. As a whole of market broker, we have access to a wide range of lenders, including specialist lenders that can’t be found on the local high street. We will also have an understanding and knowledge of the local authority in the area you are buying. Applicants will also have to fit local eligibility criteria that will depend on the Local Authority.

    The First Home Scheme is an affordable way to buy a home as properties are discounted from the market prices. But this is only one government scheme available to you if you’re looking to get on the property ladder.

    To help you save, the government offers the Lifetime ISA which is a savings account that can be used to save towards the purchase of your home.

    To help you buy a property, you might also want to consider the Mortgage Guarantee scheme, or a Shared Ownership.

    Local councils will typically favour local people when approving applications. However, the local connection criteria does not apply to serving members of the Armed Forces and recent veterans. Bereaved civil partners of service men and women who have died are also exempt.

    Related reading

    Contact our FEE-FREE Mortgage Advisers

    Put the odds of mortgage approval in your favour with the help of a qualified and experienced mortgage broker.
    Share this post:
    Steve Roberts (MAQ)
    Steve Roberts (MAQ)

    Stephen Roberts MAQ is the founder of YesCanDo Money, one of the UK's largest no-fee mortgage brokers. With more than 30 years of hands-on experience in the mortgage industry, Steve really knows the ins and outs of mortgages. He's become a trusted expert and authority in the field, thanks to his deep understanding of the mortgage landscape. Speak to Steve or a member of his knowledgeable team today by completing our contact form:

    Contact Us

    Other Mortgage Advice Guides

    Top 10 Questions to Ask a Mortgage Broker: A Guide to Making an Informed Decision

    What is a mortgage broker? A mortgage broker employs a team of mortgage advisors who have the goal to match borrowers with the best possible ...
    Read More →

    How Do Mortgage Brokers Get Paid?

    Purchasing a home can be costly. To avoid adding extra costs to your moving budget, make sure you understand how mortgage advisors earn their pay ...
    Read More →

    What is Checkmyfile UK: Boost Your Mortgage Chances

    Checkmyfile is rated as the UK’s leading credit report service by Trustpilot with an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5. The credit reference agency ...
    Read More →

    What is a Let To Buy Mortgage and how does it work?

    While buy-to-let mortgages are often confused with let-to-buy mortgages, they are not the same thing. Below we explain the difference between the two and the ...
    Read More →

    Renting vs paying a mortgage: The pros and cons

    If you can’t afford to buy your own home, you have the option of renting a home instead. In some instances, there are advantages to ...
    Read More →

    Can I buy my rental house from my landlord?

    If you’re currently renting a house and thinking about buying a property for yourself, it might be that you’re interested in purchasing the house you’re ...
    Read More →

    Government First Home Scheme

    House prices are often very high which can be especially difficult for first time buyers, however, thanks to the First Homes scheme, first-time buyers and ...
    Read More →

    How long does a mortgage offer last and what to do if it expires

    Once a mortgage lender has offered you a mortgage, you will usually be given a limited time in which to complete your property purchase. But ...
    Read More →

    Key Worker Mortgage & Housing Schemes

    If you’re a key worker and a first-time buyer, you will likely be interested in the key worker housing schemes that are available to somebody ...
    Read More →

    Paying off your Mortgage Early: The Advantages and Disadvantages

    There are advantages and disadvantages to paying off your mortgage early, so you’ll need to carefully consider the pros and cons before making a decision. ...
    Read More →

    A Guide To Moving House: What to do when moving house

    The decision to move house is one that you probably haven’t taken lightly. The moving process can be stressful, as there is a lot to ...
    Read More →

    Should I pay a mortgage arrangement fee to get a lower interest rate?

    Is it better to pay an arrangement fee on my mortgage to get a lower monthly mortgage payment? This will depend on the size of ...
    Read More →

    Will my lender let me rent my property out?

    So, you have been living in your home for a few years but your circumstances have now changed. Perhaps you have a job move out ...
    Read More →

    Do I have to use the estate agent’s mortgage advisor?

    You go to see a property and it’s just the property you have been looking for. You know you can afford it as you have ...
    Read More →

    What is a Mortgage Broker and What Do They Do?

    Buying a home can be very exciting! But between all the daydreaming about paint colours, there’s a lot of financial stuff to figure out. This ...
    Read More →

    Where to find the best mortgage rates

    There can be several reasons for needing a mortgage. Maybe you are about to buy a new property or move home. Is your existing fixed-rate ...
    Read More →

    What stops you getting a mortgage?

    The path to finding the perfect home can be a long one. There is much you need to consider in your search, from the type ...
    Read More →

    Right to Buy Mortgage Explained

    If you’re a council house tenant, you may be able to get a mortgage using the Right to Buy government scheme. If you’re a Housing ...
    Read More →

    How much is stamp duty?

    The amount of stamp duty you’ll need to pay depends on the purchase price of the property and where it’s located in the UK. Residents ...
    Read More →

    My mortgage adviser has disappeared. What can I do?

    So you have had a meeting with a mortgage adviser and now you can’t get hold of them!? Maybe you have already got a mortgage application underway and ...
    Read More →
    Scroll to Top
    This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue we’ll assume you’re happy. See our privacy policy for more information.