No, you cannot be a first-time buyer again and this means you cannot take advantage of any government benefits or bonuses which are aimed sley towards first-time buyers such as the first-time buyer stamp duty relief.
When you apply for a government scheme or any relief that may require you to be a first-time buyer, you will usually have had to fill in a first-time buyer declaration and lying on this document may be a criminal offence.
First-time buyers may be eligible for the below schemes:
- Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
- Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
- Help to buy equity loan- gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
- Shared ownership- You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
- Armed forces help to buy- similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
- Rent to buy- This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
- Right to buy- allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
- Preserved right to buy- same as above.
- Right to acquire- same as above.
It is important to note that it isn’t just the first time buyers who may be eligible for the schemes above. You may also be eligible for the schemes as long as you are a home mover.
If you are struggling to save a mortgage deposit or unable to buy a property as you are currently renting but were previously a first-time buyer before then you may be able to take advantage of 100% LTV mortgages which mostly don’t require you to be a first-time buyer.
In the case of these 100% LTV mortgages where your family member helps you secure a mortgage, you can be a first-time buyer again in the UK.
They are a certain type of mortgage known as a family springboard mortgage, they include mortgages from lenders such as the Barclays family springboard mortgage, the lloyds lend a hand mortgage or thebpost office family link mortgage.
These mortgages will require your family member to put down money in a savings account almost as a guarantee that you will repay your mortgage. If you default on your mortgage then your family members savings could be at risk and if you miss payments then the bank could hold your family members savings for a longer period than first agreed.
Your family member will usually have to put the money in a savings account for a fixed period of 3 years and received a fixed rate of interest.
If you are unsure what your mortgage options are then you should consider speaking to a mortgage broker as they may be able to advise you on where you can obtain a mortgage from in your current financial situation.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.