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LIFT Mortgages -

Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)

 

Lift mortgages would allow you to buy a property; there are limitations on how much you can pay depending on your room requirements, with the help of one of the appointed social landlords. Social landlords run the scheme after being approved by the Scottish Government.

Check the social landlords to see if there is one operating in your area if not there may will one soon. If you are not sure whether you will be classed as on a low income there would be no harm in applying, you will go through a 'means testing'. You will be expected to contribute the maximum mortgage that you are able to get as well as personal contributions; you are however allowed to keep five thousand pounds of your money.

To get a lift mortgage you have to meet the criteria that is set out but you also have to be quick as the social landlord approval letter is only valid for twelve weeks, so start your house search as soon as possible so the home you after doesn't slip through your fingers!

First-time buyers can use a lift mortgage to buy new build homes or homes already on the open market. To be eligible for a lift mortgage the home has to be bought from a registered social landlord; many areas are now covered by the scheme including the city of Edinburgh, Lothian areas, Stirling, Aberdeen and even the highlands.

What does a LIFT Mortgage cover?

LIFT mortgages covers a broad range of support for first-time buyers, including:

  • the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme to allow first-time buyers to buy a new build property;
  • the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot a pilot scheme to allow first-time buyers to buy a property on the open market in areas where affordability is a key problem for buyers

LIFT is a Scottish Government initiative to help first time buyers to get onto the housing ladder.

As the LIFT mortgage scheme , Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers, rolls out across Scotland more and more people will hear about the scheme which has been brought in by the Scottish Government to help those on low incomes purchase a home. You may have heard of the previous scheme called homestake, this helped many families buy a home. This new scheme has been piloted in Edinburgh and central regions and other areas of Scotland and is now being introduced in other parts of our country.

As far as I am aware low incomes are those that are financially constrained which you'll have to prove by releasing all your financial information. The wonderful thing about getting on the LIFT scheme and getting a lift mortgage is that you avoid the difficulties everyone else is experiencing trying to get a mortgage at the moment, the big hurdle, deposit. Eighteen months ago you could get a mortgage without a deposit, these disappeared as the recession kicked in and gradually deposit requirements started rising with the minimum for most being around twenty per cent. Crazy!

What is shared equity?

The New Supply Shared Equity scheme and the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot aim to help people on low to moderate incomes who want to own their home but who cannot afford to pay the full price for a house.

A buyer generally pays between 60 and 80 per cent of the price of a home, with the remainder paid for by the Scottish Ministers. The buyer owns the whole property, although the Scottish Government holds a security over the proportion of equity stake it hasfunded. This means that if the owner sells their property, the Government will receive the value at the time of sale of the percentage equity stake funded. If, for example, the Government funds 40 per cent of the purchase price, when the property is sold 40 per cent of the sale value of the property will be returned to the Scottish Government.

Who is shared equity for?

The Open Market Shared Equity Pilot mainly aims to help first-time buyers, such as people living in social housing, people in the Armed Forces or veterans, and people living in private rented housing or with relatives. But it can help others too. For example, it may be able to help you if you are looking for a new home after a significant change in your household circumstances or if you have a disability and own a house which doesn't suit your needs. If you currently own your home or part-own a property, you will need to sell your interest in that property at the same time that you buy a home through the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot.

If you are currently a tenant of a local authority or registered social landlord, you will not be able to buy your existing home from your landlord through the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot, but you may be able to buy a property that is for sale on the open market.

What is the Open Market Shared Equity Pilot and how does it operate?

The Open Market Shared Equity Pilot aims to help people on low incomes who wish to own their home but who cannot afford to pay the full price for a house. It is part of the range of assistance from the Scottish Government under LIFT, the Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers.

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