Buying a home The increasing house prices along with difficulties in getting a mortgage has made home ownership difficult in Trafford, especially for first-time-buyers. However, there are options available to help make home ownership more affordable for those looking to get onto the property ladder. Help to buy Help to Buy is a government initiative that aims to help people own their own home. There are several options available depending on your circumstances. Equity Loan With this scheme the government lends you up to 20% of the cost of a new-build home, so you’ll only need a minimum 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. You can find out more by visiting Help to Buy North West. Mortgage Guarantee The Mortgage Guarantee scheme offers 95% mortgages to both first-time-buyers and existing home owners for properties costing £600,000 or less. You can find out more by visiting Own your Home. First Homes The First Homes scheme allows first-time-buyers to purchase properties at a discount of 30% compared to the market price. The discount will apply forever, meaning the property will remain discounted when re-sold. You can find out more by visiting Own your Home. Lifetime ISA The Lifetime ISA is a long-term savings product intended to help younger people save for their first home. If you are aged between 18 and 40, you can open a Lifetime ISA account and save up to £4000 each year until you’re 50. The government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1000 per year. Find out more about Lifetimes ISAs. Forces Help to Buy If you’re a member of armed forces, this scheme could let you borrow up to 50% of your salary to a maximum of £25,000, interest free, to help towards the cost of purchasing a property. You can find out more by visiting Own your Home. Shared ownership Shared Ownership is a way for those who cannot afford market prices to get onto the property ladder. It is an ideal opportunity for first-time buyers. When buying a Shared Ownership property you will buy a portion of the property that you can afford (this is usually 25%, 50% or 75%). You then rent the remaining portion (that you cannot afford to buy). After an initial qualifying period, usually 12 months, the shared owner may buy further shares in the property (usually in 25% increments) but there is no obligation to do this. If you are able, it is possible to eventually buy 100% of the property. There are additional Shared Ownership schemes available to those with long-term disabilities and for those aged 55 and over: Home Ownership for People with Long-Term Disabilities (HOLD) Older Peoples Shared Ownership (OPSO) For more information, contact Help to Buy North West. Matchmaker scheme This scheme is operated by Trafford Council’s Empty Homes Team. The scheme matches potential buyers with owners of empty properties that are looking to sell. The benefits of the scheme include: Free service for both seller and buyer. No fee. Bypasses estate agent, saving on costs. Potential reductions in property price if there is disrepair. Simple process for both seller and buyer Properties for sale viewed on a secure Council web page The process for potential buyers is simple: Begin by completing an application form online or apply via email / post. Provide evidence that you have the necessary finance to purchase property Buyers will then contact seller to arrange viewings The sale process takes place between the seller and buyer For more information on the scheme, please contact the Empty Property Team on 0161 912 1377 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.