SPONSORED CONTENT: Homebuyers are getting a lift onto the property ladder thanks to LIFT
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Homebuyers are getting a lift onto the property ladder thanks to the Scottish Government’s LIFT (Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers) Open Market Shared Equity (OMSE) scheme.
The scheme helps first-time buyers and other priority groups get onto the property ladder by contributing up to 40% towards the price of a home. Buyers fund the remaining share themselves, usually through a combination of mortgage and deposit, and own the property outright.
Amy, a recent LIFT scheme buyer said: “I thought I would only be able to buy a small flat in an area I would not be happy to live in long term, however, the LIFT scheme allowed me to buy an affordable home with enough rooms for when I have a family.
“I previously paid more in private rent for a one-bedroom flat or to share a two-bedroom flat than I am on my mortgage. It’s also meant I could buy much sooner than planned and it's a property for most of my adult life. I am so grateful the LIFT scheme exists.”
Properties purchased through the scheme must be advertised for sale on the open market, e.g. on a website, and be within the price threshold for the area.
A first time buyer with an income of £27,000 bought a two-bedroom property in Inverness with help from the LIFT scheme.
Property price: £135,000
Buyer contribution: £81,000 (combination of mortgage and deposit)
Scottish Government contribution: £54,000
In this example, the Scottish Government contributed 40% of the price and will get the same percentage back when the property is sold, or the buyer can choose to increase their equity share in the property over time. There are no monthly repayments to the Scottish Government.
Not just for first-time buyers
Kevin, a social tenant, bought a home through the LIFT scheme. Kevin said, “LIFT helped us buy our first home. Council rent was £416 a month, our mortgage is £230 a month. We will be able to pay more mortgage off, repay government money, and own our own home.”
In addition to first-time buyers, the LIFT scheme is open to current social tenants, people with a disability, and people aged 60 and over who can demonstrate a housing need.
Members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years, and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel whose partner has lost their life while serving in the armed forces within the last two years, are also eligible for the scheme.
Link Housing administers the LIFT scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government in all local authority areas.
For more information and to apply online, visit www.linkhousing.org.uk/LIFT or text ‘LIFT’ to 66777. Eligibility criteria apply. Always seek independent financial advice before applying.