Getting on the Property Ladder

The idea of stepping onto the property ladder can be quite daunting for some families. Buying a home could be one of the biggest investments that you will ever make, meaning there is a lot to think about.

For many families, paying a mortgage and owning your own home  is a much more favoured option than paying rent towards a landlord – something which is often deemed as ‘dead money’. The average price for a home in the North West costs around £181,690 according to Rightmove, but options are available to help give families a leg-up towards a place on the ladder.

Help to Buy

Help to Buy is an umbrella term given to all the different ways that the Government can help first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder. Help to Buy schemes are aimed at those who cannot afford to buy on the open market without assistance.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan

Help to Buy Equity Loans are available to first-time buyers as well as existing homeowners who are looking to move. The Equity Loan scheme will allow you to lend you up to 20% of the cost of your new-build home (costing up to £600,000). This means you will only have to scrape together a 5% deposit plus a 75% mortgage, opposed to the deposits of between 10 and 25% that many mortgage companies require.

There are no fees on the loan for the first five years of the mortgage.

Help to Buy: Shared Ownership

You can buy your home through shared ownership if:

  • Your household earns 80,000 p/a or less
  • You’re a first-time buyer (or existing shared owner moving to another shared ownership home)
  • Your income is sufficient to cover the mortgage (if applicable), rent and service charges
  • Your chosen Shared Ownership property is affordable and sustainable for you


The scheme allows you to buy between 25% – 75% of a home’s value and pay rent on the remaining share. There is also the option to buy a bigger share once you have more money in the future.


Any Help to Buy home has to be a new-build, or available through a housing association resale programme. Your share of the home’s purchase price has to be paid for through savings or through a mortgage.


Help to Buy ISA

A Help to Buy ISA can be a great help when saving up for a deposit towards a home (under 250k).

A maximum of £200 a month can be saved, plus an initial £1200 deposit. Although you must save a minimum of £1,600 to be eligible, the government will pay an extra 25% (up to the value of £3,000) on the final amount saved.

Right to Acquire

Right to Acquire allows tenants who rent their home from their local council to buy their home at a discount. You can apply to buy your housing association home if you’ve had a public sector landlord for 3 years.

You could be eligible to buy the home you rent at a discount of between £9,000 and £16,000 on the price of your home. The amount of discount you’ll get depends on where you live.


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