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First time home buyers

What is a first time buyer?

A first time buyer is a potential home buyer who has never owned property before.

If you’re a first time buyer, you can receive certain perks that help get you on the property ladder. 

First time buyer properties are designed to help people move on to or up the housing ladder. If you own a first time buyer property, you must occupy that property as your principal residence. You are not allowed to let a first time buyer property to another person.

First time buyer stamp duty

If the property you’re buying is under £450,000, you’ll pay a reduced amount of stamp duty.

You’ll also pay a reduced amount of land transaction tax if you are buying a share transfer property.  

First time buyer developments 

Being a first time buyer means that you can buy a home on a specially designated first time buyer development. These homes are advertised by local estate agents and are only sold to people who are first time buyers.

Affordable housing schemes

Being a first time buyer also means that you can apply to purchase an affordable home through the affordable housing purchase scheme. This means you can buy a home through schemes that various housing providers offer.

Affordable housing purchase schemes and how to apply

Who qualifies as a first time buyer

You are a first time buyer if you:

  • have ’entitled’ residential status
  • plan to buy property with an ’entitled’ spouse or civil partner
  • have never owned a house or flat anywhere in the world (whether on your own or with someone else)  

Residential statuses and what they mean

If you already own property

There are certain circumstances where you might be considered a first time buyer, even if you already own property.

If you own a flying freehold flat

You will count as a first time buyer if you:

  • sell your flat to another first time buyer
  • buy a property larger than your current home, eg if you’re moving from a two bedroom flat to a three bedroom house

If you own a share transfer flat

You will count as a first time buyer if you:

  • sell your flat to anyone, not necessarily to a first time buyer
  • buy a property larger than your current home, eg if you’re moving from a two bedroom flat to a three bedroom house

If you have owned land 

Your circumstances are considered individually by the Housing Minister, for example if you have:

  • inherited agricultural land
  • joint inheritance with siblings of family property
  • other general minor land / property ownership

If you have property that was owned by a spouse / ex-partner

Your circumstances are considered individually by the Housing Minister.

In all cases, before you consider making a purchase, contact us to discuss your status as a first time buyer.

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