What is the Help to Build Scheme and how can I apply? | The Sun

THOUSANDS of prospective homebuyers have been given a welcome boost after the government announced a new initiative.

The Help to Build Scheme allows people to construct self and custom-designed homes on just a 5% deposit.

The government can give you an equity loan between 5% and 20% based on the rough costs of buying the plot of land and building your home on it.

Applications for the scheme opened on Monday June 27, and comes as first-time buyers struggle to get onto the property ladder.

Housing minister Stuart Andrew said the scheme would "break down barriers to homeownership" and create jobs, but what exactly is it?

Here's all you need to know about the scheme.

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What is the Help to Build scheme?

The scheme is available to people in England wanting to custom build or self-build their own home, and offers an equity loan.

The loan amount can be between 5% and 20%, and up to 40% in London, of the total estimated cost of the plot of land and to build the home.

If you're eligible, you can spend up to £600,000 on a new home.

But, this has to include the cost of the land if you don't already own it, and no more than £400,000 on the cost to build it.

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One advantage to the scheme is that someone building a custom build or self build home can decide on the design, internal layout and location of the home.

Who is eligible?

You can apply to the Help to Build scheme if you are 18 or over and have a right to live in England.

You also have to live in the newly-built home as your only home and secure a self build mortgage from a lender registered with Help to Build.

You can find out more about the scheme by using the government's Customer's Guide.

How do you apply?

To apply to the scheme, you have to be 18 or older, have the right to live in the UK and be able to get a self-build mortgage from a lender registered with Help to Build.

You also need a minimum 5% deposit of the estimated cost of the plot of land and construction costs.

Most lenders should be registered with Help to Build but ask them if you're not sure.

You can't apply if you've had funding from another Help to Build equity loan in the last two years or if you still owe money after borrowing from another government home ownership scheme, such as Help to Buy.

There's a whole list of information you'll need before applying, so it's worth checking out the government's website for more details.

Is the scheme worth it?

The scheme was designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder, but also helps families needing a bespoke home, say if one of the members is disabled.

However, Tim Bannister, director of property science at Rightmove, said finding appropriate land to build on and budgeting may be issues for prospective house builders applying to the scheme.

He said: “The challenge will be finding the land to buy and build on and getting the necessary planning permissions and mortgage.

"Those looking to take advantage of the scheme will still need to consider how much they are able to borrow from a lender, and whether it’s enough to build the home that they want or need.”

Meanwhile, Nick Mendes, a property expert at John Charcol, advised living near to the plot of land if you get to that stage.

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He said: "You will want to ensure you live near to be able to manage the build, reduce your costs and have a contingency fund.

"Especially in the current climate of delays, increasing costs of materials."

It comes after prime minister Boris Johnson announced housing association tenants would be able to buy their homes.

And each week we also explore how first-time buyers go from being savers to home-owners.

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