Scottish Government funded schemes
The Scottish Government operates various schemes to help those on low to moderate incomes buy their own home.
Covid-19: Shared Equity Schemes operated by Link on behalf of the Scottish Government remain open, with staff working from home. Please check this web page regularly for updates.
Choosing the right scheme for you depends on what type of property you want to buy and how much you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your home.
Each scheme has its own eligibility criteria and property price thresholds, use the links below to find out more.
First Home Fund – Up to £25,000 towards the cost of a property
LIFT open market – Up to 40% funding towards the cost of an existing property
LIFT new build – Up to 40% funding towards the cost of a Link new build property
Help to Buy – Up to 15% funding towards the cost of a new build property
What is shared equity?
Buying through a shared equity scheme means that you pay for the majority share of the property – usually through a combination of deposit and mortgage – and the Scottish Government provides funding for the remaining share. The Scottish Government holds its share under a ‘shared equity agreement’, which is paid back either by increasing your share over time or when the property is sold.
For example, if you pay for 85% of your home, the Scottish Government will hold a 15% share and will get the same percentage back when the property is sold, or when you choose to increase your equity stake.
When you buy through a shared equity scheme, you own the property outright and have the full title to the property.
Selling a shared equity property
When you are ready to sell your home, you will repay the equity share held by the Scottish Government. For example, if you have an 80% share in your property when you want to sell, you will get 80% of the sale price and the Scottish Government will get 20%. The percentage to be repaid is not affected by any change to the value of the property, so the share you receive back could be worth more of less than your initial contribution.
Responsibilities of a shared equity owner
As you own the property outright, you will have the same responsibilities as any other homeowner. These include; mortgage repayments, factoring, property repairs and maintenance, buildings and contents insurance, council tax and utility payments. These costs should be considered when calculating if you can afford to buy a property. We would recommend speaking to an independent financial adviser or mortgage adviser to discuss your options before proceeding with an application.