Open Market Shared Equity
The Open Market Shared Equity Scheme helps people who want to buy a home on the open market but are unable to meet the full price.
The LIFT (Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers) Open Market Shared Equity scheme can give you a LIFT onto the housing ladder.
The scheme provides eligible applicants with funding between 10% and 40% toward the purchase price of a property that has been advertised on the open market.
The scheme helps first-time buyers and gives priority access to priority group applicants including:
- First-time Buyers
- Social renters (people who rent a property from either a local authority or a housing association),
- Disabled people with a housing need.
- Members of the Armed Forces,
- Veterans who have left the armed forces within the past two years
- Widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel for up to two years after their partner has been killed whilst serving in the armed forces
People aged 60 or over who can demonstrate a housing need to move and meet with the criteria for at least one of the following, can apply for the Older Person's Scheme.
- Under-occupation – the applicant is living in a property which is too large and needs to downsize
- The applicant’s existing property is no longer suitable to meet their needs – (e.g. they can no longer manage the stairs)
- Support – the applicant needs to move closer to family or friends that provide care and support
If you are aged 60 or over, there is no requirement to take out a mortgage but you must contribute as much as you can towards the purchase price. This includes all proceeds of the sale from any existing or previous property and the majority of your savings.
With the scheme, applicants fund the majority share of the purchase of their property and own the property outright. The Scottish Government will hold the remaining share of the property under a shared equity agreement. In most areas you can increase your share up to 100% in the future.
Link administers the scheme for the Scottish Government across the whole of Scotland.
What type of property can you buy?
The Scottish Government has set limits as to the price and size of a property which people can purchase across each local authority. Applicants will only be able to purchase properties that are suitable for their needs.
For example, a family of four (two parents and two children) could be entitled to purchase up to a four bedroom property.
Once you have found a home you would like to purchase, the scheme will assess whether or not this property meets with the criteria of the scheme. For more information on the different threshold prices and sizes for each area, please read the price thresholds leaflet.
I am eligible, what do I do now?
We recommend you speak with an Independent Financial Advisor/ Mortgage Adviser. Once you have received your Mortgage Promise or Mortgage Agreement in Principle, you or your mortgage adviser will be able to submit your application to the LIFT scheme.
Apply for the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme
Just complete our online application formApply now
Apply for Open Market Shared Equity - Older Persons scheme
Complete the online application formApply now
My LIFT application has been accepted, what now?
You will be issued with a Passport letter detailing your acceptance to the scheme. You will then be able to look for properties that match the criteria stated on your Passport. Once you have found a suitable property, simply send details of the property to the LIFT team and we can let you know if you can make an offer.
Contact the LIFT team
If you would like further information about the scheme, please read the Buyers Information Leaflet, the Open Market Shared Equity Guide, or contact our LIFT team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0330 303 0125.
What clients say about the LIFT team
"Everyone is so helpful and efficient! I can't thank everyone enough for answering my questions and putting my mind at ease. Every member of staff I have dealt with at Link has been so friendly, efficient and helpful. As a first-time buyer the experience in itself is daunting but the smoothest part of the process so far I can say has been dealing with the LIFT team. Thank you."
"The knowledge of the staff was gold standard and they went above and beyond to ensure my specific needs were met."
"Link's LIFT team guided me through the necessary steps and helped me purchase my flat. I would never have been in a position to do this on my own."
"The LIFT scheme has changed my family's life. We will never be able to thank them enough. I must comment on how helpful and patient every member of staff I have dealt with has been. Fantastic organisation to deal with. Thank you."
"I would like to thank Link for giving my family the opportunity to finally have a family home after 10 years."