Purchasing a home is one of the most significant financial commitments you will make in your lifetime. Yet the cost of renting negatively impacts the ability of 79 percent of UK renters to save for a deposit. Almost two-thirds (64%) blame the cost of rent on not being able to save anything toward a down payment.
Several schemes are available to help buyers break this vicious circle and get on the property ladder. One is the Save to Buy
scheme. Currently it’s available on selected new-build homes in and close to London from developer Fairview Homes. Read on for an overview of this scheme and how it could benefit you as a potential home buyer.
Saving money on a deposit: Mission (nearly) Impossible
Until now, the only way to save money for a home deposit would be trimming any low-priority or unnecessary expenses or hoping for a bonus. Another savvy move would be to open separate high-interest savings accounts specifically for the deposit so it won’t be easily accessible and you don’t need the money for anything else before buying.
With determination, dedication, and intelligent budgeting, saving for a home deposit could be an achievable goal. But is there an easier way?
What is the Save to Buy Scheme?
The Save to Buy
scheme is designed by the UK developer Fairview Homes to help first-time buyers save up for a deposit while also living in the property they’re planning to buy. The scheme makes it easier for buyers to build up their savings and eventually purchase their own homes.
With the new scheme, first-time buyers can live rent-free in their homes, with their monthly payments going towards a deposit on their first home purchase rather than going to a landlord.
The Save to Buy
scheme steps in to fill the void created by the end of the government-backed Help to Buy
scheme that had existed since 2013 and helped thousands of first-time buyers onto the property ladder.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Save to Buy scheme, you must be 18 or older and have not owned a property before. You also must not currently own any part of a residential property anywhere in the world, jointly or individually.
A successful applicant must be:
- A first-time buyer at least 18 years old
- Have a 1 percent deposit
- Be employed full-time for a minimum of three months
- Have a credit score and affordability assessment verified by a third party
The primary benefit of Save to Buy
is that saving for a deposit is more attractive for potential buyers. Instead of spending money on rent, aspiring first-time home buyers can save money towards purchasing their first homes.
How does it work?
Save To Buy is available on selected plots and subject to status. It is designed to help those who otherwise could not afford to buy. The idea is that the prospective buyer lives in a brand-new home for up to two years at a fixed monthly cost, and 100% of the money they pay through the scheme goes towards topping up their deposit – so they are paying no ‘rent’ whatsoever.
Applicants need only a 1% deposit to get started, then once they’ve saved the necessary amount for a full deposit, they can apply for a mortgage to buy their home.
The company estimates that it will take between six to 12 months to save for a full deposit but it will allow up to two years if necessary. Each Save To Buy agreement will be different because the amount paid is based on the applicant’s personal financial situation and the average local monthly rent.
Successful applicants can top up their monthly payments to speed up the deposit-saving process but they will need to seek the guidance of an independent and qualified financial advisor who will indicate the level of deposit that will be required and the level of income necessary to progress to purchase.
When the applicant is within one month of saving the required deposit amount, they submit a mortgage application to an appropriate lender to buy the property through the usual house-buying process.
Where are the properties located?
According to availability and demand, dozens of Save To Buy properties will be available throughout the year in Epping Gate in Essex and New Hayes in West London. The scheme is set to run until the end of 2023.
All the properties have a modern finish with fitted kitchen appliances, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms.
The apartments at New Hayes also feature a private balcony or terrace. In the current market, prices range from £325,000 to £500,000.
Save To Buy is an interesting option for anyone looking to purchase their first home. By offering an attractive way to save money, this developer-backed scheme makes it easier for prospective UK homeowners to save up enough money quickly to make their dream of owning a home come true and get onto the property ladder sooner. However, we're eager to see how many people take advantage of the scheme, and how well it works in practice.