Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)

A Scottish Government initiative to help households to get onto the housing ladder.


What does LIFT cover?

There are now several ways of getting help to buy properties under this initiative.

New Supply Shared Equity Scheme (NSSE)

This scheme allows first time buyers to purchase new build properties from either a builder or from a Housing Association or a Housing Cooperative.  Effectively the government helps funding these organisations by supporting buyers.

New Supply Shared Equity Developers Trial and Developers Scheme

These two schemes are very similar but involve sales by private builders who have been approved by the government.  It is important to note that where a private developer is involved in the sale the interest free loans provided to the buyer by the government and\or the developer are expected to be repaid by the buyers within ten years. Of course the loans can be repaid on a sale of the property or by remortgaging.  In cases of hardship the ten year period may be extended.

Open Market Shared Equity

This scheme allows purchases on the open market by any seller, not simply from housing associations or from builders.  In theory therefore potentially many more properties could be bought. Now any credit worthy first time buyers can apply to this scheme.  Previous limitations on who could apply have been removed.  In addition the Scottish Government has provided significant extra funds to increase take up – so rationing of funds is less likely now.  More applicants can be accommodated

The scheme requires buyers to take a stake of between 60 and 90 per cent with the balance being a government loan provided through a social landlord.  The social landlord assesses all applications on behalf of the government.   Purchase price limits are set under this scheme so that “starter homes” can be bought.  The low deposit buying LIFT scheme is intended to energise this section of the market by assisting first time buyers.

Shared Ownership

This is a separate scheme where buyers buy a part share of a property and pay a “rental” for the unpurchased portion.   This scheme is being phased out and only a few remaining properties can be part purchased in this way.

Low deposit buying is designed for first time buyers and Lift applications must be coordinated with obtaining mortgages.   It is therefore a process which needs to be completed with care.   For a free consultation on any of the process with an experienced consultant  please call the number below.

There are only a limited  amount of lenders providing mortgages and generally they require a deposit of 5% of the clients share.
However....subject to status it may be possible to obtain a LIFT mortgage where no or a lesser deposit required. This is strictly subject to lender criteria and applicant status.

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