First Time Buyer Checklist

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Congratulations…. You are purchasing your first home!

A first-time buyer is someone:

  • Who has never owned a property, either in the UK or abroad
  • If you are purchasing with someone else, they have never owned a property
  • Have never acquired a major interest in a property e. inherited property before.

Do I qualify for First Time Buyer Relief for Stamp duty land Tax?

If you are deemed a first-time buyer, relief from Stamp duty is available on properties up to the value of £500,000.00. There is no stamp duty payable up to the value of £300,000.00. Between £300,001.00 and £500,000.00, Stamp Duty is payable at 5%.

Please note:-

  • If multiple people are purchasing the property, ALL of you will need to qualify as first-time buyers.
  • Likewise, if you are married – if your wife/husband has owned somewhere before and you are still married – regardless of whether you are purchasing in your sole name, you will not qualify for first-time buyer relief.
  • First-time buyer relief does not apply in Wales.


Funding arrangements specific to First Time Buyers:

  • Help to Buy ISA – you cannot open a new account however current ones are still valid. You can pay into the ISA until November 2029. You can claim the 25% bonus until November 2030 which is paid directly to your solicitor ahead of completion. The bonus cannot be used for your exchange deposit. Please note the property you are buying must have a purchase price of up to £250,000.00 or up to £450,000.00 in London. If it is over this threshold you will not be able to use the bonus.
  • Lifetime ISAs – This is an ISA account that can be used to purchase your first home or for retirement. The property must cost £450,000 or less. You buy the property at least 12 months after you make your first payment into the Lifetime ISA. The government bonus is paid directly into your LISA unlike a Help to Buy ISA and can be used for your exchange deposit.

Handy tips

  • Have a mortgage in principle already agreed before making an offer on a property and begin the full application shortly after the offer has been accepted.
  • Ensure your ID and evidence of funds are readily available before instructing a solicitor
  • If you are obtaining a gift, ensure the gifter’s ID, evidence of funds, and gifted deposit letter is readily available to pass to your solicitor.
  • Thoroughly re-inspect the property throughout the transaction.
  • Arrange a survey!
  • Ask plenty of questions – this is one of the biggest purchases of your life you need to understand what it is you are buying.
  • Try not to worry – your conveyancer is always acting in your best interests and is acting on your matter as fast and efficiently as possible.
  • Ensure you have a bottle of champagne on ice to celebrate when completion day comes!!

For any help with property law and the conveyancing process, you can get in touch with our experts today. You can request a call-back using the form on this page or here. Alternatively, you can email or call us on 01453 847200.


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