What is the First Homes Scheme?
First Homes is a government scheme to help more people onto the property ladder. If you’re interested in buying or selling a First Homes property, you can find more information about the scheme on this webpage.
Developers and estate agents can download a First Homes application form in the ‘How to Apply’ section below.
First Homes are newly built properties for first-time buyers which are offered at a minimum 30% discount compared to prices of equivalent properties on the open market. The discounted price must be no more than £250,000 on the first sale.
The discount applies to the property forever, although the £250,000 cap does not apply to resale price. This means the same percentage discount will be passed on to the new buyer every time the property is sold. The seller of the property will only receive the discounted amount, and not the full market value. The discount is noted on the title deed of the property as a ‘restriction on title’ with the Land Registry. The legal agreement specifies the percentage discount that was applied on the initial sale, which then needs to be applied to all future sales.
You will need to meet the following criteria to apply for a First Home in the Thanet district:
- be 18 or older
- be a first-time buyer
- be able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home
- not earn more than £80,000 a year before tax – this is your income from the previous tax year
- The First Home property must be the buyer’s only home and main residence
If you’re buying with others:
- you must all be first-time buyers
- you must apply together, even if you’re not all getting a mortgage
- your joint income cannot be more than £80,000 a year before tax
- Your joint income is the total of what you all earned in the previous tax year
Contact the developer or estate agent (if you’re buying from a previous First Homes buyer) and inform them you want to buy a property through the First Homes scheme. The developer or estate agent will check you meet the eligibility criteria and help you to complete the application. They will then submit your application to Thanet District Council.
Find a conveyancer
Your application will need to include the name and contact details of your conveyancer. A conveyancer is either a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.
Getting a mortgage
If your application is successful, you’ll need to arrange a mortgage. The mortgage must cover at least half of the purchase price.
What happens next
Thanet District Council will check your application, and will notify you whether you’re eligible for this scheme. The Council will also contact:
- the developer or estate agent
- your mortgage adviser (if you have one)
- your conveyancer
If the council agrees you’re eligible
Follow these steps:
- Hire your conveyancer
- Apply for your mortgage. If you have a Lifetime ISA or a Help to Buy ISA, you might be able to use it to buy your First Home.
- Complete any legal documents that your conveyancer sends you.
After you have secured a mortgage offer and completed the legal documents, your conveyancer will ask Thanet District Council if you can exchange contracts. The Council will notify you when a decision has been made on your application.
- Developers and estate agents can submit their application by downloading and completing this Application Form.
- This form will need to be completed by the buyer with the developer or estate agent marketing the property.
- Once completed the developer/estate agent will need to send the form to Thanet District Council (FirstHomes@Thanet.gov.uk)
Applications for the First Homes scheme should only be submitted by:
- a developer that is selling a First Homes scheme property to a first-time buyer
- an estate agent that is working with both a current First Homes property owner and a new first-time buyer.
The Own Your Home website has been created by the Government as a user friendly guide to help first time buyers find out about the First Homes product and the step by step process involved, from applying for your First Home to the moving in process.
The Government First Homes webpage offers useful information and guidance on the First Homes initiative. This website also provides a detailed step by step guide for the whole scheme.
Thanet District Councils Interim First Homes Policy Statement provides a statement of how the First Homes scheme is incorporated into the Council’s Affordable Housing Policy.
First Homes in Thanet
The property developments within the Thanet district, which include First Homes, will be listed here. When these properties are ready for purchasing, weblinks to the property developer’s websites will also be listed below.
- St.Stephens at Haine Road, Ramsgate (developed by Guildcrest)
- Fairlawn Road/Northwood Road at Broadstairs (developed by Knights Lodge Ltd)