for borrowers

First Time Buyers – This guide is for you!

There is nothing like the excitement of buying your first home, but before you get the keys to the door there are plenty of hurdles you must first overcome. The Cambridge’s first time buyer guide can help you achieve your home ownership dreams, whether you are going it alone with your hard-saved deposit or you are looking to take advantage of a home ownership scheme such as a shared equity arrangement, a right to buy scheme or a guarantor-backed purchase.


Saving for your deposit

The dreaded 'saving for your deposit' conversation - whether you’re renting or not, saving for a deposit can sometimes feel impossible especially with increasing house prices and trying to live your life too.

Considering you're already looking at this guide, what better time to get started on your saving journey! We've put together a guide on tips for saving to help understand how to budget, plan and get the right account for your needs.

It's important to consider when starting to save that your mortgage size will depend on your deposit – typically the bigger the deposit, the better mortgage deal. However, we know saving a large deposit isn’t always possible, so at The Cambridge we offer mortgages that need 2%, 5% and 10% deposits for first time buyers.


Affordable home ownership schemes

Buying your first home in today's property market is not easy and, for many, government-backed, affordable home ownership schemes are simply the best way to get onto the property ladder.


Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership is a type of residential property buying scheme that allows the buyer (or buyers) to part-buy, part-rent a home in the UK.

The scheme is designed to help people whose financial circumstances mean they cannot afford a property on the open market, to buy a home in stages. It's available to both first-time buyers and people who have previously owned a property as long as they are able to meet the scheme's criteria.

For more information on Shared Ownership such as eligibility and staircasing, read our guide.


Right to Buy

For council tenants who have the chance to buy their house at a discounted price, we can lend up to 100% of the discounted price.

Find out if you are eligible to apply to buy your council home on the website where you can also find out about the level of discounts available, how to apply and information on all agencies that can help you.


Help to Buy Equity Loan

The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme has been designed to enable people to buy a new build property where without the equity loan, getting on the property ladder would have been too expensive. Primarily, once you have at least a 5% deposit together, the government will assist you by providing a Help to Buy Equity Loan of up to 20% (more in London), meaning that you're able to provide a total deposit of at least 25%.

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a home through this scheme, for more information read our Help to Buy Equity Loan guide or visit the Help to Buy East & South East website.


If a government backed scheme doesn’t feel right for you, you may want to consider some more personal options:

Shared Equity

Your employer may offer this as part of your benefits package. You own the house with your employer jointly and the mortgage is set up in your joint names.

See the Money Advice Service page on shared equity or partnership mortgages to find out about the key features and the advantages, restrictions and risks of a partnership mortgage.


Guarantor backed mortgages

Would a family member help you buy your first home? They may be able to act as Guarantor for the mortgage, helping you take that first big step to independence.

Read on below for more information about guarantor-backed mortgages and what it means to be a guarantor.

The Cambridge recommends that Guarantors take independent legal advice before entering into an agreement to make sure you understand your commitment and the potential consequences of your decision.

Guarantors should read our guide: Essential information for Guarantors


Dreams to schemes—your next steps

Once you have worked out the best way for you to buy your first home, you will need to consider the home buying journey. Read our ‘Buying your Home: Step by Step guide’ for useful information on everything from house hunting, surveys and finding the right solicitor, right up to completion and getting the keys.



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