The Fixer: Can I get Help to Buy?

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Dear Fixer,
I have been saving up for a year or so, and want to buy my first home. I have been having a look around and have my eye on a flat in my home town of Norwich, which I think is a really good deal.

The problem is that it is not a new-build property, which I think means that I cannot take advantage of the government's Help to Buy scheme.

That's a shame because I only have about 5% of the asking price saved up and the flat will almost certainly be sold before I have time to save up the extra few thousand I would need for a 10% deposit.

Is there any other way I can access a 95% mortgage? Thank you for your help.

D Sanders, Norwich

Dear Mr Sanders,

I have some good news for you: although the first phase of Help to Buy, launched in April this year, only provided help to first-time buyers buying new-build homes, the extended scheme introduced about a month ago is open to all buyers and for all types of property.

To qualify, you simply need to be buying a property that is not worth more than £600,000 and to have a deposit of at least 5%.

The government will then guarantee up to a further 15% of the property's value, in return for a fee from the lender offering the mortgage deal. My advice would therefore be to contact the lenders involved in the scheme to find out what Help to Buy mortgage deals they can offer you.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which owns NatWest, and Lloyds Banking Group, which lends though the Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, are both already offering Help to Buy mortgages.

However, you might want to wait and compare the deals available through lenders such as HSBC, Barclays, Santander and Virgin Money, which are set to release Help to Buy mortgages over the next few months.

The Fixer

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