Making your move — our all-in-one guide

Whether it’s your first flat, or you’ve concluded missives more times than you care to remember, buying a new home will always be one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make.

Making your move — our all-in-one guide

Making your move — our all-in-one guide

Trouble is, there are lots of misconceptions out there about the process, how it works and even how much people might be able to afford.

So to help, we sat down with new build specialist financial advisor, Paul Gregory, and CHAP Homes sales supervisor, Karen Davidson, to get the lowdown in a handy Q&A.


How much am I likely to be able to borrow?

Paul: It very much depends on your own circumstances and lenders will want to see proof of your income and certain expenditures.

I think first and foremost, it’s important to consider all the costs associated with buying a home on top of the mortgage repayments, from moving costs including removal firms and LBTT to utility bills, council tax and maintenance or factoring fees.

But the good news is there’s plenty of choice out there. Financial advisors who look at the whole of the market are your best bet, that way you know you’ve covered all the bases and know exactly what’s out there before choosing an option that works well for you. It’s important to get this advice right at the start of the process to keep things on the right tracks.

As an indication — and these figures are correct as of January 2020 — a couple with a strong credit rating and no other financial commitments, such as a car loan or childcare fees, would likely be able to borrow 4.5 times their combined income —

£45,000 = £202,000

£55,000 = £246,950

£65,000 = £291,850

And the figures for a single person earning those sums are broadly similar.


How much deposit do I need?

Paul: The general rule of thumb is the higher the deposit, the better interest rate on your mortgage, so it’s always worth considering putting as much as you can comfortably afford aside for that.

That said, we do have access to exclusive 95% mortgage deals, and — for first time buyers — as well as Help to Buy, the Scottish Government has recently announced its First Home Fund. Here, purchasers could receive a contribution of up to £25,000 towards a new home if they have at least a 5% deposit.

This scheme is open to all first-time buyers (in a couple, just one of you needs not to have bought before) and there is no set deadline for repaying the equity share, though it’s likely many people will opt to pay it back when they sell the home.

As ever though, it’s worth bearing in mind as a mortgage is secured against your property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments. And some buy-to-let mortgages are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.


What other options do I have when buying a CHAP home?

Karen: Complementing the great range of incentives we have on offer, there are two popular options to help people make the move to a CHAP home: assured sale and shared equity.

With assured sale, buyers reserve a CHAP home and look to sell their own place on the open market. If it hasn’t sold by an agreed cut-off date, usually around four weeks before entry, then we’ll buy it at a previously agreed price.

With developer shared equity, CHAP Homes sells you 100% of the property and you pay 85% of the sales price. This 15% loan is repaid when the property is sold or, if earlier, ten years after you’ve moved in.

 As you’d expect with both of these, there are terms and conditions that apply, but we’ll help guide you through the process.


How can I find out more?

CHAP Homes is hosting a free spring help to move event at Crest of Lochter, Inverurie on 7 March between 11am and 4pm.

If you’re able to pop along, you'll find out about our high-specification two, three and four-bed homes at Crest of Lochter and Countesswells and have a chat with our team.

You can also speak to our mortgage advisor about how much you could borrow. And first-time buyers can get the low-down on the Scottish Government’s First Home Fund.

Everyone who comes along will be entered into a prize draw to win vouchers for a fabulous Inverurie foodie experience worth almost £200, including coffee and a cake at the Kilted Frog Delicatessen, lunch at BrewDog Inverurie and dinner at Fennel Restaurant.

If you’d like to come along, or would like to find out more about how CHAP Homes can help you move, drop me an email on

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