What does it mean to be a first-time buyer?

A first-time buyer is defined as an individual who has never owned a part or all of a residential property in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world, and who intends to occupy the property as their main residence.

Why is this important?

Being a first-time buyer can make you eligible for a number of Government-backed schemes, such as Help to Buy. However, Generation Home is only able to lend to those purchasing using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme.

Being a first-time buyer can also change your liability for taxes such as stamp duty land tax.

First-time buyers paying £300,000 or less for a residential property will pay no stamp duty land tax (SDLT).

First-time buyers paying between £300,000 and £500,000 will pay SDLT at 5% on the amount of the purchase price in excess of £300,000, a reduction of £5,000 compared to the amount of SDLT they would have previously paid.

You can find out more here about Help to Buy and Stamp Duty Land Tax.


A chain is where several property transactions are linked together. This could be, for example, because someone is selling their home and buying a new one.

Being a First-time buyer means you will have no chain below you, as you won't have a property to sell. This can be really helpful in avoiding delays. However, it is worth being aware that the property you are buying may be part of a chain.

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