Help to Build scheme – what you need to know

The new Help to Build scheme has been launched, aimed at people in England who want to custom build or self build their own home.  Similar to the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, the main focus is on helping those with small deposits, meaning building your own home could be possible with as little as 5% deposit!

Here’s what you need to know:

Help to Build is a new government equity loan that will be available to people in England who want to custom build or self build their own home.

You don’t need any experience in housebuilding, and potentially only a 5% deposit, so Help to Build could make building your own home a realistic choice, even if you have a small deposit.

A custom build or self build home means that you can decide on the:

  • Design – building in features that suit your lifestyle, such as energy efficiency and smart technology
  • Internal layout – designing a home that will suit your family’s specific needs
  • Location – homes can often be the size and scale you want, built on smaller plots of land available for development in the area you want to live.


How does it work?

With Help to Build, the government offers you an equity loan based on the estimated costs to buy a plot of land and build the home.

The equity loan amount can be between 5% to 20% (up to 40% in London) of the total estimated cost.

If you’re eligible, you can spend up to £600,000 on your new home. This must include the cost of the land if you don’t already own it, and no more than £400,000 on the cost to build it.

Applications will open for Help to Build: Equity Loan during winter.


Who is eligible?

  • You need to be 18 years of age or over, and have a right to live in England
  • You must live in the newly-built home as your only home
  • The self-build mortgage required must be from a lender registered with Help to Build


What’s the difference between ‘Self-Build’ and ‘Custom Build’

Self-build is when you manage the project yourself, usually with a bespoke plan from an architect.

Custom Build means some of the tricky stuff like finding the plot and trades is already done for you.  Usually there is an existing development with plots for each home and you work with a professional homebuilder, selecting your home from a ‘catalogue’ of designs, layouts, finishes etc.


How long might it take?

Bear in mind that building a home might take some time, especially if you go down the self-build route.  Once you have an offer of an Equity Loan using the scheme you’ll have 3 years to acquire the land (if needed) and build the property – so hopefully long enough.


How do I get ready for the scheme?

  • Take independent mortgage advice to work out your affordability.  We’ll be happy to help you work out your buying power if you get in touch.
  • You’ll need to find a suitable site for the property in the area you want to live in – this might not be easy, so have a search for potential locations before you get too excited.
  • You should also check your credit score using one of the free credit checking websites such as MSE Credit Club.


We’re really excited about this new scheme and would love to help you get on the property ladder, so if you’re thinking of buying why not get in touch and see how we can help, or sign up to our monthly newsletter, to keep informed of developments.


Sam Murphy – 3rd December 2021