With new schemes such as the Help to Buy ISA and easier access to mortgages with smaller deposits, the government and banks are trying to help create a favourable market for first time buyers who have been dubbed “Generation Rent.” Many around the UK rely on these preferential rates to become homeowners and it’s important to understand how inheriting property can affect someone’s status if they decide to apply for a first-time buyer scheme.

While inheriting property may seem like an opportunity to take a step onto the property ladder with a new home, it’s not always feasible to keep the property. Whether you want your first home to be in a different area of the country, or you have to sell the property due to an agreement made between the properties various beneficiaries, there are many reasons why you may opt to sell this home.

Typically, when someone applies for a first-time buyer scheme with a bank, one of the first questions they are asked is if they have ever owned a property. While a beneficiary may believe they have not owned their own home before, the moment the deeds to their inheritance was given to them, they legally became a property owner.

One way this may not apply to a beneficiary, is if the estate sold the property. In this scenario, they do not inherit any property, only the money they are due from the sale.

While a beneficiary may no longer be applicable to the benefits presented to first-time buyers, their inheritance does provide them with some new avenues to buying their own home, even if they do not want to move into to the currently owned property.

Selling the property will give the prospective home owner access to the funds that will help them secure their next property and if they are willing to wait until the property sale is fully completed they can look for homes as a cash buyer, pretty much avoiding the often-fickle property chain.

However, time can often be of the essence and a beneficiary may not be able to wait until the property is placed upon the market, viewings are organised and potential buyers get their offers sorted. Throughout the UK, the average property can take a minimum of 8-10 weeks before the keys are exchanged and for some who have unexpectedly inherited a property, this can be too long. An alternative solution could be to use one of the companies, such as We Buy Any House, who are willing to offer cash which could be in a bank account within 14 days.

While inheriting a property can remove your status as a first-time buyer, it is not going prevent anyone from buying their dream home. The preferential rates offered are there to help those who are struggling and with the money from the sale of the inherited property, beneficiaries may find themselves in a better position than if they used any of the first-time buyer services.

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