Guide

Open Market Shared Equity scheme
Last updated: 6 February 2020

How it works

Through the OMSE scheme you'll be able to buy a home without having to fund its entire cost and will get help from the Scottish Government.

You'll pay for the biggest share which is usually between 60% and 90% of the home's cost. The Scottish Government will hold the remaining share under a shared equity agreement which it will enter into with you.

For example, if you pay for 75% of the home, the Scottish Government will help with 25% of the purchase price.

You'll have 'complete title' to your home and your name will be on the title deeds for it. But there will be a mortgage (or 'standard security') on the home to make sure the Scottish Government's share is protected.

It also means that if you ever choose to sell the home, the Scottish Government will get a share of the money.

Responsibilities

When you buy through the OMSE scheme you have 'complete title' to your home.

This means you have the same responsibilities as every other homeowner. You'll be responsible for:

  • paying your mortgage
  • home contents insurance
  • building insurance
  • repairs and maintenance
  • council tax
  • heating, lighting and water bills
  • fittings and furniture

Before you buy a house, the seller will give you a Home Report. You should look closely at this to make sure you can pay for any repairs which are needed.

How to qualify

Since the OMSE scheme is aimed at households with low to medium incomes, the organisation who administers the scheme in your area will assess your application to see if you qualify.

You need to be able to show that you cannot afford to buy a home that meets your needs without help from the OMSE scheme. If it looks like you'd be able to buy a home without any help, your application will not be eligible.

Maximum price thresholds

You cannot buy a home for more than a certain 'maximum threshold' price.

There are different threshold prices across Scotland. So before you apply to buy through the OMSE scheme make sure the home falls under the threshold price for that area.