West Berkshire Council

Buying a Home - About the First Step, Next Step Scheme (Equity Loan)

An equity loan deposit scheme for first time buyers

pdf icon First Step, Next Step [2Mb] is a joint scheme between West Berkshire Council and Newbury Building Society to help local buyers who want to own their own home but do not have sufficient financial resources available.

The scheme offers a conventional mortgage from the Newbury Building Society and a maximum interest free equity loan of £30,000 from West Berkshire Council.  This can be used to top up your deposit or bridge the gap between a maximum mortgage offer and the property purchase price. Both loans will be secured on the property. 

Applications can be in single or joint names.

Am I eligible for the First Step, Next Step scheme?

You may be eligible if you:

  • do not own or have an interest in any other property
  • live or work (minimum of 16 hours per week) in West Berkshire
  • have a minimum household income of £20,000 and a maximum of £60,000
  • you have a minimum 5 percent deposit
  • you are eligible for a Newbury Building Society mortgage

If you already own a property you may also be eligible in certain circumstances.

How do I apply?

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria above, you can apply by completing the First Step West Berkshire application form.

What will I have to repay?

No interest is charged on the loan, but the percent equity stake is repayable if the home is sold or after 10 years. The amount to be repaid is calculated on the price of the home at the point of sale or a professional valuation if the home is not being sold but the 10-year repayment period has expired. For example, if the deposit loan was £10,000 on a property of £100,000 this would be a 10 percent stake. So, if the value of the home increased to £120,000, on the original equity stake of 10 percent, you would need to repay £12,000.

Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire's Housing Strategy Team

01635 519629