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Who is classed as a first time buyer?

The general definition of a first-time buyer is ‘a person buying a house or a flat who has never owned one before and has no property to sell’. Basically, you aren’t a homeowner, an investor or simply mortgaging or re-mortgaging an existing home.

This seems pretty obvious, so why is everybody talking about whether they are classed as a first-time buyer or not? Well last autumn the government announced that there would be no stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to the value of £300,000 starting from the 22nd of Nov 2017. For everybody else, the stamp duty tax is only exempt on properties less than £125,000.

To be able to qualify for the stamp duty exemption, the property you are buying must be your main home. You can’t use the exemption for buy to let properties, second homes and you can’t use it either if you have ever owned or jointly owned a property in another country before.