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Right to Buy is a housing scheme that gives buyers of council houses the chance to purchase the property they live in at large discounts. 

The scheme has been around for nearly five decades and is aimed at council housing tenants, and allows them to purchase the property that they are living in, the seller being the local authority. 

It primarily aims to build one affordable house in place of every house sold, it maintains the level of affordable housing while also providing properties for those waiting to purchase.

While the scheme is indeed attractive, there are a number of factors to be considered before determining whether or not you are eligible to apply for it. 

The council house you reside in as a tenant must be your only home. Additionally, you must be a secure tenant and must have had a public sector landlord, which refers to local authorities, associations, and councils. 

The last condition is lax, and you may be able to apply even if you're now privately sold house was once owned by the public sector. Perhaps the only criticism of this scheme is that if it is resold in the first five years, the original buyer will be required to pay back the discount they initially enjoyed.

How does a Right to Buy calculator work?

A Right to Buy calculator is provided differently by different lenders. Provided that you are eligible for the mortgage scheme, it helps you understand whether it is achievable or not, and how much you are likely to be able to borrow to buy your council house. 

While the calculator, like all calculators, does not guarantee a loan, it takes into account important factors like income sources, outgoings, and discounted property prices to provide you with the closest possible estimate.

How much discount can you get?

A Right to Buy mortgage calculator factors at the discounted price of the house as one of the most important aspects. 

There is no fixed amount of the discount you may get; it can vary greatly depending o how long you have been a tenant to a public sector landlord, as well as the type of the home that you reside in. 

For flats, for example, you may get a discount as high as 50%, given that you have rented the property – or other public sector property – for at least three to five years. 

The discount may go as high as 70%, with 2% increments for every extra year you have been a tenant. For houses, you can get an initial 35% discount on the same conditions. This can also go up to a maximum of 70%.

Do you need a mortgage broker?

While a calculator is a great way to start off, by getting an idea of the mortgage you can get and applying while being prepared with roughly what to expect, this does not go on to say that you do not need the help of an expert. 

A Right to Buy mortgage calculator certainly does provide insight, but there are aspects of the lending process, and well as technical rules and jargon, that first-time home buyers may find difficult to grasp all at once. 

Right to Buy is one of the biggest discounts provided by housing schemes, which is why you want to be more vigilant when dealing with it.

Talking to an expert adviser will tell you whether you qualify to apply, what your options are, and what you should be getting so you don’t settle for lesser.