Low Cost Home Ownership

Low Cost Home Ownership FAQ's

Here are some frequently asked questions about Low Cost Home Ownership.  Links to further information can be found under more information.

What is Low Cost Home Ownership?

Under a joint agreement between East Lothian Council, Communities Scotland (now known as the Scottish Housing Regulator) and Hart Builders Limited, a number of new houses were built for sale in 1990 at a specially reduced price.  East Lothian Council provided the land at no cost and Communities Scotland provided a grant which meant that the selling price would be within the reach of families on average incomes.  We act as the Council’s agents for the scheme, and select a buyer in the event of one of the houses coming up for re-sale.

What Does it Cost?

Because the cost of the land the property was built on and the amount of the grant are deducted, LCHO properties are typically around 60% of the market value of a similar property which is not part of the scheme.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible to buy one of these homes, you must satisfy both of the following criteria:

  • Your financial means must be such that you cannot afford to purchase a house in the same area of a similar type to one of those being sold under the scheme, and appropriate to your needs
  • In the following descending order of priority, you must live in, or have a strong social connection with:
  • The rural area the LCHO property is in
  • Rural parishes bordering the area the LCHO property is in
  • Rural parishes elsewhere in East Lothian

If there is more than one applicant who meets this criteria, priority will be determined on the basis of housing need.

What Happens When the House is Re-Sold?

The selling price of each house represents a percentage of the market valuation.  If in a few years time you want to sell the house it will be revalued by an independent chartered surveyor and you will be introduced to a buyer by us.  

For example:

You buy an LCHO house which was valued at £150,000.  Because it is an LCHO property with a 60% cost, you only needed to pay £90,000 to buy it.  Ten years later you want to sell, and the property is now valued at £180,000.  You would receive £108,000 - the £90,000 you paid for the home, plus 60% of the increase in value.

How Are Applications Made?

We will act as the agent, and will advertise the available property on our website, Facebook page and in the window of our Head Office in Haddington.  Applications can be made online or a paper application form can be provided on request. Applicants must be prepared to give information relating to their financial and housing circumstances to us.

More Information

More information about Low Cost Home Ownership can be found on the UK government website.

Find out more about Low Cost Home Ownership