First-Time Buyers Guide in Jersey, Channel Islands

First-Time Buyers Guide in Jersey, Channel Islands

Purchasing your first home is an exciting milestone. If you're a first-time buyer looking to buy property in Jersey, this guide covers everything you need to know - from stamp duty reductions to qualifying criteria and rules for occupying your new home.

What is a First-Time Buyer in Jersey?

A first-time buyer has never owned residential property anywhere else in the world, either in their name or jointly with someone else.

To qualify for first-time buyer benefits in Jersey, you must:

  • Have "Entitled" residential status

  • Purchase jointly with an Entitled spouse or civil partner

You only count as a first-time buyer once. If you already own or have owned property, you would not normally qualify for the discounts and designated purchases available.

However, the Jersey government has now issued new guidance to clarify who will qualify as a first-time buyer. Some exceptions allow previous property ownership in certain circumstances.

Benefits Available for First-Time Buyers

As a first-time buyer in Jersey, you can access several valuable benefits and schemes that make getting onto the property ladder more affordable. These incentives are designed to help first-time buyers who meet the eligibility criteria purchase their first home.

Discounted Stamp Duty

First-time buyers in Jersey pay a reduced amount of stamp duty when purchasing a property valued under £450,000. This tax break applies once, on your first-ever property purchase.

The discount reduces your stamp duty liability by around £500-£1,500 depending on the purchase price. You must pay the full rate of stamp duty on any subsequent purchases.

Designated First-Time Buyer Developments

Certain new housing developments in Jersey can only be purchased by first-time buyers. These homes are exclusively advertised and sold to people who qualify as first-time buyers.

The properties are typically priced 5-10% below open market value, giving first-time buyers an affordable route onto the property ladder.

Assisted Purchase Schemes

Eligible first-time buyers can also access discounted market sale homes and shared equity schemes operated by the Government of Jersey. These schemes provide another way to buy your first home.

Rules for First-Time Buyers in Jersey

There are some key rules in place you must follow when buying as a first-time buyer in Jersey:

  • You must occupy the property as your primary residence. It cannot be a buy-to-let investment.

  • Strict rules apply to your ability to rent out the property in future. It must remain your principal home.

  • You can only access the discounted stamp duty rate once, on your first purchase.

  • You must confirm your first-time buyer status with the Jersey government before purchasing a designated property.

Buying Process for First-Time Buyers

Purchasing property as a first-time buyer follows these key stages:

1. Research

  • Attend open houses to view potential properties first-hand. Narrow your search to homes in your price range.

  • Research different parishes and areas in Jersey to find the location that best suits your lifestyle. Consider conveniences, amenities, and community feel.

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know your budget. Ask about first-time buyer mortgage rates.

  • Make sure to highlight your first-time buyer status during research so agents can inform you of any designated developments.

2. Make an Offer

  • Once you find a suitable home within your budget, make an offer via your estate agent. Understand the process if your offer is accepted.

  • If your offer is accepted, pay your deposit and have your lawyer begin title checks.

3. Conveyancing

  • Your lawyer undertakes searches, and checks deeds, plans and local records to ensure the title is in order.

  • They will identify any covenants, restrictions, boundaries or access rights attached to the property and advise you accordingly.

  • Your lawyer will also handle all conveyancing paperwork and transfers for the purchase. Liaise with them throughout the process.

4. Exchange Contracts

  • Mortgage advances and purchase funds are transferred in preparation for completion.

  • Legal contracts are formally exchanged, making the transaction legally binding. This usually happens a day or two before completion.

  • Your lawyer attends court with the seller's lawyer to execute the purchase contract and officially complete the sale under Jersey law.

5. Completion Day

  • With legal formalities finished, you receive the keys and take possession of the property on the pre-agreed completion date.

  • Arrange home insurance effective from the date of completion before you get the keys.

  • Transfer utility bills and services like internet into your name ready for move-in day.

  • Enjoy purchasing and moving into your first home in Jersey!

Be sure to confirm your first-time buyer status early in the process to access applicable discounts and purchase the right type of property.

Finding Your First Home in Jersey

As a first-time buyer in Jersey, you're spoilt for choice. Consider what location best suits your lifestyle and budget. St Helier offers convenience while coastal parishes like St Brelade provide a tranquil seaside lifestyle.

Review the parish guide below to learn more about the character of each region. Jersey's variety means you're sure to find the ideal community to call home.

Exploring the Diverse Parishes of Jersey

One of the best parts of buying your first Jersey property is getting to know the island's unique parishes. Each has its distinct character, amenities, and flavour that appeal to different first-time buyers.

Lively St Helier

As the bustling capital of Jersey,St Helier gives first-time buyers access to vibrant cafes, restaurants, shops and an energetic urban feel. Around 33,500 people call St Helier home, making it Jersey's most populated parish.

Key attractions include the picturesque Elizabeth Castle only accessible by boat, the bustling Central Market selling local produce, and the lively Waterfront district lined with alfresco dining. First-time buyers will also appreciate St Helier's easy access to amenities like the hospital, schools, and transport links.

Tranquil St Brelade

Famed for its beautiful sweeping bay with white sands and sparkling waters,St Brelade is a peaceful seaside parish beloved by first-time buyers seeking a relaxing coastal lifestyle.

Popular activities include watersports like kayaking and paddleboarding, beachside dining at seafood restaurants, and scenic coastal walks in the cliffs. Sites of interest include the historic Fisherman's Chapel and La Cotte de St Brelade, an archaeological site with evidence of Neanderthal inhabitants.

Outdoor St Ouen

First-time buyers who enjoy watersports and beach life are drawn toSt Ouen and its spectacular sweeping sandy beaches perfect for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Beachfront dining options include seafood shacks and bistros offering alfresco meals with uninterrupted views across St Ouen's Bay. Nature lovers will appreciate the coastal nature reserves and walking trails through the dunes.

Rural St Peter

For those seeking a slower pace of life, ruralSt Peter in Jersey's northwest has winding country lanes, fields of crops, traditional cider orchards and a popular weekly farmers market.

Its inland village location centred around a medieval parish church offers first-time buyers a peaceful, rural lifestyle while still being within easy reach of St Helier. Nearby attractions include Jersey Lavender Farm and Hamptonne Country Life Museum.

In short, Jersey is a summer paradise that leaves visitors captivated by its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you prefer to relax on the pristine beaches, embark on coastal adventures, or immerse yourself in the island's fascinating past, Jersey has something for everyone.

If you are interested in the property for sale or property for rent that we advertise in Jersey, there are plenty of charming properties for you to choose from! From 1-bed to larger properties and a price range of £159,500 to £22,000,000, we have plenty of options that are suitable for an assortment of budgets.

If you are an agent looking to advertise your listing on our site - please use the ‘Contact Us’ form.