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1 Your own home

2 We found the whole process very straightforward and we would recommend the scheme to others in a similar situation. Help to Buy South West customer 2

3 Shared Ownership This option offers brand new homes for sale on a part buy/part rent basis. How does it work? Homes are available through different housing associations. You can buy shares worth between 25% and 75% of the property s market value and you pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share. You will normally be required to buy a share to the maximum you can afford. You may need to raise a mortgage to purchase your share. If you have a large deposit or equity from the sale of a property, this can also be used towards purchasing your share. Second-hand properties originally sold as shared ownership are also available from existing owners. These are known as re-sales. Shared Ownership Re-sales When any existing part buy/part rent home becomes available for resale, you can buy the share from its current owner. The homes vary greatly in terms of age, size and type. Just like shared ownership, homes are available through different housing associations. You can buy the share being offered for sale, at open market value, plus an additional percentage depending on your affordability. You also pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share you don t own. You may need to raise a mortgage to purchase your share. If you have a large deposit or equity from the sale of a property, this can also be used towards purchasing your share. Do I qualify? My household income is less than 80,000 I am unable to afford to purchase a home suitable for my housing needs within a reasonable travelling distance of my work place I can demonstrate access to savings or sufficient funds to pay, if required, a deposit (which may be 5% or more of the purchase price), legal fees, stamp duty and other costs of moving I am able to sustain home ownership in the longer term I am not already a home owner or named on a home mortgage I have a good credit history 3

4 Shared Equity Schemes This opportunity gives you a head-start on the property ladder by helping you to become a home owner without having to purchase 100% of the property when you first buy. Housing associations and private developers offer new homes for sale under this scheme. You pay for a majority stake in a new home, usually with a mortgage, for example 60% to 80% and you will be provided with an equity loan for the rest. This may require a small amount of interest to be paid depending on the scheme. This loan is usually repayable when the property is sold. This is usually repaid on the value of the property at the time of sale. The main difference between this and shared ownership is that you do not pay rent on shared equity. Do I qualify? This scheme is now available to all buyers (rather than just first-time buyers) You must be able to obtain a capital repayment mortgage (advised 25 year term) with a qualifying lender You must have access to a minimum 5% deposit (if one is required by your first charge lender) and be able to cover your legal fees 4

5 Rent to Buy This option offers new homes to rent for a period of time with the expectation that you will buy a share of the property at the end of the rental period. Homes are available through a range of housing associations on assured shorthold tenancies with an affordable rent of 80% of market rents. The rent is payable for a pre-defined and limited period, after which time there is an expectation that you will purchase the property on the terms of shared ownership. The rental period provides you with the opportunity to save for a deposit towards buying a share in the home, enabling you to access mortgage availability. Discounted Rent This option is also known as intermediate rent and offers new homes to rent at 80% (or less) of typical market rents. Housing associations offer this scheme on an assured tenancy, usually for an initial period of six months. This is reviewed regularly. When a property is vacated, it becomes available again for rent. Social HomeBuy This option offers some housing association or local authority tenants the opportunity to buy a share in their rented home. Tenants can purchase a minimum initial share of 25% of the home. The remaining un-owned equity is retained by the landlord. Your landlord then charges you an affordable rent on the un-owned equity. It is possible for you to purchase 100% of the property. Please contact your landlord directly to find out if they offer this option. 5

6 Specialist Scheme H.O.L.D. Home Ownership Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD) is not a separate housing product but a route into shared ownership. You should apply for affordable home ownership assistance in the standard way by filling out our application form. All applicants must meet the Homes and Communities Agency s general eligibility criteria (that is, you should be a first-time buyer or be defined as being in housing need) with a household income of less than 80,000 per year. This scheme is currently not widely available. Applicants may be required to either have a lump sum sufficient to cover the initial purchase with the need for a mortgage, or on-going source of income sufficient to secure mortgage finance. Lenders are reluctant to provide interest only mortgages to applicants to cover their mortgage repayments solely through the support of mortgage interest (SMI) benefit. Applicants are advised to get independent financial advice regarding the option of shared ownership. 6

7 The next steps? If you are looking to apply for: Shared Ownership Rent to Buy Social HomeBuy Discounted Rent H.O.L.D. Home Ownership You will be required to provide information on your household details, employment, income and savings. This helps the Agency to assess your eligibility. There are several ways to apply, an online application form can be found on our website at or contact our Customer Service Team on to request a paper copy. Once we have received your completed application form with all the necessary information, we will write to, or you within four working days advising you with the outcome of your application. If you are looking to apply for an Equity Loan Locate a participating house builder and find a property which is available through the scheme. You will then need to download the Property Information Form which can be found on our website this will be your application form for the equity loan scheme. How to find a property? Developers and Housing Associations offer a range of homes through Government housing schemes. You can view property details on our website or alternatively contact our customer service team who will be pleased to send you a printed newsletter of properties for sale in the area of your choice. Details of approved applicants are available to developers and housing associations and they may contact you direct if they have a home for sale or market rent which meets your housing needs, taking account of location, affordability and bedroom sizes. 7

8 Approved advisors You will find details of solicitors, independent financial advisors and surveyors who have experience in affordable housing schemes and would be pleased to offer you help and advice. What can you expect from us? Ensure our office is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm Offer an answerphone service during out of office working hours Return phone messages and acknowledge s within 2 working days Forward a paper application to you within 4 working days (you can apply online at any time) Assess your completed application within 2 working days, you will receive a written response or be contacted within 4 working days Contact you at least twice a year to check your details on the register have not changed Acknowledge your complaint within 1 working day and advise you which staff member will be dealing with it. Investigate as soon as possible and advise you with the outcome within 10 working days Apologise when we are at fault and do our best to put things right Use plain English and always try to avoid jargon Ensure that staff are trained to give you the help and advice you need Ask you for feedback so we can improve the service we provide Arrange for an interpreter or language signer if you need one Provide information in a different language when requested Contact us Tel: Our website: holds further detailed information on all the housing options in this leaflet This information can be made available in large text, on CD or audio tape by request. We also offer translation services if your first language is not English

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