Who can buy? Right to buy your current home

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1 8 Buying your home

2 Buying a home is a major decision and a big financial commitment. There are extra expenses both before and after the sale that you need to consider. As a homeowner, you will have added responsibilities. This leaflet explains some of the major points and gives information about buying your association home and other home-ownership schemes that are available. Who can buy? As a housing association tenant, you may have the right to buy your current home. If you transferred from Hart District Council in 1994 or from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in 1995, you have a protected assured tenancy. You also have a protected right to buy. Please phone the Customer Service Centre if you are not sure whether you have the right to buy your current home. We also build new homes which we offer for sale as shared ownership or as part of the Homebuy scheme. The Homebuy scheme is only available to key workers such as NHS staff, teachers and police officers. The definition of a key worker is reviewed and can change. Right to buy your current home If you are eligible to buy your current home, it will be one of the largest purchases you make. You will need to pay for a survey and hire a solicitor. It is important to get professional advice before you go ahead. There are also costs associated with buying a property both before and after the sale. (These costs apply to right to buy and shared-ownership properties.)

3 Costs before the sale Solicitor s fees Mortgage valuation Structural survey Costs after the sale If you buy a house, a flat or a maisonette A mortgage (unless you use cash to buy your home, you will need to arrange a mortgage with a bank or building society) Service charges Homeowners (freeholders only) All repairs and maintenance costs A proportion of estate costs if you receive or benefit from a service for example, estate lighting or grounds maintenance Flats and maisonettes (leaseholders) Your lease will set out your rights and responsibilities. If you do not understand the lease, ask your solicitor. Basically, you are buying the inside of your home for a number of years.

4 In general: you will be responsible for keeping the inside of your home in good repair. we will repair the structure and outside of your home, and are responsible for any shared lighting and grounds maintenance. For all of these services, you will pay a service charge. Other costs for all homeowners Building insurance to cover any damage to your home Contents insurance you are responsible for arranging your own insurance for the inside of your home and your personal belongings Council Tax Gas, electricity, water and so on you will be responsible for paying your own bills straight to the companies concerned Moving on You may sell whenever you choose to. However, if you sell within three years of buying, you must repay all or part of the discount you received.

5 I am interested in buying a shared-ownership property Shared ownership is a part buy - part rent scheme that is available on a limited number of new properties we build. You buy a share of the property and rent the rest, although you have the status of an owner-occupier. The share you buy is usually funded by a mortgage. You pay a rent to us on the share you don t yet own. The rent you pay is purely rent it does not go towards buying the other share. You are able to buy more shares on the property in the future as your financial circumstances change. Who can apply? Each council works differently. However, you may be given priority if: the council has accepted you as homeless; you are an existing tenant of Hart Housing Association or Oakfern Housing Association; you are a key worker (a police officer, a teacher, a nurse and so on) who provides a service within the Basingstoke or Hart area; or you are a first-time buyer or an existing shared-ownership resident within the Basingstoke or Hart area.

6 How to apply You need to be registered on the council s waiting list for shared-ownership properties. If you want to register for a shared-ownership property in the Hart area, please phone the Customer Service Centre on If you want to register for a shared-ownership property in the Basingstoke area, please phone Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council offices on Sentinel Homescope Sentinel Homescope markets and co-ordinates our shared-ownership properties. When new shared-ownership properties are available for sale, the Sentinel Homescope team will ask for the names of tenants from the Hart or Basingstoke register (depending on where the properties are built). We will then market the properties to those nominees. Properties for key workers Newbuild homebuy This scheme is targeted at key workers (mainly NHS staff, teachers and police) in Hampshire. This scheme offers a loan of up to 25% to buy a new property from us. You do not have to make monthly payments for the loan you only repay it when you resell the property. This means you may only need to get a mortgage on the other 75%.

7 Who can apply? You or a member of your household must be employed full time as a key worker (NHS staff, teacher or police). You must be a first-time buyer, or have no legal or beneficial interest in another property. You must be able to get a mortgage from a bank, building society or other reputable source of finance. You must be able to afford the associated costs of buying a home. Your gross household income (before deductions) must not be more than 42,000 a year. Example Assuming you buy one of our properties in Basingstoke for 100,000, you would need to get a mortgage for 75,000 (75%) and we would provide you with a loan of 25,000 (25%). (These are random figures that show how the scheme works and are not intended to be an accurate reflection of house prices). How to apply Sentinel Homescope co-ordinates the Homebuy scheme, so you do not have to register with a council. To ask for an application pack, please phone our Homescope team on The definition of a key worker is set by the Housing Corporation and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The definition can change. For an up-to-date definition of who is a key worker, please phone our Homescope team on

8 Translation service If you would like this handbook on tape or translated into another language, please contact us on Fleet office: 11 Church Road Fleet Hampshire GU51 3RH Phone: Fax: Basingstoke office: 56 Kingsclere Road Basingstoke Hampshire RG21 6XG Phone: Fax: Website: SENH

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