Your guide to Help to Buy

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1 Help to Buy East and South East Your guide to Help to Buy

2 Help to Buy East and South East We operate in the following areas:

3 Your guide to Help to Buy What is Help to Buy? If you want to purchase a home of your own, but can t afford to buy on the open market. Help to Buy could be your way onto the property ladder. Why not consider Help to Buy as one of your options? Help to Buy Options Equity Loan page two Shared Ownership page three Older People s Shared Ownership page four Home Ownership for people with Long-Term Disabilities page five Rent to Buy page six Intermediate Rent page six Mortgage Guarantee page seven Help to Buy ISA page eight Frequently Asked Questions page nine Visit for more information. 1

4 Apply online at Equity Loan How does it work? The Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your new-build home, so that you ll only need a cash deposit from 5% and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. The equity loan is interest free for the first five years. After that, you will pay a fee of 1.75%, rising annually by the increase (if any) of the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 1%. The equity loan can be repaid at any time within 25 years (or the term of the mortgage), or on the sale of the property. Buyer s 5% deposit 75% mortgage from commercial lender 10k 40k 150k Government s 20% loan Example House Value 200k Example: If you purchased a home valued 200,000 You would take out a mortgage for 75% 150,000 You would pay a 5% cash deposit 10,000 The Government would provide an equity loan for the remaining 20% 40, ,000 Am I eligible? The scheme is open to both first time buyers and existing home owners. There is no maximum household income. You can purchase a property with a maximum value of 600,000. You will need a minimum 5% deposit to qualify. To apply you will need to find a property through a participating, registered builder and complete their relevant paperwork. 2

5 Your guide to Help to Buy Shared Ownership How does it work? If outright purchase is not an option for you, this scheme offers an alternative to renting. You can buy an initial share in a new home that you can afford, helping you into home ownership in manageable stages. The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer initial shares of between 25% 75% of the full purchase price. You pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association or Registered Provider still own. The combined monthly cost of mortgage and rent will normally be substantially less than if you were purchasing the property outright. Am I eligible? Your annual household income can be no more than 80,000. You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. You cannot be a current home owner (or be named on the deeds of another property) either in the UK or abroad. You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments). In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home. With most properties you are eventually able to own the property outright if you wish to, although there are some restrictions on rural schemes. 3

6 Apply online at OPSO Older People s Shared Ownership How does it work? This scheme, available solely to the over 55 s, gives these people lower living costs than if they owned a home on the open market. In the same way as standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. However, the main difference is the maximum share you can ever own through OPSO is 75%. The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer initial shares of between 25% 75% of the full purchase price. You pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association or Registered Provider still own. In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home. If you choose to buy the maximum 75%, you will pay no rent on the remaining 25%. Some OPSO developments offer sheltered Shared Ownership schemes (sometimes known as Extra Care or Key Care) which are designed to provide residents with the ability to live independently in self-contained, modern homes, but with access to care and support services tailored to their individual needs. Am I eligible? If you are applying for a standard OPSO scheme: You must be aged over 55 Your annual household income can be no more than 80,000. You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. You will need to sell any existing property owned before buying through OPSO. You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments). If applying for an Extra Care OPSO development, you must have a minimum number of hours care requirement per week and a connection to the local area. Minimum care requirement will vary between developments. 4

7 Your guide to Help to Buy HOLD Home Ownership for people with Long-Term Disabilities How does it work? This scheme gives people with long-term disabilities an opportunity to purchase a Shared Ownership home and live independently. In the same way as standard Shared Ownership, you buy an initial share that you can afford, helping you get into home ownership in manageable stages. If there are no suitable properties available, a purchase on the the open market may be considered by a participating housing provider in that local area. The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer initial shares of between 25%-75% of the full purchase price. You pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association or Registered Provider still own. In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home. Am I eligible? You must have a long-term disability to apply for this scheme. Your annual household income can be no more than 80,000. You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. You cannot be a current home owner (or be named on the deeds of another property) either in the UK or abroad. You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments). Please see more detailed information about HOLD on our website at 5

8 Apply online at Rent to Buy How does it work? This is a great option if you are unable to purchase a home at the moment due to not having enough money saved up for a deposit. The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer homes to rent for around 20% less than the typical open market rent values, with the option to purchase shares in your rented home in the future using the Shared Ownership scheme. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy with an initial commitment of six months is normally offered, giving you the opportunity to save money for a future deposit. Am I eligible? Your annual household income can be no more than 80,000. You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. You cannot be a current home owner (or be named on the deeds of another property). You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments). Intermediate Rent How does it work? This is a great option if you are not looking to buy a home just yet, but want to be able to start saving for a deposit to buy in the future. The Housing Association or Registered Provider will offer homes to rent for around 20% less than the typical open market rent values. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy with an initial commitment of six months is normally offered, giving you the opportunity to save money for a future deposit. Intermediate Rent properties are currently not available to purchase in the future, they are for rent only. Am I eligible? Your annual household income can be no more than 80,000. You should be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. You cannot be a current home owner (or be named on the deeds of another property) either in the UK or abroad. You must not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments). 6

9 Your guide to Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee How does it work? This is a great option if you can afford to repay a mortgage but don t have a large deposit. Participating lenders have access to a government guarantee on mortgages, which means you can purchase an existing or new build home, or re-mortgage, with a deposit as little as 5%. The scheme enables participating mortgage lenders to purchase a guarantee on mortgages where a buyer has a deposit of between 5%-20%. It is still a traditional mortgage, but the government guarantees part of the loan to the participating lenders. The agreement is between the government and the lender. You will still be fully responsible for your mortgage payments, so if you have a 5% deposit, you will need to take out and pay back a 95% mortgage. Am I eligible? You will plan to live in the house yourself (with a residential mortgage) and will not rent it out. The property will be in the UK with have a maximum value of 600,000. You must take out a repayment mortgage, rather than interest only. You cannot be a current home owner (or be named on the deeds of another property) either in the UK or abroad. The mortgage cannot be for Shared Ownership. This scheme is not administered by Help to Buy Agents You will need to contact a participating lender to apply, or ask for more information. The following lenders are currently participating in the scheme: Aldermore Al Rayan Bank Bank of Ireland (Northern Ireland) Bank of Scotland Barclays Halifax HSBC Lloyds Nat West Post Office Mortgages RBS Ulster Bank Virgin Money 7

10 Apply online at Help to Buy ISA Am I eligible? To qualify for a Help to Buy: ISA you must: Be 16 or over Have a valid National Insurance number Be a UK resident Be a first time buyer, and not own a property anywhere in the world Not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year To qualify for the government bonus, the property you are buying must: Be in the UK Cost up to 250,000 (outside of London) Not be a second home or a buy-to-let property Not be rented out after you buy it Be purchased with a mortgage You can use the Help to Buy: ISA with other government schemes, including the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme and Shared Ownership. Please note that the Help to Buy ISA is not administered by Help to Buy East and South East, and you should contact a participating provider for more information. How does it work? Launched in December 2015, the Help to Buy ISA (Individual Savings Account) is available from selected banks and building societies. If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25%. Simply put, for each 200 you save, the Government contributes 50. The Government contribution will be capped at 3,000. Participating providers Aldermore Bank of Scotland Barclays Clydesdale Bank Halifax HSBC Lloyds Nationwide NatWest Newcastle Building Society Santander Ulster Bank Virgin Yorkshire Bank Each provider of the Help to Buy ISA will offer its own interest rate for each account, and be able to apply normal ISA withdrawal rules too. This information was correct as at January 2016 but may be subject to change. 8

11 Your guide to Help to Buy Frequently Asked Questions What is a Help to Buy Agent? Help to Buy Agents are housing associations appointed by the Homes & Communities Agency as a one stop shop and point of contact for people looking for affordable homes to buy or rent in their area. bpha is the Help to Buy Agent for the East and South East of England, covering Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent. If you live outside of these areas, you can find details of the Help to Buy Agent for your area at What if I am a current home owner? If you already own a home, you are not eligible for Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy or Intermediate Rent schemes, unless you have sold your home prior to applying. Current home owners can apply for the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, but you will need to have a sale in place before you can make a reservation. Your Help to Buy Equity Loan home must be your main residence; you cannot use the scheme for a Buy-to-Let investment. What size property am I able to apply for? The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme does not have any restrictions on the size of property you can purchase, but it cannot have a value of more than 600,000. With the Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy and Intermediate Rent schemes, there are no restrictions on the number of bedrooms allowed. In exceptional cases, some home owners may be accepted if they obtain written support from their local authority demonstrating a genuine housing need. These cases are assessed on their individual merits by the Help to Buy Agent and Registered Provider. 9

12 Apply online at Can I buy additional shares in the future? If you purchase a Shared Ownership property, you can increase your share at a later stage if you choose to. This is known as staircasing. With most properties you are eventually able to own the property outright if you wish to, although there are some staircasing restrictions on rural schemes. Please speak to the relevant provider for more details. If you purchase under the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, you can redeem part, or all, of your 20% loan at a later stage. The Equity Loan must be redeemed in full by the point that your mortgage term ends. Are only new-build properties available through Help to Buy? If you are using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, you can only purchase a new-build property from a participating Registered House Builder. The Shared Ownership scheme offers both new-build and re-sale (older) properties. From time to time, properties that were originally sold as new-build Shared Ownership become available for re-sale when the current owners decide to move on. You would have to be able to purchase the same percentage share that was currently held by the homeowner. You pay a subsidised rent on the remaining share that the Housing Association still own. The combined monthly cost of mortgage and rent will normally be substantially less than if you were purchasing the property outright. In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home. With most properties you are eventually able to own the property outright if you wish to, although there are some restrictions on rural schemes. 10

13 Your guide to Help to Buy What happens if I want to sell my property in the future? If you purchased a Shared Ownership property, you simply need to contact the Housing Association or Registered Provider that dealt with the original purchase. If you purchased a home using the Help to Buy Equity Loan, you can get advice about selling and redeeming your equity loan from Housing Options Plus What percentage can I purchase in a Shared Ownership property? Your Housing Association or Registered Provider will assess your application and offer you an initial share that is deemed affordable in relation to your income, and in line with Government set affordability guidelines. This will be between 25% - 75% of the full purchase price. You will be expected to maximise the share you purchase in line with your affordability. With most Shared Ownership properties you are eventually able to own the property 100% outright if you wish to, although there are some restrictions on rural schemes. Through OPSO (Older Persons Shared Ownership) the maximum share you can buy is 75%. Can I rent out my property? No, Help to Buy is designed to assist you to move on to, or up, the property ladder. You must live in the home that you purchased or rent through Shared Ownership, Rent to Buy or Intermediate Rent schemes. You cannot use the scheme for a Buy-to-Let investment. Subletting of Shared Ownership homes is not permitted unless you have purchased all of the remaining shares and you own the property outright. If you have purchased a home using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, you would have to repay the equity loan before you would be allowed to sublet. In exceptional circumstances, i.e. if you are a serving member of the Armed Forces away on a tour of duty, subletting may be considered with written permission from your Housing Association. If you purchased your home using the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, you would also need approval from your mortgage lender. 11

14 Apply online at Are there any Help to Buy schemes for elderly people? Please see page 3 of this leaflet for details of our Older Persons Shared Ownership scheme. If I am a shared owner, can I buy again? Yes, there are no restrictions which prevent existing shared owners from applying for and moving into another Shared Ownership property. However, you must continue to meet the general eligibility criteria of earning less per household than 80,000 and be otherwise unable to afford to purchase unassisted. Existing shared owners are also required to have disposed of their existing shared ownership home at the point of purchase. Does Shared Ownership mean I have to live in the property with someone else? No, it just means that your Housing Association or registered provider has ownership of the remaining percentage that you have not purchased, and you will pay them a monthly subsidised rent for this. What costs are involved in buying further shares in my property? Always consult your mortgage lender before committing to purchasing further shares in your property. Solicitor and surveyor costs will vary, but on average we recommend allowing 1,500. You will need to contact your chosen solicitor and surveyor for exact costs. Please note, some Housing Associations or Registered Providers may charge an admin fee for staircasing. As processes will vary between organisations, your Housing Association or Registered Provider should be able to provide you with an information leaflet unique to them, upon request. Are there any specific Key Worker schemes? There are no longer any Key Worker specific Help to Buy Schemes in the areas covered by Help to Buy East and South East, but Key Workers are still encouraged to apply for Low Cost Home Ownership. 12

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16 Registered Office bpha Limited Bedford Heights, Manton Lane, Bedford MK41 7BJ Tel: We operate in the following areas: Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent

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