Who can apply?
Anyone can apply for the Help to Buy - Equity Loan scheme. For other schemes e.g. Shared Ownership, certain key eligibility criteria apply. These may include:
- being in full time work
- having a household income of under £80,000 p.a.
- work and/or family connections to the area in which you want to buy
Who has priority?
Some schemes such as Shared Ownership give priority to the following:
- Social tenants
- Serving military personnel
- People with local connections
- First-time buyers (this can include some buyers who have owned a home before, for example in the of a relationship breakdown)
What if I am an existing home owner?
If you already own your own home, including overseas and existing shared owners, you are unlikely to be eligible for Help to Buy schemes except for the Equity Loan scheme. However if you need to purchase a larger home and are unable to because of financial constraints then you may be eligible. In this instance you will need to demonstrate that you are in housing need and have the support of your local authority or have sold your home prior to applying.
What if I previously owned a home?
If you have previously owned a home, your application will be based on your current housing situation. However if you have any equity from the proceeds of the sale, these will be taken into account when you apply.
What size property can I buy?
For schemes excluding Help to Buy - Equity Loan you are allowed one more bedroom than your current need. However a single person with a child or a couple with a child will be given higher priority for a 2 bedroom home than a single person or couple.
Can I use housing benefit?
You are unable to use housing benefit to buy or rent a Help to Buy property.
What if I am self-employed?
If you're self-employed you need to be able to demonstrate that you can afford to maintain the costs of home ownership in the long term. You will usually need to provide 3 years past accounts, and it's important that you obtain independant financial advice.
Can I buy additional shares?
If you buy a shared ownership home, you can increase your ownership at a later stage and go on to own the property outright. This is called staircasing and many people who buy affordable homes staircase to become full owners.
What if I want to sell my Help to Buy home?
You can get advice about selling and re-purchasing a property from the Housing Association that dealt with your original purchase or by contacting Plumlife for advice. Our sales team can be contacted on 0161 447 5050 and will be happy to adivse you on any questions you might have.
Can I sublet my Help to Buy home or buy to let?
No, you must live in the home that you purchased or rent. In exceptional circumstances e.g. if you are a serving member of the armed forces away on a tour of duty, then subletting may be considered but written permission from your housing association is required.
Subletting of a home with an equity loan is not permitted, unless the equity loan has been repaid in full.
Who pays for any repairs or maintenance of my home?
This is your responsibility, regardless of the shared that you own. Some brand new homes are offered with a warranty (defects) period, which your housing association will explain at the time of purchase.
If you have any further questions please get in touch with your local Help to Buy Agent. You can Find out who that is by visiting: www.helptobuy.org.uk