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FAQs

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can be a little confusing. Here are some of the questions we are often asked:

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Can I afford to buy a home outright?

You might be able to buy a Hastoe home completely outright. Use our Mortgage Calculator to find out the best buying option for your financial situation.

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How do I know if I'm eligible for shared ownership?

Anyone who can’t purchase a home on the current open market can apply for shared ownership.

If your household income is less than £80,000 and you can afford the cost of a mortgage and rent based on this, then you may qualify.

Other criteria include:

  • You must be registered with Help to Buy South
  • You must not have a legal interest in any other property or land, in the UK or abroad
  • You must be able to obtain a mortgage from a high street or other reputable lender
  • You must have a cash deposit of between 5-10% of the share value.

Priority for our homes is given to Ministry of Defence personnel, but if no households of this type wish to buy the property, it will be made available to all other applicants who meet the buying criteria.

Visit the Help to Buy South website for further information.

 

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How do I apply for a shared ownership property?

We want to make buying your home as easy as possible. Call us on 0800 783 3097 during office hours or email us at sales@hastoe.com anytime about a particular property you’re interested in.

You can also complete our application form here.

If you are a potential shared ownership buyer you will need to register with your local Help to Buy agent too. These agents are government-appointed bodies who keep centralised records of everyone looking for affordable properties (nominees) in a particular county. They will assess your needs and check whether you’re eligible for shared ownership.

To register for properties in Surrey and Hampshire, visit the Help to Buy South website.

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How do I pay for my share of a shared ownership property?

In most cases you will need to arrange a mortgage to fund the purchase of your share of the property, just as if you were buying on the open market. 100% mortgages are a thing of the past, so you are likely to need additional savings to use as a deposit – usually about 5-10% of the share you’re hoping to buy.

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What costs are involved in buying?

Buying a home outright or through shared ownership both incur similar costs. Each home and purchase will be different but we’ve put together an overview of what you are likely to have to account for, to get you started:

Mortgage costs

Your lender will arrange to value the property you wish to buy to check it’s worth the funds they’re lending to you. This cost varies from lender to lender but will be around £400.

Mortgage arrangement fee

Your mortgage lender will also charge you a fee for arranging your mortgage. Costs will vary depending on the length and terms of your mortgage and can range from £400 to £1,500.

 Solicitor fees

Typically, it will cost between £600 and £1,000 including fees, searches, land registry fees and expenses. We can recommend experienced solicitors for you.

Stamp duty land tax

This is a government land tax which is payable when you complete the purchase of your property.

If a property is worth under £125,000, you won’t have to pay stamp duty at all. If the total value of your home is worth more than that, but less than £250,000, you’ll pay a 2% tax on only the portion over £125,000.

First-Time Buyers

If you are a first-time buyer, you are exempt from Stamp Duty for the first £300,000 of the value of the home. This exemption is only valid for homes worth up to £500,000

To learn more about Stamp Duty rates, click here.

Deposit

There will be a minimum deposit required by your lender depending on the value of your home. This is usually between 5 and 20% of the share price you’re buying.

Removal Fees

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a removal company or renting a van on moving day.

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What are the costs involved after buying?

After you’ve bought your home you will be have to pay all household running costs, including:

  • Monthly mortgage repayments
  • Rent of the share still owned by Hastoe
  • Service charges
  • Council Tax
  • Water and sewage charges
  • Gas and electric charges
  • Contents insurance

You will also be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of your home, including boiler servicing.

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What is a reservation fee?

When you find a property that you would like to purchase, we will ask you to pay a reservation fee. This fee is deducted from the final purchase price when you complete.

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What will my rent be?

Hastoe will charge you initial rent (usually 2.75% of the share you don’t own) plus a service charge. This service charge covers things like buildings insurance and estate maintenance. If you eventually own your home outright, you’ll no longer pay rent but may continue to pay a service charge. To see our mortgage calculator click here.

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What is ‘staircasing’?

Staircasing enables you to buy more shares in your home. The more shares you buy, the less rent you will have to pay, and if you own your home outright, you will not have to pay any further rent to Hastoe at all. Some of our rural developments have restricted staircasing to ensure the property remains affordable for future generations of local people.

The number of shares you can buy will be outlined in your lease, but usually you can buy your home outright in percentages of 10% or 15%. If you’re unsure about staircasing, we can recommend an Independent Financial Adviser who will carry out a quick affordability check and help you decide whether it’s financially the right time for you to staircase. Or, you can choose your own Financial Adviser if you want to.

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What costs are involved in staircasing?

Purchasing further shares in your home may incur the same set of costs as when you bought your initial shares, including valuation fees, legal fees, mortgage arrangement fees and stamp duty (if applicable). There may also be further costs charged by your mortgage lender. You’ll need to ensure you have savings or access to funds to cover these costs.

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What happens when I own 100% of my home?

When you own 100% of your shared ownership home, you will no longer have to pay rent to Hastoe and the full leasehold (for an apartment) or freehold (for a house) will be transferred to you, subject to your lease. You will have to arrange your own buildings insurance once

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What happens if I miss mortgage payments?

Your mortgage is covered by a contract between you and your bank or building society. If you fall behind with your payments, the bank or building society may take possession of your home and then sell it to get its money back.

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What happens if I miss rent or service charge payments?

Your rent is a contract between you and Hastoe. If you fall behind, we’ll contact you to agree a payment plan. If this fails, then we will contact your lender regarding payment of the arrears and this could be added to your mortgage.

If you remain in rent arrears and no positive action is taken, we may seek legal action, via the courts, to have your lease forfeited. This means you will have to sell your property.

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Who pays for repairs to my shared ownership home?

If your home is a house, you will be responsible for redecoration and all internal and external repairs. We will insure the structure of your home and you will have to pay a service charge to cover this and the cost of rent collection. If your home is an apartment, you will be responsible for all internal repairs and redecoration. We will work to keep the building in good structural repair. We will also insure the structure and keep any shared areas – such as the staircase and corridors – decorated, cleaned and lit. You will pay a service charge to cover these costs. We will tell you how the service charge is spent and will consult you before doing any major repair or maintenance work.

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Do I need permission to make alterations or improvements to my shared ownership home?

You do not need our permission for redecorating and simple repairs. You will need to get our written consent before doing more complicated works such as adding a conservatory or extension. If you wish to put up a satellite dish, you must seek our agreement first.   If we do give our consent and the work increases the value of your home, you will get the full benefit of the value when you sell.

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Can I let or sub-let my shared ownership home to someone else?

No. Sub-letting the whole property is not allowed.  Although renting a room is permissible.

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Can I sell my share of the property?

You can sell your share of a property at any time. Please advise us of your intention to sell, and we will initially try to find another shared ownership buyer to purchase your home through our re-sales department. The criteria for selling your property will be detailed in your lease. We’re happy to discuss your options at any time.

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Why do I need a local connection for some of your homes?

In some rural areas the local authority places a restriction on the land so that the homes we build are primarily for local people in housing need.

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What is Rural exception?

Some of our homes in rural areas come under the banner of ‘rural exception’. This means that a buyer will only ever be able to purchase between 25% and 80% of the property, so it remains affordable in perpetuity for local people.  If you are interested in buying one of our shared ownership properties in a rural area, it is likely that you will need to prove a local connection to the parish or surrounding area.

Generally, a local connection means you:

  • Are currently a resident in the parish
  • Were a resident in the parish but were forced to move away because of a lack of affordable housing in the area
  • Have close family who live in the parish (mother, father, son, daughter, brother and sister)
  • Have permanent and full-time employment in the parish.

A close connection to a neighbouring parish may also make you eligible. We will ask the parish council to verify the local connection information you provide.

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What is Shared Equity?

Shared Equity works in a similar way to shared ownership but is aimed at people who have a low or non-existent deposit. You take out a loan which forms part of the deposit for the Hastoe property you wish to buy, and then take out a shared equity mortgage to cover the remaining property value.

Your home is not shared with anyone else.

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What size property am I entitled to?

Single applicants – one bed / joint applicants – one or two beds / couples & single parent families with one child – two beds / couples & single parent families with two children – three beds.

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Why can't I buy 100% of my home?

The maximum share you can buy in some rural homes is 80%. This is because if you decide to sell in the future, we can make sure the home is sold to someone in housing need who is living in the area.

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