Five steps to buying your new home
Step 1. Registering
If you would like to apply for a shared ownership home you will need to register with the Help to Buy Agent for your area (click here for details of your Help to Buy Agent). You may also need to register with your Local Authority or Parish Council. If you do not know who this is, please contact us and we can help point you in the right direction. You can also register your interest in a Hastoe scheme directly with us.
Step 2. Offer of a property
The Homes and Communities Agency (the government body responsible for affordable housing) has an affordability calculator which helps you see what is affordable based on your income and outgoings together with other factors such as interest rates and mortgage terms. These affordability calculators help us see what size share you could afford without the need to borrow more than you can sustain. As part of Hastoe’s offer process, you will be required to be financially assessed by an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA). They will work through the affordability calculation for you at no cost. We will then offer you the share you can afford, which will be generally be between 30% and 75% of the property’s value. If you are successful with your application you will be offered a property. Our sales team will send you an offer letter and information pack containing an acceptance of offer form. You will have one week to complete and return the form.
Step 3. Appointing a solicitor
You will need to appoint a solicitor to carry out the legal work for you. They will: • check the lease and talk to our solicitors about any issues • Talk to your mortgage lender to make sure everything is in place • Carry out searches to check we own the home we are selling to you and that there are no known plans which could affect your home (such as new developments or roads) • Make sure that all paperwork is in place so the sale can go through. Solicitors’ costs will vary so it is worth checking with them what they are likely to charge before you appoint them. Typically it should cost between £600 and £1,000 including their fees, searches, land registry fees and expenses. We have a panel of experienced solicitors who can work for you. • The solicitor will also carry out the conveyance - this is the legal process of transferring the ownership of the property to you. Your solicitor will check all of the legal documents, including the title deeds and lease.
Step 4. Reservation of a property
You will need to complete the acceptance of offer form providing us with details of your chosen lender and solicitor. You will also have to pay a reservation fee of £500 if you accept the offer. You will be required to provide the IFA the following documentation:
• HomeBuy registration number (you cannot reserve aproperty without this number)
• Current passport or driving license
• Proof of local connection such as electoral register details
• 3 months bank statements (not internet copies)
• Latest council tax bill and 3months utility bills
• Proof of deposit, if the deposit, is a gift then a letter stating this from the person gifting the money to you
• 3 months salary slips or 2 years audited accounts if self employed
• Tenancy agreement or housing waiting list number.
Once we have received this documentation we will send you a Memorandum of Sale. This contains details about the sale and is sent to you, your solicitor, your financial advisor and/or lender and our solicitor. From this point onwards your reservation fee is non-refundable.
Step 5. Exchange of contract and completion
When your solicitor has completed the legal work, you will be given a report detailing the findings of the conveyance. You will need to provide your deposit to your solicitor, which is paid to our solicitor on exchange. This is usually the deposit amount you used to secure your mortgage. Once you have paid your deposit and signed the contract, the exchange of contracts between us can take place. For the exchange to happen, your solicitor will need a copy of your mortgage offer. The exchange of contract commits you to buying the home and us to sell it – neither of us can change our minds. Completion will happen on a date agreed by the solicitors in consultation with you and us. This could take anything from a day to a week from the exchange of contracts. Upon completion, you will be expected to pay the first month’s rent and service charge in advance. If your home is still being built when you buy it from us, we will let you know when it is ready – this is known as completion on notice. On the day of completion your mortgage money is transferred from your solicitor to ours, who in turn will notify us that completion has taken place. We will then call you to let you know you can collect the keys and move in. When moving into your new home you will be supplied with a handbook which contains all the instructions for the services in your home such as the boiler and cooker. It will also cover all the information you need about what responsibilities you have as the home owner and what responsibilities we have as the housing association. We will take meter readings so you can give these to your electricity, water and gas suppliers.