Step 1 – Registering
If you would like to apply for shared ownership you will need to register at www.helptobuysouth.co.uk, the Help to Buy agent for this area. Once your application is approved, you can search the Help to Buy database. They will pass your details to housing associations who have homes for sale in the areas you’re interested in.
Applying for a home
If you have found a Lowen home you are interested in, you get in touch with us directly using the link below / form below. We can help you through the process at any time.
Step 3 – The Offer
We will carry out an affordability assessment based on the information on your application form. The assessment helps us see what share you could realistically buy, without borrowing more than you can afford. If you’re successful, you’ll be offered a share of the property between 30% and 75% (or 80% if rural exception) of the property’s market value.
Our sales team will send you an offer pack containing an ‘acceptance of offer’ form. To accept, you will need to complete and return to us within one week, with the details of your chosen lender and solicitor and a reservation fee of £500. You’ll also be required to provide the following documents:
- Help to Buy registration number
- Copy of your current passport or driving license
- Proof of your existing address – e.g. council tax, utility bill
- Three months’ original bank statements
- Recent council tax bill or 3 months’ utility bills
- Proof of deposit. If the deposit is a gift, then we’ll need a letter stating this from the person gifting the money to you
- Three months’ pay slips (or two years audited accounts if self-employed)
- Tenancy agreement or housing waiting list number.
Once we receive all paperwork, we’ll instruct our solicitors and set up a deadline to exchange contracts in 28 days, by way of a Memorandum of Sale (MOS). The MOS 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.
Offer of a property – resales
Once you have found a property you wish to buy, we will send you an offer pack which contains an ‘acceptance of offer form’, which you will need to complete and return within the stated time frame. We do not require a reservation fee on re-sale properties. We will then issue a sales pack to the seller’s solicitors who in turn will contact your solicitor to manage the sale process through to exchange and completion.
Appointing a solicitor
You will need to appoint a solicitor to carry out your legal work. 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 in the future (such as new developments or roads)
- Make sure that all paperwork is completed.
The solicitor will also carry out the conveyance (e.g. searches), which is the legal process of transferring the ownership of the property to you. Your solicitor will check all legal documents, including the title deeds and lease. We’ll prepare a contract which, when signed by you and us, is legally binding.
Exchange of contracts and memorandum of sale
When your solicitor has completed the legal work, you’ll be given a report with 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, we will exchange. Your solicitor will need a copy of your mortgage offer, and you’re committed to buying the property. Completion will happen on a date agreed by you, Lowen, and both solicitors. Upon completion, you’ll be expected to pay the first month’s rent and service charge in advance.
Completing and moving in
If your home is still being built when you buy it from us, we’ll let you know when it is ready. This is known as your completion date. 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’ll call you to advise you can collect the keys and move in.
When moving in to your new home you’ll be supplied with a handbook which contains all the instructions for services 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 ours as your housing association. We will take meter readings, so you can give these to your electricity, water and gas suppliers.