What is HomeBuy?
HomeBuy is a government-funded programme of affordable home ownership, designed to help people who wish to buy or rent a home but cannot afford to do so on the open market. As HomeBuy experts, we can offer you various routes to homeownership or renting through lots of different Housing Associations and Developers.
Do I Qualify?
You should be able to say YES to ALL of the following statements.
Who is HomeBuy for?
HomeBuy is designed to help First Time Buyers buy a home suitable for their household's needs, which they could not afford on the open market. Demand for some of our schemes is high and not everyone will be eligible. In some areas, if the local authority funds the scheme, the criteria may be tailored to meet the housing need in that area. For example, priority may be awarded to people with a local connection - either family or work; we ask you to list any such connections on the application form.
How do I apply to South West Homes?
Why do I have to register with South West Homes?
South West Homes is the HomeBuy agent for the South West. We are the government funded ‘one-stop shop’ for everyone who wants to apply to buy or rent an affordable home. You need to register with us so we can assess your application, check you are eligible for HomeBuy and ultimately provide you with approval so you can then look for your ideal affordable home to buy or rent.
Do I get the mortgage through you?
No, although we can give you a list of independent financial advisors who may be able to help you. Click here for more information.
I am currently living in private rented accommodation. Can I be considered for HomeBuy?
Yes, HomeBuy is available to you, if you are looking to buy your first home, regardless of whether you rent privately.
Do I have to live in a local authority or housing association property before I can apply?
No, all first time buyers may apply. You will be a higher priority if you rent a local authority or housing association property.
I've submitted my application, when can I start looking for a property?
Once you have completed an application form you can start searching for your new home. You can refer to your personalised acceptance letter to check which schemes you are eligible for. You will not be offered a property; instead, you should select a home and request a viewing with the Housing Association or Developer. You'll find their contact details in each property listing on this website
I can afford the monthly costs involved in home ownership but I haven't got a deposit. Am I still able to apply?
Buying a home is expensive you will need to cover costs such as legal fees, mortgage valuation, home survey and stamp duty. You will also need a deposit to secure a mortgage. Unfortunately we cannot accept your application if you do not have access to funds as you will need to cover these costs.
HomeBuy properties aren’t council houses, so why do I have to register with my local authority/council?
Generally, you only need to register with us as the HomeBuy agent for the South West in your area, but there are some cases where you might have to register with your local authority too. For instance, sometimes it is a planning condition of a development that local people take priority. It is always best to check with the Housing Association before making an application to a local authority/council.
How do I know the amount of mortgage I will be able to afford?
Once you have been accepted on to the South West Homes register, we will use an affordability calculator to provide you with two estimate figures of how much you could borrow from a mortgage lender towards the HomeBuy schemes. These figures are for guidance purposes only and will need to be clarified by a financial advisor or mortgage lender.
What if I need help completing the application form?
You can call us on 0300 100 0021 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
If you do not accept my application, can I appeal?
Yes. We will reconsider all applications, providing you contact us within one month of receiving your letter. This is especially the case if any of the circumstances within your application have changed.
How much will home ownership cost me?
You will need access to an amount of savings to cover the initial costs of buying a property. This amount varies but is likely to be a minimum of around £2,500. The initial costs include the cost of the mortgage valuation or survey, solicitors' fees, and stamp duty. You may also need to cover the costs of removals, connection charges for services, and you will need additional savings towards a deposit for your mortgage.
Will I need a deposit to get a mortgage?
In the current economic climate, if you can fund a deposit towards your mortgage you are more likely to obtain a mortgage offer and a more attractive interest rate. You should aim for at least a 10% or a 20% deposit. The amount that this equates to is based on the value of the share you are buying, for example a 10% deposit on a 25% share of a property valued at £150,000 is £3,750.
What happens in areas where there are more applications than available housing?
If you apply for a property or funding where more than one person is interested, the housing associations will assess applicants according to their own policies. In some cases, certain groups of people, eg, housing association tenants and council tenants, or key workers, may be prioritised.