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Don't let a mortgage get in the way...

How to get a Help to Buy mortgage

If you’ve ever wondered if you’re eligible for Help to Buy and how to apply—find out here

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By Pete Mugleston   Mortgage Advisor

Last updated: 3rd June 2019 *

We get lots of enquiries about how to get a Help to Buy mortgage.

Many of the people we have helped feel confused about the process of Help to Buy and need advice on who to contact and how to kickstart the process.

The good news is, the advisors we work with have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping people get a Help to Buy mortgage, even if you’ve been previously declined a mortgage or have bad credit.

In this guide, we have gathered all the key information you’ll need to know about how to apply for a Help to Buy mortgage:

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If you are looking for professional advice about how to make a Help to Buy mortgage application either online or with a Help to Buy agent, speak to an advisor here or call us on 0800 304 7880.

How to apply for a Help to Buy mortgage

You should start by consulting with a whole-of-market mortgage broker. Not only can they guide you through the application process, they will also offer bespoke advice every step of the way and help you get the best rates on your Help to Buy mortgage.

Make an enquiry here to get the ball rolling, and you might also want to read through the information on the official Help to Buy site here before you get started.

The Help to Buy mortgage process

Before making a Help to Buy mortgage application, it can be helpful to know what the Help to Buy mortgage process entails and who you need to contact to proceed.

Step 1: Check the Help to Buy mortgage scheme rules

A Help to Buy mortgage has certain terms and conditions including that you must:

  • Be aged 18 years or over
  • Be a UK resident
  • Be a first time buyer or a homeowner looking to move
  • Not own any other property on completion of the HTB mortgage

For an in-depth look at the rules of Help to Buy mortgage, contact a mortgage specialist here.

Step 2: Find a registered Help to Buy agent or property

The Help to Buy scheme is only available on new build properties that have been built by house builders that are registered with the Help to Buy scheme. If you are unable to find a property via online property portals or the government Help to Buy website, it can be helpful to contact a mortgage specialist who can search the market for you.

Step 3: Pay the Help to Buy reservation deposit

Whether the property you would like to buy is built and ready to move in or it is in the process of being built, the housebuilder will ask you for a reservation deposit, a maximum of £500. You’ll also need to complete a formal reservation form.

With some Help to Buy housebuilders, your reservation deposit is non-refundable, so take this into consideration before making an application. Some builders will require a Decision In Principle, and any current properties owned to be sold subject to contract (SSTC) before a reservation can take place. The property will be reserved in your name and not available for sale, so the builder needs some confidence that you are in a position to buy the property.

Step 4: Contact a Help to Buy agent and gain permission to proceed

One of the advisors we work with can complete the Help To Buy equity loan application for you.  They will complete a Property Information Form, which you will need to check and sign. This is then forwarded to the local Help To Buy agent in the area where the property is located.

Next, you need to get authority to proceed from an official Help to Buy agent. (If you can’t find a local Help to Buy agent, one of the advisors we work with can help you.)

Part of the Help To Buy application is completing a HTB calculator. Your advisor (Help to Buy agent) will ask you questions about your affordability which could include looking at:

  • Your income and any deductions from it (pension, student loan etc)
  • Your expenditure
  • The property you want to buy
  • The names and details of the people on your application

Your application will be assessed, and if accepted, you will be issued an Authority To Proceed, which is the equivalent of a mortgage offer.

You are then in a position to make your mortgage application.

When does the exchange of contracts take place on a Help to Buy mortgage?

Once you have a mortgage offer, along with a Help To Buy Authority To Proceed, and your deposit, you can then exchange contracts with the builder.  At this point you are contracting to purchase the property. Some builders may ask for your deposit at this point.

How long does a Help to Buy mortgage application take?

The Help to Buy decision process usually takes around 4 working days. After this, you’ll be told whether you have been granted authority to proceed or have been declined.

Step 5: Find a Help to Buy mortgage lender

Some mortgage lenders can be cautious about lending to borrowers on a Help to Buy mortgage but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a lender. Getting help from a qualified and experienced Help to Buy mortgage broker can make the process of finding a lender easier because they’ll have access to the entire market as well as being able to chase your application if it takes too long.

If you need help finding a Help to Buy mortgage lender, talk to one of the advisors we work with here.

Step 6: Receive a Help to Buy mortgage decision in principle

Once you have found a lender who will approve your mortgage, you should receive a mortgage in principle for Help to Buy.

How long does a Help to Buy mortgage offer last?

Your Help to Buy mortgage offer generally has an expiry date of six months, so you must complete within this period for the offer to still stand.

Step 7: Completion

After contracts have been exchanged, there may be some delay whilst the property is built. Once the property has been agreed as finished, then completion can take place.

Can you use Help to Buy on a joint mortgage?

Potentially yes. If you apply for Help to Buy mortgage with a joint application, neither of you will be able to own any other property on completion of the Help To Buy mortgage.

Help to Buy equity loans aren’t limited to first time buyers but the property you buy has to be the only property that you own. Therefore, if one of you has previously owned a home, you may be able to get a Help to Buy joint mortgage, as long as at the time of completion neither you or your partner owns any property.

Why you should speak to an advisor about the Help to Buy mortgage process

If you have never applied for a mortgage before, it can be overwhelming to start the Help to Buy mortgage process. A mortgage advisor can help you with this and ensure that the correct documents and contracts are filled in for you and sent to the right authorities.

As well as this, they can also contact your solicitors and the Help to Buy agents to chase up any overdue paperwork to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Here at OMA, we strictly only work with qualified advisors who are in the best position to help you. In fact, we’ve helped over 75,000 find the right mortgage, even those that have been previously declined or have bad credit. So it’s no wonder our customers consistently rate us 5 stars on Feefo, due mainly to our level of service, but also because the brokers we work with:

  • Are whole of market brokers
  • Are Online Mortgage Advisor accredited
  • Can offer bespoke advice on Help to Buy applications
  • Have a working relationship with all Help to Buy lenders

Still don’t know how to get a Help to Buy mortgage? Ask an expert

If you have questions about applying for a Help to Buy mortgage or the Help to Buy process and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0800 304 7880 or make an enquiry here.

Then sit back and let us do all the hard work in finding the broker with the right expertise for your circumstances. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

Updated: 3rd June 2019
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2019 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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