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Help to Buy Process Guide

This process guide has been developed to help explain the process of buying your new home with a Government-backed equity loan. Our Sales Advisers are also always on hand to help you through the process or answer any questions you may have.

Stage 1: Applying

Find your new home

Search our website for new homes for sale using a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, by looking out for the Help to Buy, backed by HM Government logo.

Get financial advice

Buying a new home can be a daunting process, but there are many organisations that offer free advice. We have a range of New Home Mortgage Advisers who can help you seek independent financial advice and make sure you are financially qualified. 

Reserve your home

Reserve your Barratt home and pay a £500 reservation fee. This fee is fully refundable if you’re not approved for an equity loan. Make sure you receive a signed copy of the reservation form, you’ll need it when you apply for the equity loan.

Apply for your equity loan

You need to complete a Property Information Form to apply for an equity loan. You will need to provide personal and financial information, such as household income, the property details, your proposed repayment mortgage and deposit details. The information you provide when you apply must be accurate and true. False details will lead to delays and may put you at risk of fraud, which is a criminal offence.

Return your paperwork

Send your signed Property Information Form and a copy of your signed reservation form to your Help to Buy agent.

Stage 2: Authority to proceed

Know how your finances stack up

Your Help to Buy agent will check if you’re eligible for the scheme.

The agent will use the Help to Buy eligibility calculator tool to check your monthly income and outgoings, including household bills and estimated mortgage repayments in the calculations.

Your repayment mortgage should be less than 4.5 times your gross annual income.

Get Authority to Proceed

If your application is approved, the Help to Buy agent will give you the Authority to Proceed (ATP) to buy your new home. This is valid for 3 months.

Apply for a repayment mortgage

You are responsible for arranging your repayment mortgage. You will need to speak to a mortgage broker, or directly to the mortgage lenders, and apply for your repayment mortgage. 

Get the conveyancer’s pack

When you have the Authority to Proceed, your conveyancer will receive legal guidance and forms to complete. Return these to your Help to Buy agent so you can buy your home. Your conveyancer is responsible for explaining the legal information to you.

Stage 3: Mortgage offer and exchange of contracts

Your conveyancer will:

  • explain the Help to Buy: Equity Loan contract and your legal responsibilities. They will remind you that your application must be accurate and true. False or misleading information could be fraud. This is a criminal offence and you may have to repay the equity loan in full
  • ask you to sign the property sale contract and the Help to Buy: Equity Loan contract and sign a declaration to confirm that you and anyone you’re buying with are first-time buyers
  • make sure your repayment mortgage offer, property price and deposit are the same amount as agreed in the Authority to Proceed
  • ask your Help to Buy agent for permission to exchange contracts.

Your Help to Buy agent will:

Check all the paperwork is correct and issue the Authority to Exchange (ATE) to your conveyancer so they can exchange contracts.

You will:

  • pay your deposit and be legally bound to buy your new home by an agreed date. You pay 5% deposit when you exchange contracts, even if your full deposit is more
  • make sure your repayment mortgage offer does not expire before the completion date.

Home visits

You can visit your new home before you move, we can arrange this for you. This will give you a chance to confirm any last-minute details. Speak to us for more information about home visits.

Stage 4: Completing the purchase

On completion:

  • you pay the rest of your deposit (if more than 5%)
  • your mortgage lender provides its share of the funds to buy your new home
  • Homes England pay your equity loan to Barratt
  • you legally own your new home, get the keys and can move in.

Confirm the sale

Your conveyancer contacts the Help to Buy agent to confirm the sale. Your Help to Buy agent will pass your details to the Homes England equity loan administrator to help you manage payments and make changes to your equity loan account.

Registration of interest

Your conveyancer will register a legal charge on your home for Homes England. They will also register a separate legal charge for your mortgage lender. This is recorded with HM Land Registry and will be shown on your property title deeds. When you’re ready to sell your home, you need to let Homes England know. You must pay back your equity loan and repayment mortgage before they can remove their legal charge on the property.

For full guidance from Homes England, take a look at The Homebuyers' Guide to Help to Buy: Equity Loan.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your repayment mortgage, equity loan or other loans secured against it. Consider seeking independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.