Help to Buy frequently asked questions

Can I buy a home off plan?

Yes, you are able to reserve a new home off plan at any time. However, you cannot exchange contracts before six months to legal completion of the sale. You also need to ensure that your mortgage offer is valid through to legal completion.

Will I have to pay Stamp Duty?

The Government’s standard rules and procedures for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) apply to all Help to Buy purchases. SDLT is payable at the time of purchase, on the full purchase price of the home. That is the amount paid by you (the first mortgage and any cash contribution) plus the value of the Help to Buy assistance. There is no further SDLT to pay on any ‘staircasing’ repayments or repayment when the home is sold. You should budget for SDLT on the full open market price of the property when you purchase a Help to Buy home.

Can I use a builder’s part exchange scheme?

No, Help to Buy purchasers cannot be used in conjunction with any part exchange schemes.

Who pays for repairs and on-going maintenance to my home?

It is your responsibility to repair and maintain your home. New homes often come with a guarantee that will cover certain defects for up to 10 years after it was built. This guarantee usually only covers defects in the house builder’s workmanship. Your solicitor/conveyancer will be able to advise in more detail on this.

Are there any restrictions on the properties that I can purchase?

All Help to Buy homes are on new build developments where the Agency has a registration agreement with the house builder. You can only purchase from these house builders. The maximum purchase price is £600,000.

Can I sublet my Help to Buy home?

No. Help to Buy is designed to assist you to move on to or up the housing ladder. If you wish to sublet, you will first have to repay the Help to Buy equity loan assistance. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. a serving member of the Armed Forces staff whose tour of duty requires them to serve away from the area in which they live for a fixed period, then sub-letting is allowed. In these circumstances you would also require approval from your mortgage lender and the Agency’s Mortgage Administrator).

Can I own other homes and buy a Help to Buy home?

No. Help to Buy is designed to assist you to move up the housing ladder and must be your only residence. This means you will be expected to sell your current home (in the UK or abroad) if moving up the ladder. The disposal of your current home will be verified by your solicitor/conveyancer before you can proceed to exchange contracts on the Help to Buy Home. In addition, you cannot be linked to another property financially. For the avoidance of doubt, married couples own assets jointly and therefore if one owns a property the other is directly linked to the asset and treated as a homeowner also.

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