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Kate the property expert
Kate Faulkner

Every day I see people stressed and lose money or a dream home because they missed an essential step during a property project or used a bad property company.

My mission: Whether you are buying, selling, renting, letting, investing, building or just redecorating, I want to help you!

How can I do this? Simply, good companies pay me to help you. Together we give you FREE, instant access to independent, up to date, expert property project ‘to do lists’ from the best property companies and organisations – all who care about helping you. 

Kate Faulkner


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Help to Buy an Existing Home Checklist

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FREE Help to Buy an Existing Home Checklist!

 

The Government has brought forward a second Help to Buy Scheme which allows you to access 95% mortgages for homes sold on the open market. This checklist should help you understand how to find out if the Help to Buy an existing home is right for you.

 

If you are considering buy new build under Help to Buy, visit our
Help to Buy New Build Checklist as the process is different 

 

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Visit helptobuy.org.uk and arrange to talk or meet with a Help to Buy agent prior to going to a lender, as they will discuss ALL your buying options    
Make sure you have a 5% deposit available. For example, if the property is being sold for £100,000, you will need £5,000, plus your buying and moving costs.  
Find out which lenders are offering Help to Buy, at the time of launch this was NatWest, RBS and Halifax  
Check the lender will allow you to withdraw funds prior to 2nd January 2014  
Compare the Help to Buy mortgage rates and costs against the cost of other 95% mortgage rates as they may be cheaper, ideally use a mortgage broker eg Coreco  
Work out which is the right scheme for your circumstances. For example, is it Help to Buy an existing home or a new build? Shared Ownership? NewBuy? Buy 70%?   
View different properties and schemes – take your time, don’t rush, and find the property which is right for you, especially so you aren’t overstretching your finances  
Make sure you understand what happens to your mortgage payments if interest rates go up 1%, 2% or more. Make sure you can afford them.   
Ensure you have identified a legal company to use who knows how to buy through Help to Buy and is on the lender’s panel of conveyancers  
Once you have found a property you want, advise your broker/lender. Please note, you do not have to offer the full asking price for ANY property under Help to Buy  
Make your offer based on the recent sold prices of similar properties nearby and include the details of your legal company  
Make your offer conditional on an RICS condition, homebuyer or structural survey   
If your offer is accepted, ask for this in writing by the estate agent or vendor   
Ask the agent (in writing) as part of the offer to take the property off the market for four weeks – secure their acceptance in writing.   
Your application for monies will be made which the mortgage lender and legal company will handle for you  
You will need to complete the Help to Buy Property Information Form, which the lender will give to you, this form confirms your agreement to the scheme funds  
You will need to confirm that the Help to Buy home will be your only residence.You will not be allowed to sub-let your property.  
To enable you to exchange contracts, you will need to have your deposit monies ready in the legal company's bank account  
When all the finances and legal paperwork have been completed, you will be ready to exchange contracts  
Once you have exchanged, you can organise your move either using a 'man with a van' or a removals company, or if moving yourself, hiring a van  
Make sure you organise your change of addresses and consider using the Post Office redirection service for three to six months  
On completion, your legal company and lender will organise for the vendor to be paid for the property and you can pick up the keys   

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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