Help to Buy an Existing Home Checklist


Checklist provided by


Visit 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.
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 OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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