Help to Buy FAQs

We answer your most commonly asked Help to Buy questions. Don't forget to check out our Help to Buy section for more advice!

What is a Help to Buy agent?

Three housing associations - Plus Dane Housing, BPHA and Radian – are the agents in the North, Midlands and London, and the South respectively. You will need to register with your Help to Buy agent and have your eligibility assessed before you can proceed with buying a home.

Is the buying process any different?

There is extra paperwork involved in buying using Help to Buy: Equity Loan, so make sure you chose a solicitor who is experienced in this area.

Can I rent out my home?

No, you must live in the home yourself and permission is only given to rent it out later in exceptional circumstances.

Can I make changes to my home?

You can decorate, but you cannot make structural changes unless it is for a person with a disability, for which you must seek permission.

Can I remortgage?

You can remortgage to get a better rate while you have a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, although you will have to get permission and pay a fee. Most people wait until the end of the five-year interest-free period before remortgaging, and then try to take a larger loan to pay back some or all of the Equity Loan.

What happens if I want to move?

You can’t take your Help to Buy: Equity Loan with you, so you will have to repay it if you sell your home. The amount you pay back will be the same percentage as you initially borrowed, so if property values have dropped and the home is worth less than when you bought it, you will pay back less than the cash value you were loaned, but if it is worth more, then you will repay more.

What happens after five years?

After five years, annually increasing interest is charged on the loan. In year six you pay 1.75%, rising each year by the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 2%. This might mean you pay 1.83% in year 7, 1.91% in year 8 and so on. You can pay off the loan all at once or in 10% chunks at any time, but you will have to pay for a valuation.

Where can I find out more?