Everything you need to know about Shared ownership from Home Reach

Help to Buy Agents Closing

Help to Buy Agents Closing

What is the difference between Help to Buy and Shared Ownership?

Help to Buy is the Government backed Equity Loan scheme.  It was launched in 2013 to help support buyers who were struggling to save a deposit and allowed them to buy a brand new home, with just a 5% deposit.

Shared Ownership is the Government backed homebuying scheme introduced in the 1980’s and was designed to help buyers who could not afford a home outright and allowed for buyers to buy more of the home over time (via what is known as staircasing).

The two are entirely different Government backed schemes and while Help to Buy is closing, Shared Ownership will continue to be available to those who need support getting onto the property ladder.

Why do I need to be checked by a Help to Buy agent if the schemes are different?

Historically, the Government has asked Help to Buy agents to test the eligibility of both Shared Ownership and Help to Buy applicants against criteria specified by the Government body, Homes England.

Can I still buy a home with just a 5% deposit?

Yes, the minimum deposit required to buy a home via Shared Ownership is 5% of the value of your share in the property.

When does Help to Buy end?

The scheme closes on the 31st March 2023 and Help to Buy agent offices will close on the 20th March 2023.

Who is checking eligibility once the Help to Buy agents close?

The Government has asked that once Help to Buy finishes, the registered provider checks applicant eligibility.  Other providers may differ in their approach but for us, this means that if you choose a Home Reach home, we will be responsible for checking your eligible to buy the home via the Shared Ownership scheme.

Will the eligibility criteria itself be changing?

No, the eligibility criteria remain the same, just that as the registered provider, we will be responsible for checking your eligibility.

For more information on the criteria, head to:


At what point in the buying process am I required to have my eligibility checked?

Each registered provider will be different, but we shall be asking customers to be checked after they have reserved with the developer and before we grant authority to proceed.

Who will be carrying out the eligibility check?

Each registered provider may take differ in their approach, but we will be carrying out the eligibility check via the Shared Ownership Eligibility Form.

What is happening to the Help to Buy website and property listings?

As part of the closure of the Help to Buy scheme, the Help to Buy website will be taken offline.  This means, buyers will not be able to  browse developments with Government backed buying schemes available. 

So buyers are aware of the Shared Ownership providers in their area  the Government will be adding a directory of providers on the .gov website soon. 

In addition to this resource, you can also find out about  shared ownership properties in your area on these platforms:

> www.sharetobuy.com

> www.keaze.com

> www.newhomesforsale.co.uk

> www.rightmove.co.uk

> www.zoopla.co.uk

Don’t forget we have hundreds of homes available to buy via Shared Ownership here at Home Reach.  Be sure to head to our home page and start your search there!

If I’m turned down by another registered provider or Housing Association, does that mean I’m not eligible for Home Reach?

This will depend on the reason for the application being declined but do speak to us and we will be sure to help you if we can.

How does this change impact the overall process to the customer and developer?

In terms of the reservation process there is no change.  Once the customer has made the reservation, we’ll assess their eligibility.  Once the customer has passed the check, the developer will take the reservation fee as usual and Heylo will provide authority to proceed.

What if I do not want to give my details to Heylo’s IFA for the eligibility check?

We are unable to proceed unless we have completed the check via our panel of IFAs.  Completing the check does not necessarily mean using the IFA for any of their mortgage services and customers are free to use whichever mortgage provider they wish to use.  We just need the IFA to run the eligibility check on our behalf.

What should I do if I have any more questions?

We know just how hard the moving process can be, particularly if you are a first-time buyer.  If you have any questions regarding the eligibility checking process, or any other area of buying a Home Reach home, please do call us on 020 3744 0415.  We are here to help!