General Eligibility for Home Reach

Help to Buy: Shared Ownership (Home Reach) is aimed at helping people who can’t afford to buy a suitable property on the open market. Purchasers are subject to eligibility and affordability requirements.

The general eligibility criteria for Home Reach are as follows:

  • Buyers must be at least 18 years old
  • Buyers must have a total household income under £80,000 (£90,000 in London)
  • Buyers must meet the Homes England affordability and sustainability assessments (see the Homes England calculator guidance for further information)
  • Buyers are expected to use any savings and assets towards the purchase of their home. This may mean selling assets such as bonds, shares, land and any other financial investments.
  • Buyers in receipt of benefits are eligible for shared ownership provided they meet the Homes England affordability assessment
  • Self-employed buyers must be able to provide 2-years evidence of their income
  • Buyers must purchase the maximum share they can reasonably afford within the parameters of the Homes England calculator
  • Shared owners must be first time buyers or:
    • Not currently own a home suitable for their housing needs
    • Sell a home not suitable for their housing needs before buying shared ownership
    • Own a non-residential property that provides their main income source
  • Buyers must have good credit history and must not have (for more information on acceptable credit for Home Reach please refer to the credit policy):
    • A mortgage or rent arrears
    • Other bad debts
    • County Court Judgements
  • Buyers must have a minimum 5% deposit towards the share they are purchasing
  • Buyers may retain a portion of their savings to cover the costs of purchase and moving home (typically up to £5,000). This may include:
    • Legal fees
    • Stamp Duty Land Tax where applicable
    • Mortgage application fees
    • Valuation fees and any associated moving costs

Home Reach’s Cash Buyers Criteria

If you are a wanting to purchase your share in cash, you must meet the eligibility criteria for shared ownership and the cash and assets contributing towards the purchase must not be sufficient to buy the property outright.

The source of cash being used to purchase their share, will be subject to appropriate money laundering checks and may typically come from:

The sale of an existing property

  • Inheritance
  • Cash sum from pension
  • Relationship breakdown where the customer is being bought out of their existing property

Customers must be able to provide evidence that they are legitimately prevented from raising a mortgage. Evidence must be in the form of:

  • Credit rating
  • Letter from a lender
  • Decision in Principle

Home Reach will pay attention to affordability and sustainability calculations for cash buyers, particularly to check that that the rent, service charge, and any other housing costs do not breach 45% of the customers’ net household income (after debts).

Acceptable credit when purchasing with Home Reach

If you are purchasing a share with Home Reach, you will be subject to a credit search, this will take place once we have received a reservation form.

The following minimum credit requirements are used to assess applications:

  • No IVA/DROs/bankruptcy or mortgage repossession settled less than 3 years ago
  • No unsatisfied credit default in last 6 years
  • Not more than 3 satisfied CCJs/defaults totalling less than £1,000 and satisfied at least 1 year ago
  • No debt >3 months in arrears at any time in the last 36 months or >1 month in arrears in the last 12 months
  • If self-employed, must have at least 2 years’ worth of accounts
  • No CCJ or default  (whether satisfied or not) in last 12 months

 Home Reach will use a credit score and may decline low scoring purchasers. Home Reach reserves the right to decline applications.

Where there are multiple purchasers, some who meet the credit history requirements and some with unacceptable credit history, if the total monthly costs of the proposed purchase is less than 40% of the net monthly income of the applicants with acceptable credit, the application will be acceptable.

In exceptional circumstances, where severe life events beyond their control have impacted upon a purchaser’s credit history, exceptions to these credit standards may be made on individual review.

Section for Independent Financial/Mortgage Advisor

Need a copy of our forms:

Download IMA: Cash Purchaser Declaration Form

Download IMA: Purchaser Declaration Form

Please email all completed form to including the following information:

    • Housebuilder
    • Development Name & Plot Number
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