We’ve recently had an influx of enquiries from people who live in council-owned properties and are now eligible to buy their home at a discount.
The scheme, called Right to Buy, allows tenants to apply to purchase their home, helping occupants to get on the property ladder.
Tenants can apply if:
- it’s their only or main home
- it’s self-contained
- they’re a secure tenant (with a legal contract)
- they’ve had a council, housing association or NHS trust home for 3 years – it does not have to be 3 years in a row
The process of buying the property usually involves securing a mortgage.
Because the scheme often provides a significant discount, many lenders will allow borrowers to put the discount towards the purchase price, offsetting the need for a chunky deposit. For example, after 3-5 years, you will be offered a discount of 35%. For every year after that, you will be offered an additional 1% off, up to a maximum of 70% (or £80,900 everywhere apart from London).
Be mindful that some lenders may not allow you to use the Right to Buy discount as the deposit, but we can assist you with finding lenders who will.
However, you will still need a mortgage to pay off the remaining balance. There are certain eligibility and affordability criteria required in order to secure the mortgage.
The first step of the mortgage application is filling out a Right to Buy application form on the government website.
We would recommend speaking to a mortgage broker – an area that we specialise in. It can be a daunting process, so we can support you through it and ensure that you get the best mortgage deal.
We can also help you to work out if you can afford to buy the property, based on other costs such as repair, maintenance, bills and service charges. Once you’ve applied, your landlord should respond to your application within 4 weeks to confirm whether you have the right to buy your home.
The next step is getting a valuation on the property, to find out how much you will need to borrow. It’s important that the valuation is fair, so that it is not overvalued, and you’re not paying over the odds. The mortgage lender will also send a surveyor, who will confirm the valuation is accurate.
Then, your mortgage advisor will help to find the best Right to Buy mortgage for you and guide you through the process of applying for and buying your home.
Please note: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage