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Guildford Home Choice

Buying a property


Cash Incentive Scheme

This scheme only applies to secure Guildford Borough Council tenants who may be able to receive cash help to buy a home of their own on the open market. The idea of the scheme is to assist tenants who would like to buy a home in the private sector and in doing so will vacate their council property, which can then be made available to a family on the housing register.

The scheme aims to help you bridge the gap between what you can afford to borrow and the cost of a property of the size and type that is appropriate for your household. Funds are strictly limited and the scheme is intended to release family accommodation. For more details on the scheme and how to apply click Cash Incentive Scheme.

Right to Buy

Secure tenants of council properties can apply to buy their home under the Right to Buy scheme at a price lower than the full market value. You must have spent 5 years as a public sector tenant before you can apply if your first public sector tenancy was created on or after 18th January 2005. If your first public sector tenancy commenced before this date you can apply after 2 years. If you qualify to buy your home under the Right to Buy you will be eligible for a discount on the price of your home, which will depend on the length of time you have spent as a tenant. For more information click Right to Buy to visit the Communities and Local Government website.

Housing Association tenants of properties built using funding made available after April 1997 may also be able to buy their home under the Right to Acquire. You must have spent 5 years as a public sector tenant before you can apply if your first public sector tenancy was created on or after 18th January 2005. If your first public sector tenancy commenced before this date you can apply after 2 years. For more information visit the Housing Corporation website

Help to Buy

Help to Buy (previously known as HomeBuy) is a government initiative that provides a 'one-stop shop' service to assist eligible individuals and families purchase affordable housing. The initiative provides information on a range of schemes that are available to people who may not be able to buy a home on the open market.

If you can't afford to buy your first home, Help to Buy can assist. You may be a first-time buyer who has been priced out of where you want to live, or be unable to raise the necessary deposit to buy a property outright.  Whatever the reason – if you need help to buy your first home, this initiative can give you the chance to get onto the property ladder.

The government has appointed a number of agents across England to administer Help to Buy. These agents are professional not-for-profit organisations that specialise in providing affordable homeownership opportunities. Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (BPHA) is the appointed Help to Buy Agent for Surrey.

By registering with BPHA, individuals are assessed to identify the schemes they are eligible for. They also work with a number of organisations including housing associations, private developers and local authorities to ensure customers are kept informed about all the opportunities available to them.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is a part-buy/part-rent scheme that enables the purchaser to buy a percentage of a newly built or resale property, usually from a housing association, and pay rent on the remaining percentage. In Guildford any shared ownership properties that become available are usually advertised through Guildford HomeChoice and any applicant registered for Low Cost Home Ownership can bid for these properties. If the property is provided by a housing association applicants will also have to be registered with BPHA.

Help to Buy Shared ownership - New build

Under this scheme, you need to purchase the maximum share that you can afford, which is normally a share of between 25% to 75% of the full market value.  The combined monthly cost of your rent and your mortgage will usually be less than buying the property outright.

After one year of ownership, you are able to buy additional shares in increments of 10%, until you own 100% of your home. This process is called 'Staircasing'.

 Shared ownership is especially appealing if you are unable to:

. Raise a sufficient deposit to allow a mortgage to be approved.

. Obtain an adequate mortgage approval to purchase a property outright even if you have a healthy deposit.

Shared ownership - Resales

Resales are shared ownership homes that become available when existing 'shared owners' wish to sell their stake in their property. This normally happens when people move up the property ladder.

 The share that can be purchased, and the rent payable, will be different for each property and will depend on the percentage initially purchased and the amount of staircasing that has taken place.


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