FAQ's

Market Sale

Market Sale refers to properties which are on the market and 100% can be purchased with cash or a mortgage. Market Sale may also be referred to as outright or traditional sale.

Anybody can purchase a property using Market Sale providing they have the funds in place. We advise you speak to a Financial Advisor to establish the price of property you can afford.

Help to Buy

The ‘Help to Buy Equity Loan’ scheme allows buyers to own 100% of a property with as little as 5% deposit, 75% mortgage and 20% government loan. The scheme makes property up to £600,000 more accessible for people with small deposits and allows buyers to own homes that are otherwise out of their financial reach.

The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme was made available through participating house builders and HomeBuy agents in April 2013 and is available to purchasers who wish to buy a new build property.

Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and affordability checks, you can use one of the Help to Buy schemes to purchase a property with a value up to £600,000.

The interest rates on the mortgage you select will be set by lenders and so we recommend you speak with our recommended Independent Financial Advisor directly. The Government will not set the price, this is a commercial decision for individual lenders.

The loan is interest free for the first five years. From year six a fee of 1.75% is payable on the equity loan, which rises annually by RPI inflation plus 1%.

The equity loan can be repaid at any time within 25 years (or the terms of the mortgage), or on sale of the property. The total amount repayable by you will be the proportion of the market value of your home that was funded by this loan, plus interest and charges. The amount you will have to repay under the loan agreement will depend on the market value of your home when you repay the Help to Buy equity loan and the rate of inflation in the meantime.

The scheme is available for those purchasing a home for the first time but also to purchasers who have previously owned a property subject to qualification - it isn't a shared ownership scheme. For more information on Help to Buy speak directly with a Sales Consultant on one of our developments or visit www.helptobuy.org.uk.

Shared Ownership

Shared ownership doesn’t mean that you have to share your home with anyone else! When you buy a home with shared ownership you are a homeowner and will take on all the responsibilities and gain all the benefits that go with owning your home.

Quite simply it’s because it’ll help you get on the property ladder and because we all deserve to own our own home.

Yes, you’ll still pay some rent, but it will be at a lower rate than normal; and you’ll also own part of your home. Meaning the investment you make in to your share is yours, rather than paying someone else’s mortgage.

Plus, you don’t need a very large deposit like you might do if you buy 100% of a home. Finally, people may feel priced out of a certain area – but with shared ownership, affordable housing can be found in some prestigious postcodes and desirable areas.

Although you’ll be paying for both rent and a mortgage, shared ownership has been carefully designed to keep the initial and ongoing costs of buying a home affordable. You’ll benefit from lower deposits and usually the rent and mortgage costs will work out less than if you had bought 100% of the home/or were privately renting. In fact, the rent you’ll pay is at a lower rate than the rent charged on the open market and sometimes stamp duty can be deferred until your share reaches 80%.

Monthly costs

The monthly cost will vary depending on how much of the home you own and the type of mortgage you take out.

See below a couple of examples to give you an idea.

25% share of a 2-bedroom home costing £200,000

• Mortgage: £236 approx.

• Rent: £343.75

50% share of a 2-bedroom home costing £200,000

• Mortgage: £473 approx.

• Rent: £229.16

Deposit

The good news here is you only pay a deposit on the percentage you are buying e.g. 25%, 50% or 75%...and so you’ll need a much smaller deposit, than if you were buying 100% of the property.

25% share of a 2-bedroom home costing £200,000

• Deposit: £2,500

50% share of a 2-bedroom home costing £200,000

• Deposit: £5,000

Extras: there are extra costs when buying a home, including solicitors’ fees and mortgage arrangement fees. This typically costs about £1,000.

You can buy anything from a 25% to 75% share in the house. The share you buy will be based on your affordability, so you will buy the minimum percentage you can afford. In the future, as you can afford it you can buy more shares. This can be called “staircasing” and allows you to eventually own 100% of your own home.

You can increase your shares of your home by a process called staircasing, when your affordability increases. You must buy at least 10% each time you choose to buy extra shares of your home and you can buy anything up to 100%.

Staircasing is the term given to buying extra shares in your shared ownership property. Most leases allow you to buy extra shares after you have owned your initial shares for 3 months. You may choose to go up another step on the home ownership ladder by buying some of the remaining shares in your home; this is known as partial staircasing. If you choose to purchase all of the remaining shares in your home, it is known as final staircasing.

If you are thinking of partial staircasing, you can usually buy shares in tranches of 25%. However, most leases issued after July 2004 allow you to staircase in multiples of 10%.

If you are considering staircasing, you will need to find out from your lender whether they are willing to lend you a further amount. The amount you are able to borrow will help you determine the size of the further share you are able to purchase. If you are considering changing mortgage providers, you need to consider if your current mortgage has any redemption penalties.

Please note that not all leases allow you to purchase all the shares in your home. If you are unsure please check with your Home Ownership Officer or ask your solicitor.

You will always have your share, which you can sell on at any time at market value. Orbit has the right to buy back the property before it is marketed to anyone else.

In the past house shares have gone up in value and the extra money you make can then be used as a deposit on a new home; assisting you towards taking another step on the ladder. It’s worth noting however that not all houses will go up in value – it is very much dependent on the market conditions. You can also sell your shares quite easily on the open market - advertising your home as a shared ownership house and listing the percentage share that you own. There is currently a high demand for shared ownership properties.

Yes! A maximum of 4 people can become joint owners on the property. But this would need to be discussed with your solicitor.

As a homeowner you will be responsible. If you are buying a new build property, you should undertake a snagging survey, this is in place to check for problems and issues that may arise with a new build home and these problems should be resolved by the developers before you move in. Additionally, you usually have a guarantee of up to 2 years for these kinds of things.

Of course! But if you’re thinking of making structural changes you must check the terms of your lease and you may need to get permission before any changes are made.

That’s a plain and simple no, and also one of the most common myths about Shared Ownership. You own a share of a property and the other share is owned by the developer, not another individual. You’re the only one who lives there (except from family you live with) it works in the same way as buying outright.

As long as you meet the list of criteria below – you can buy a shared ownership home.

If you are:

• Over 18 years old

• Earning less than £80,000, and £90,000 in London (as a household)

• Not a homeowner

• Not able to afford to buy 100% of a home

• In possession of a good credit record

• Able to afford the payments for your share

• The property you want to buy is being sold with a Shared Ownership option

Eligibility is granted through the help to buy agent and not the Housing association.

For more information on Shared Ownership speak directly with a Sales Consultant

Buying a property from Orbit Homes

The first thing to do is speak to an independent Financial Advisor, Mortgage Broker or the Mortgage Advice Bureau to establish your affordability. They will take into account your income, savings and outgoings to establish what you can afford to purchase. They will also advise you of how you could also consider other ways you could purchase a home, for example using the Government backed Help to Buy or Shared Ownership schemes.

Finding your place to thrive

Once you have established your affordability, you can begin to look at the various homes for sale on our website within your price range. Once you have chosen your preferred homes you can call and book an appointment with one of our Sales Consultants to visit one of our sales offices, which are generally open seven days a week.

Reservation

Once we have confirmed the price of your preferred property, our Sales Consultant will assist you with completing your reservation and provide you with your reservation paperwork. At this stage you will pay a reservation deposit (£500 if it’s a Market Sale home or £250 if it’s a shared ownership home) which will secure your new home and be deducted from your completion statement at the end so this will not be additional money on top.

The next stage is to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf during the sales process. Their responsibility is to arrange for the transfer of ownership of the property, often referred to as ‘conveyancing'. You will need to pay various fees to them at this stage; please make sure you fully understand the costs related to this. Orbit Homes can also suggest a preferred independent solicitor to act on your behalf who is familiar with our legal contracts and leases. This will ensure the whole legal process runs smoothly, efficiently and within a timely manner.

Financial Advisors have specialist knowledge of the mortgage market and can help identify the mortgage most suited to your circumstances. They will negotiate on your behalf with the lender, with the aim of securing you a competitive product.

Exchange of Contracts

Once you and your solicitor are happy with the details of the purchase and you have received your mortgage offer, if required, you'll be able to sign the draft contract.

At this stage you will need to provide your solicitor with your deposit and instruct them to exchange contracts. A 10% deposit will be required (or 5% in the case of a Help to Buy or Shared Ownership purchase) and you should make sure your solicitor has cleared funds in time to exchange contracts.

At this stage you will either be provided with a fixed date for legal completion, or in the case of the property being purchased that is not yet build complete, exchange will be on notice. Once your property is completed you will be given 10 working days to complete your purchase.

Staged Visits

At various stages throughout the build process, it is possible for you to see the progress of your new home.

These visits are possible at four key stages:

1. On the point of reservation if the property is accessible

2. Once the property has had its initial coat of paint

3. After the second visit we offer a visit for you to take measurements for items such as your furniture, curtains and wardrobes

4. The final time you will be able to visit your property is during your Home Demonstration, which takes place a few days before legal completion

Notice to Complete

Once your property has been inspected by our team and the Local Authority Building Control Officer, we will be able to serve notice for you to complete on your new home and agree a fixed completion date. This is usually 10 working days after notice is served. Our properties undergo a series of comprehensive checks throughout the build process, with our Customer Care Team agreeing final sign off before the property is handed over.

Home Demonstration

Once a completion date is agreed, your appointed Sales Consultant will be in contact to arrange a Home Demonstration with our Customer Care team. This is designed to demonstrate your homes’ key features and to explain how everything operates. We recognise that there is a great deal of information to take in on the day, so we also provide a Handover Pack on completion day as a first point of reference for the property.

Legal Completion

Once all the legal paperwork has been attended to and both our solicitors and your solicitors have confirmed that everything is in place for completion, your solicitor will advise the mortgage lender to release the mortgage funds, if appropriate. Once the money has been electronically transferred to our solicitor, legal completion will take place and your solicitor will inform you when this has happened. We will contact you to arrange a time to hand over the keys, welcome you to your new home, and read the meters.

After Care

Orbit Homes is committed to providing a prompt and professional aftercare service. Each region has a dedicated Customer Care Team, who will be your first point of contact. Your Customer Care Team, who you will have met before completion, will continue to be available to you and will ensure you receive a prompt, courteous, and reliable service throughout the warranty period.

General Questions

Once you have completed on your property you will be given a Handover Pack which contains details about your property. If you can’t find the answer to a question here you can contact the Customer Care Team in your area.