Jargon Buster & Glossary

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Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing is built with subsidy from the Government, Housing Association or other means. Because of the subsidy, the cost of renting or buying is lower and therefore more affordable for people who could not otherwise afford to rent or buy in the area.

Authority to Exchange

This is the permission from us to your Solicitor that you can exchange contracts.

Authority to Proceed

This is the letter you will receive confirming you are eligible for Help to Buy and can proceed to purchase. This letter provides a financial breakdown of the terms of sale.


This means that the sales process is now finished and that your home is now legally yours. You can collect your keys on this day and move in.


This is the legal, written agreement between the vendor and the purchaser.


This is the term used for either a solicitor or licenced professional who deals with the legal side of buying a property on your behalf.


A down payment on a property, usually calculated as a percentage of the value or the share being purchased.


This is the company that builds the homes that are for sale through Help to Buy.

Early Repayment Charge

This is a charge to your lender if you pay back part or all of your mortgage earlier than the agreed term.


This is the amount of money either put into buying a property, or the deposit placed on a property, which may increase if the property rises in value. It is also known as capital.

Equity Loan

This is the loan you receive from the Government to help you purchase your property. The amount you pay back on this loan is linked to the value of your property. The equity loan is registered as a second charge against your property.

Exchange (of contracts)

This is the point at which you are legally bound to buy your property, although you cannot take possession until you have reached Completion.

First Charge

This is the principle loan or mortgage on the property.


As a Freeholder you own the property and the land on which it stands.

Help to Buy

This is the Government scheme that allows you to buy a newly built property with the help of an equity loan of up to 20% of the property value.

Homes England

This is the Government agency that oversees Help to Buy. They produce all the standard documents that we issue to you and also control all funding for the scheme.

Independent Financial Advisor (IFA)     

An IFA will assess your circumstances and income to make sure you are eligible for the scheme. They also give you advice on how to apply for a mortgage.

Local Help to Buy Agent

We are the Help to Buy Agent for the North West. If you live in Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cumbria we will assess and process your Help to Buy application on behalf of Homes England.

Mortgage Administrator

The Mortgage Administrator is  responsible for collecting the repayment of the loan when you want to sell your home. You must inform them when you want to sell and they must approve the sale before allowing the second charge to be released.


Personal Worked Example (PWE)

Your Personal Worked Example is an estimate of what fees you will need to pay on your equity loan after the first five years.

Property Information Form (PIF)

This is the form you must fill out in order to apply for a Help to Buy equity loan. It provides us with all the details of your purchase and must be sent to us with the house builder’s reservation form and the Mortgage Administrator's Direct Debit Form.

Second Charge

In addition to your first charge, the equity loan you receive will be secured through a second charge registered on your property title at Land Registry. This means your property cannot be sold in the future unless the Agency’s equity loan percentage is repaid. You must agree to the legal charge being secured on your home before your purchase can be completed.

Shared Ownership

This is the Government scheme that allows you to buy a share in a new-build home, ranging from 25% -75%, meaning you will need a smaller mortgage and deposit to buy the home.

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