Jargon buster

Not sure what we are talking about? Our jargon buster will guide you through how you can buy a low cost home of your own.

Affordability: The amount you can reasonably afford to buy - shares start at 25% and increase by 5% increments up to a maximum initial purchase of 75%.

Affordable home ownership: A range of schemes to help you purchase a share of a home and get on to the property ladder.

Completion date: the day when ownership of your property is passed to you and all conditions of the mortgage come into effect. The balance of the purchase price is paid.

Eligible: Are able/allowed to.

Equity: The market value of your home minus the outstanding amount you have to pay on your mortgage.

Exchange of contracts: When both the buyer and seller sign contracts and are then legally bound to complete the transaction.

Help to Buy Midlands: A government-appointed agent in your region able to offer advice on affordable home ownership.

Housing association: Independent not-for-profit bodies that provide low-cost social housing for people in housing need.

Independent Mortgage Advisor: A professional who can advise you how much you are able to borrow to buy a house and will assist you in finding a suitable mortgage product

Leasehold: The right to hold, occupy and use a property for a fixed period of time at a given price.

Mortgage: A document from the mortgage lender which shows that you have borrowed money and agree to pay the money back to your mortgage lender over a certain time period of time.

Part Buy/Part Rent: See Shared ownership.

Resales: Properties that have previously been lived in.

Service charge: A set amount of money to cover the upkeep of communal areas etc. payable monthly or annually. Applies mainly to flats.

Shared ownership: Where you own part of the property and the landlord (or housing association) owns the other part and rent is paid on the share not owned.

Staircasing: You increase the share you own in your home bit by bit, until you own 100% of the property (or lower on some rural schemes)