We know 87% of our customers want to own their own home, that’s why we’ve developed Deposit Builder.
Deposit Builder is a savings scheme that helps you build a mortgage deposit to buy a home from Home Group (you can save for up to five years).
Deposit Builder is a bit different to other schemes you might have heard of and will help you own a home by:
- Giving you a discount of £50 a month from your rent
- Matching the Government's contributions to your Help to Buy ISA (up to £3,000) or Lifetime ISA (up to £5,000)
Through the scheme, you can either buy:
- The property you live in now (where possible)
- A Persona Home
- A shared ownership resale property
How to apply for Deposit Builder
Complete the expression of interest form
Tell us a few details about who you are and where you live. You can do this by filling out and submitting this expression of interest form. We will be back in touch within three working days.
Complete the application form
You will then get a Deposit Builder application form via email.
Check all FAQs on this page before applying to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria
It is also a good idea to look over all the Deposit Builder legal info and speak to an independent financial advisor.
Once you have filled out the application form email it to TenantSales@HomeGroup.org.uk
Verify your identity
Once we have received your application form, we will invite you to verify your identity. We have partnered with technology company Credas. This means the process is safe and hassle-free.
Once we have verified your identity, we will carry out some checks to make sure you are eligible to join the scheme. We will also try to indicate whether you will be able to buy the property you are living in through the scheme. This will not always be possible at this stage.
Get in touch
Our team are a knowledgeable bunch and are on hand to answer any questions you have. If there’s anything you are unsure of, get in touch.
Deposit Builder FAQs
Who is eligible for Deposit Builder?
Before you apply, there are a few boxes you need to be able to tick:
- You’ve completed a starter tenancy of 12 months with Home Group, or another public sector landlord
- You have an active Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA
- You want to buy your current home or another Home Group property located in England
- Your rent account is up to date with no arrears
- You have a good credit history and no current or pending debt issues
- There are no court proceedings about to be issued to you or any other tenant on your tenancy
- You don’t claim (or plan to claim) housing benefit or Universal Credit
- The property must be purchased with a mortgage (i.e. not cash).
When saving with a Lifetime ISA, additional restrictions apply. The scheme is only open to people aged 18-39. To be eligible for the bonus when buying your first home, you must also be a first-time buyer. You can use your savings to help you buy your first home if all the following apply:
- The property costs £450,000 or less
- You buy the property at least 12 months after you make your first payment into the Lifetime ISA
- You use a conveyancer or solicitor to act for you in the purchase; the ISA provider will pay the funds directly to them
The Help to Buy ISA closed to new accounts on 30 November 2019. If you already have an account, to qualify for the government bonus, the property you are buying must:
- Be in the UK
- Have a purchase price of up to £250,000 (or up to £450,000 in London)
- Be the only home you will own
- Be where you intend on living
Any Home Group customer can apply for the scheme. However, only some properties can be bought due to legal restrictions. If you can’t buy your current property, you can still sign up for the scheme. If you meet the eligibility criteria you could buy another Home Group property instead. When we get your application, we’ll check whether your home is available to buy. We'll let you know the outcome as soon as we can.
Is there anything I need to consider before I apply?
Remember Home Group Limited (Charitable Community Benefit Society No. 22981R) is not permitted to provide financial advice. We strongly recommend all applicants seek independent financial advice to fully understand the commitments and risks related to home ownership. Providers authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can be found on the Financial Services Register.
Do I have to buy the home I live in now?
Not necessarily. You can put your Deposit Builder savings towards your current home if it’s eligible. Or you can put it towards a different eligible Home Group home instead. For example, one of our new builds, Persona Homes by Home Group.
Please bear in mind that we have some homes that we’re not allowed to sell by law.
We'll try to indicate whether you could buy the property you're living in through Deposit Builder as early as possible after you reply. We might invite you to join the scheme before confirming whether you can buy the home you live in.
How is Deposit Builder regulated?
Deposit Builder isn’t a regulated financial product, which means Home Group won’t hold your savings at any point. Banks and financial institutions that provide a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA are usually regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
We need all applicants to prove they have a Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA before we can accept their application.
Once I’ve signed up who is responsible for my home maintenance?
Once you are receiving the rent discount, we will remove your home from the planned maintenance list. This includes new bathrooms, kitchens and external doors. You’ll be able to replace these parts of your home yourself once your sale has been completed. We do not recommend replacing these parts or carrying out any major works until after purchase. If you do want to do so, you must obtain our consent in line with your tenancy agreement before you start.
We'll still carry out general repairs in your home.
Can anyone apply for this scheme?
Any Home Group customer can apply. They must meet the eligibility criteria listed above, however. Only certain properties will be available to buy due to certain restrictions. Some customers cannot buy their own property, due to charity law or lending restrictions. They have the option to use the scheme to buy another new build or shared ownership resale property.
Do I need to save for the full five years?
You do not need to save for the full five years. You can save for up to five years.
If you want to use the Lifetime ISA to buy a home you must save for at least 12 months after you make your first payment. Remember that other restrictions apply; see here for help to buy.
What if I didn't manage to open the Help to Buy ISA in time?
How much will I pay for my home?
Once you submit your application and confirm you wish to sign up, we will arrange your property valuation. The surveyor will be accredited by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). On receipt of the valuation report, further checks will be carried out. If there are no issues, we’ll issue you a "price freeze” offer based on the surveyor’s report.
What is a price freeze?
Are there any fees to pay at the sign-up stage?
At this point, you pay a non-refundable £200 deposit. If you buy a property through the scheme, we will deduct this from the purchase price.
When is my reduction applied?
Once you have signed up, we will apply a £50 per month rent reduction. You must save this into your Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA, along with anything else you can contribute. This is the “saving stage” and can last up to five years. During this time, we conduct annual checks to ensure you are saving regularly. We also check you still meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme.
We will withdraw you from the scheme if:
- You do not save at least £50 per month into your account
- You no longer meet the eligibility criteria
Can I change how much I pay into it?
If you have a HTB ISA, you must save £50 per month to remain on the Deposit Builder scheme. If you can afford to, you can pay more in, up to £200 per month.
If you have a Lifetime ISA, you must save £50 per month to remain on the Deposit Builder scheme. If you can afford to, you can save up to £4,000 each year.
At the end of the financial year, you must be able to prove that you have saved at least £50 per month (or annual equivalent).
What happens when I'm ready to purchase?
When you are ready to purchase, you just need to let us know.
At that point, if you can buy the property you are living in, it will be re-valued by a surveyor. If the value of the property hasn't increased by more than 20%, we honour the original price freeze value.
We must reconsider whether we can sell the property due to charitable regulations if:
- The value of the property has reduced by more than 20%
- The value of the property has increased by more than 20%
If we cannot sell your current property, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative. This may include a new build or a shared ownership resale property.
Once you have provided proof of funds and your solicitor’s details, conveyancing begins. You’ll soon be a homeowner! Home Group will match the government ISA bonus by up to £3,000 with the Help to Buy ISA or up to £5,000 with the Lifetime ISA.
*Terms and conditions apply