Buying a home

Help to Buy

The cost of housing along with difficulty in getting a mortgage has made home ownership difficult, especially for first-time buyers.

Shared Ownership

You can buy with a friend, family member or you could consider Shared Ownership. Shared Ownership is a way for those who cannot afford market prices to get onto the property ladder. It is an ideal opportunity for first-time buyers.

When buying a Shared Ownership property you will buy a portion of the property that you can afford (this is usually 25%, 50% or 75%). You then rent the remaining portion (that you cannot afford to buy).

After an initial qualifying period, usually 12 months, the shared owner may buy further shares in the property (usually in 25% increments) but there is no obligation to do this. If you are able, it is possible to eventually buy 100% of the property.

Equity Loan

Equity Loan is the latest home ownership scheme. It offers prospective buyers a 20% equity loan, funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Buyers need only a 5% deposit.


Help to Buy North West is the Government's local Help to Buy agent, and proccesses all all the Help to Buy and Shared Ownership applications across the North West. This is a one-stop shop for information and applications for affordable home ownership schemes locally, including   Shared Ownership and Equity Loan schemes.

For more information on Help to Buy telephone 0300 790 0570 or visit the Help to Buy website. This leaflet on Help to Buy has some more information.

If you are thinking of buying a home there are lots of things to consider. The links below will be able to give you more information about the process.