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Ways to buy

Get on the property ladder with HomeBuy shared ownership

More about shared ownership

Homebuyers’ jargon-buster

APR, RPI, FSA? Do you know what they are? Well you're probably not alone. The home-buying process comes with its own set of jargon and so we've put together this jargon-busting guide to some of the some most usual legal and financial terms. If you're not sure about anything else, call us on 0800 085 2499 and we'll do our best to help.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. The annual percentage rate is often not the same as the interest rate. It is a percentage that results from an equation considering the amount financed, the charges, and the term of the loan.

Application fee

Charged by a lender to cover the initial costs of processing a loan application.


Expert evaluation to determine what a home would sell for on the open market.

Arrangement fee

Administration fee usually paid to the mortgage lender.

Bridging loan

A short-term loan to bridge the period between you buying a new property and selling your previous home.

Building survey

An extensive survey, carried out by a qualified surveyor, to spot faults and potential problems in the property you are buying.


Name of the 10-year National House Building Council warranty and insurance cover that protects your home.


Finalising of the sale when all sums are passed over and the buyer becomes the legal owner of the home.


The legal work involved in selling and buying property.

Credit reference agency

An organisation that keeps details of individuals and their credit histories. Lenders will check with a credit reference agency to see if someone applying for a mortgage has any known credit problems.


A formal written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. Also known as a "conveyance".


The fees, such as stamp duty and Land Registry fees, which are paid to the conveyancer.


Part-payment of the agreed purchase price paid by the buyer when contracts are exchanged.

Exchange of contracts

The point where the property sale becomes legally binding.

Financial Services Authority

The Financial Services Authority, or FSA, is the independent watchdog set up by the government to regulate financial services and protect your rights.


Full ownership of both the property and the land it stands on.


Low-cost shared ownership scheme.

Homebuyer’s report

A surveyor’s report on a property. This type of survey is less extensive than a full building survey but more extensive than the lender’s valuation.

Independent Financial Advisor (IFA)

Independent professional who offers advice on financial matters to clients and recommends suitable financial products from the market.

Land Registry fee

A fee paid to the Land Registry to register ownership of a property.

Lenders valuation

Mortgage lender working out the value of your property before agreeing to give out a mortgage.

Mortgage application fees

Fees charged by the lender to organise the mortgage for you. These are not usually refunded if you then do not go ahead with the mortgage. Some lenders will only charge such fees for specific mortgage deals.


The procedure when you sell your share of an affordable home ownership home.

Service charges

Charges made to shared ownership, in addition to the rent, for services associated with occupancy of their dwelling − for example, warden facilities, caretaking, cleaning, repairs and maintenance of communal areas.

Shared ownership

Scheme enabling people who cannot get full mortgages to purchase part of a home and to pay affordable rent on the remaining share. Buyers can staircase their stake of ownership in a property by purchasing further shares.


On option for shared ownership buyers to acquire more shares. For example, if the initial share was 25%, they may buy another 25% - bringing their total share up to 50%.

Stamp duty

Government tax on buying homes costing more than £125,000. The tax will be between 1% and 3%; more for higher-price homes. For the exact amount see Moving home: how much does it cost?

Valuation survey

Carried out by the lender to ensure the house's value is not less than the proposed loan.