How to prepare for and make the most of your visit to a Help to Buy Show

Published: August 2018

Making the most of your visit to a Help to Buy show!

Help to Buy South is the Government-appointed Help to Buy Agent covering the South, including Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and Mendip. We host free events across the region, giving new and existing applicants the opportunity to find out about the Help to Buy Equity Loan, Shared Ownership and Rental schemes, existing and upcoming developments in your areas of interest, as well as advice from our specialist team of Financial Advisors and solicitors.  Our shows are designed to give you as much information as possible, to allow you to make the best decision for your needs.

We want to ensure your visit to our show is the best it can be, so we’ve put some hints and tips together so you know how to prepare, what to do when you get to the show and what you might want to do after your visit.

First up; tickets.

If you haven’t already done so you can download your free tickets in advance by visiting the event listings page and selecting the show of your choice. You don’t need to print your email or tickets as on the day we’ll have a check in kiosk where you can sign in using your e-ticket number or surname.

If you download tickets but don’t receive an email, don’t worry, first check your spam or junk mail box as they might be in there, or it might be that your email server is rejecting the emails from the ticket website. This isn’t a problem as the tickets don’t need to be printed. The reason we ask you to get tickets is so that we can learn a little more about our customers and so we know how many people to expect at the shows.

Next; preparation – the different home-buying and rental schemes on offer.

It doesn’t matter if you have or haven’t completed a full application with Help to Buy South before attending one of our shows, but you will need to before applying to buy a home. We think you’ll get more out of your visit if you have a read-up on how the Help to Buy schemes work before you attend, as this may help you decide which you prefer or which one is more affordable for you.

If you can get an understanding of the different schemes available, including Shared Ownership, Help to Buy Equity Loan and Intermediate Rent, then when you arrive you’ll have a better idea of who you would like to speak to. You can read the downloadable guides on our website for a full overview on each scheme. On arrival at the show we’ll also give you an event guide, including a room plan & who’s who at the show.

If you still aren’t sure about the schemes or don’t know who to talk to first just come and ask one of our expert Help to Buy South team; that’s what we’re here for! We will be at our own designated stand and all be wearing grey tops with the Help to Buy logo.

At the show; what to do.

When you arrive please come to the check in kiosk first so we know you’ve come along to the show, then pick up your free event guide and goody bag and decide who you want to go and speak to first.

Your free event guide contains a really helpful floor plan, take a look before starting to explore. The house providers such as developers offering the Help to Buy Equity Loan and Housing Associations offering Shared Ownership will be marked on the room plan as pink and blue stands. Housing Associations will be marked in pink and the developers will be in blue. If you’d like to chat to a solicitor first then they are marked as grey tables. The financial advisors will be all be located together in a separate room or area within in the main room – they are indicated by the orange section on the room plan.

Then take a walk around, speak to exhibitors and ask as many questions as you want. No question is a silly one! You can take away details of homes, freebies and information packs, and don’t forget to register your interest in any homes you like the look of. You might arrange a site viewing, or even reserve a new home on the day!

Exhibitors at the shows will include Housing Associations and Developers offering homes in the area*. The developers and housing associations will be able to let you know about current homes for sale and to rent, as well as giving you that expert ‘heads up’ on any new developments or homes coming up in the coming months. By finding out about these properties first at a show, you can then put yourself in the best situation to be able to apply or buy one of these homes by ensuring you have enough savings for your deposit, and getting together the required paperwork in advance.

Free Financial Assessments

If you’re planning on having a free financial assessment with one of our advisors, they’re great as they help you to find out what you can raise in a mortgage, what you could expect to pay each month on your new property, and how much deposit and savings you will require. But don’t worry, there’s no credit check and you don’t need to bring proof of anything, you’ll just need to know your annual salary, details of any regular overtime or bonuses, as well as any monthly commitments such as credit card or loan payments. We’ve made this handy form you can fill in before you come to the show so you know all the answers the financial advisors will ask you. And remember, if you will be making a joint application with your partner, you’ll need to know their information too. If you have any CCJ’s or have ever been declared bankrupt you will need to tell the advisor this at the beginning of your assessment.

The Financial Advisors (FAs) are often the busiest exhibitor at our events, so please arrive to the show in plenty of time and at least 2 hours before the end to ensure there is enough time for an assessment to be carried out and so you can speak to other exhibitors if you wish. Your assessment will last for approximately 15 – 20 minutes so they won’t be able to give you all the answers, but will certainly be able to get you started in understanding the financial requirements of buying a home.

So what happens once you’ve left the show?

Well that’s up to you! At the event, you will have the opportunity to express your interest in any properties, arrange viewings of show homes or simply just take a look at what’s on offer. We pride our events on ensuring that you don’t feel pressured into anything on the day, or afterwards, and although you have the opportunity to take the first step in reserving a new home, nobody is going to make you if you’re not ready yet. Make sure you get details of any key contacts that you might like to call or email after the event, or let the exhibitors know if you’d like them to get in touch with you.

And don’t forget to register with us if you haven’t already! We’ll have our application station at the show so you can register with us whilst you’re there, we can then answer any questions you may have about your application.

Be social

Keep up to date with us on social media for all the latest goings-on. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, simply search for Help to Buy South.

And finally…

Our shows are always free and offer free parking whilst ensuring accessibility for all. Take a look at our upcoming Autumn shows and sign up now to reserve a place!

Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Southampton, Wednesday 19th June 3pm – 8pm.

We’ll see you at the show!

*Please note the types of exhibitors exhibiting vary at each show; some shows will have more exhibitors than others particularly those offering homes on the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme.