First time home buyer jargon and terminology

When you’re entering the home-buying scene for the first time, the amount of jargon thrown at you can be a bit overwhelming. But with our guide to first time buyer terms, you can buy your first home with full confidence.

Deposit Unlock

Deposit Unlock isn’t exactly a box with a key that holds your dream deposit, but the principle is just about the same. Using the Deposit Unlock scheme, you can buy a new-build home with as little as a 5% deposit. This is because your home builder will step in and insure your mortgage for you, cutting down on the time-consuming process of saving for a deposit.

Discount Full Ownership

You’re not imagining things – Discount Full Ownership does exactly what you would expect. Making home-buying more affordable for first time buyers, Discount Full Ownership provides homes at up to 20% off the market rate. There’s no catch, but you’ll need to find a housing provider that offers the scheme.

First Homes discount

As the name suggests, the First Homes discount is a scheme that offers first time buyers a great discount on their first home. The scheme makes it possible to buy a home with at least 30% off the market price, and up to 50%, resulting in a much more manageable deposit price.

London Living Rent

Directed at middle-income Londoners who can’t quite afford a home, London Living Rent provides high-quality homes to rent at an affordable price. This is a great option for people who are renting a home, and want extra breathing room to save up for a house deposit. Eventually, you’ll also have the option to buy your home through Shared Ownership!

Intermediate Rent

Intermediate Rent might sound like a level of difficulty, but there’s nothing difficult about the discount it offers on traditional renting. Saving you from sky-high rental prices in London and beyond, you can rent a home at a rate lower than you would normally expect in a similar area. Designed for people who want to save more money for their home while they rent, Intermediate Rent offers high-quality rental homes that are 20% lower than what you’d pay on the open market.

Mortgage in principle

Also known as an Agreement in Principle, a Mortgage in Principle is an agreement provided by your bank or mortgage provider to lend you a certain amount of money. This can help strengthen your hand when it comes to buying your home, making you look more serious as a buyer.

House survey

Want the peace of mind of knowing your home won’t break down at any moment? With a house survey, you can identify any defects in your property before they become serious problems. A qualified surveyor will step in to assess the condition of your home, including services like water, gas and electricity. Identifying things that the average eye wouldn’t be able to spot, a house survey can let you know what repairs (if any) are needed.


Gazumping is a term to describe what happens when you have an agreement with a seller, but your seller accepts another higher offer. As you can imagine, this can be extremely inconvenient and frustrating, especially if you have already spent money on moving and conveyancing services. To try and avoid it, do everything you can to avoid delays in the home-buying process. The sooner you can get it all done, the lower your chances of getting gazumped.

Exchange of contracts

There’s no going back now. Occurring at the end of the conveyancing process, the exchange of contracts is the moment your house purchase becomes legally binding. This means you are bound to purchase your home at the price that you agreed, and your seller has to sell it to you.

Valuation survey

There’s more to buying your first home than the initial price tag. With a valuation survey, you can get an accurate idea of what your property’s market value is, before you commit to buying. Considering factors like location and the condition of the property, a valuation survey will give you an impartial view of the property you’re buying.

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Is there a home-buying term you can’t quite get your head around? At Share to Buy, you can get to grips with all of the key home-buying terms, or find an affordable home of your own using our property portal.