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How to find a home with Bromford

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Choosing your perfect home is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to face, but once you step foot into ‘the one’ you can just feel it’s right.  

You might be flying the nest and looking for your first place, need a bigger home for a growing family or need to downsize for a while.

We’ve had a few requests recently on applying for a home and how the process works, so we thought we should pull something together on the ‘ins and outs’ of finding that dream home.

Where’s the waiting list?

Gone are the days where you would put your name down on a piece of paper. Now, rather than first come first served, applying for a home is fair and based on your personal circumstances.

To apply for a home, you’ll need to join a ‘Choice Based Lettings’ website.

What is ‘Choice Based Lettings’?

Applying for a home is now carried out online. Your local council will have a website dedicated to listing all the available homes in their area.

These might be just for one specific council area, or a number of different councils might partner to run one. 

Once registered, you can search for available homes to ‘bid’ on. Rather than being in an auction, you’re simply putting your name against the property.

Most of our areas use ‘Homes Direct’. Here’s how it works:

To register and bid, use our map - here.

What is ‘banding’?

When you register with a choice based lettings website, you will be given a ‘banding’.

This banding determines how urgently you need to be given a home. How banding works will differ between each choice based lettings site.

Your banding may be higher if you’re:

  • Homeless
  • Overcrowded
  • Have a medical condition which requires a specialist home

If you live in a home which suits your needs, for example a couple in a one-bedroom flat, you will be considered adequately housed and therefore have a lower banding.

It’s probably worth noting that Bromford, like many other housing providers, do not decide on how things are listed, what the requirements are for each home or what band you are placed in.

How can I increase my banding?

Your banding may only increase if your circumstances change. There are no tips or tricks to ramp it up.

If your family has grown or life has become a bit more challenging, make sure you keep your details up to date.

A change in your circumstances could mean that your banding could change. This isn’t a guarantee, but it’s always best to keep them up to date.

I’m struggling on getting a home

Unfortunately there aren’t any shortcuts.

When bidding has closed, all applicants will be listed from top to bottom according to their banding. The higher the band, the higher up the list you will be.

We would recommend that you keep bidding on homes and updating your details if your circumstances change. It can be stressful and sometimes you might feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but your time will come.  

How do I know if my application has been successful?

If it is a Bromford home, we will contact you once the bidding has closed.

We will want to move you into your new home as soon as possible, so make sure you work with us and provide any information we ask for as soon as possible.

If you don’t, we will need to move onto the next applicant.

How else can I find a home?

The next best way to find a home is to swap.

You can swap your home with a Bromford customer or someone who is with another housing association through a ‘mutual exchange’.

You’ll need to register online through ‘Homeswapper’ or for certain areas you can use ‘Let’s Swap’. You can even place an advert on our specialist Facebook page ‘Bromford Homeswap’.

Here you’ll find a community of people looking to switch their home so just look out for something that takes your fancy, chat with the occupant and if all goes well, you can begin to swap. 

It doesn’t stop online. You can even put up an advert in your local newsagent or paper to find a home.

Find out more about swapping your home here.

Can I have a management move?

Emergency moves are only given in extreme circumstances.

If you feel you’re living in difficult conditions, we will work with you to help.

Make sure you talk to us.

How can I increase my chances of swapping?

Swapping a home is just like selling it. You need to ensure your home looks the part so when the potential swapper comes to visit, or wants to look at photos, they can imagine themselves living there straight away.

Here are some top tips:

  • First impressions count. The first thing your potential swapper will see is the front of your home. Make sure your front door has a fresh lick of paint if it needs it, the garden is tidy and there are no weeds in sight. Put up some hanging baskets or a flower bed and give the area a good sweep.
  • De-clutter. Tidy up around the home, organise and store. Create open spaces and give everywhere a good clean.
  • Give a room purpose. If your spare room has become an overfill room, clean up and show it off as a spare room. Swappers will want to see the house as it might be used, so a spare room could be a nursery or office for example.
  • The smells of home. Some estate agent top tips include the smell of bread, coffee and flowers to give a homely impression.
  • Be available. Keep your diary open to let someone visit your home. Don’t set them to a strict limit.

Got a question about finding or moving home? Then get in touch.