Andrew Pyner, 49, moved into his Shared Ownership property 20 years ago and has just extended his lease. Andrew talks about his experiences and the benefits of doing this.
Andrew comments, "I was born and brought up in London and then moved up North. Twenty years ago I was able to relocate back to London where I rented several properties. It was getting very tiring moving regularly and not being settled in one location. I decided to explore the option of buying a property of my own and came across an East Thames property which was up for re-sale.
"The original owner had purchased the property through Shared Ownership and the property was just what I was looking for. It was a two bedroom duplex apartment in Walthamstow in a small gated development, with only 12 other properties. Each flat had its own front door leading onto the development and it also had a balcony which I really liked. Looking at my finances I was able to purchase 100% of the value of the property on a 99 year lease for around £74,000."
Andrew, who works in the travel business, has been able to pay off his mortgage over the years but was starting to become aware that the length of the lease was reducing to below 80 years. Andrew continues, "As your lease gets shorter, the value of the lease decreases and in turn this can affect the value of your property. In addition, if I wanted to sell my property, it would make it harder to sell because mortgage lenders don't like to lend money on properties with a lease under 80 years.
"I approached East Thames as the leaseholders, and they were able to put me in touch with solicitors and Danielle at East Thames guided me through the whole process, which was a great help. The procedure can take some time and if you wish to go ahead you need to be prepared to cover all the costs.
"In hindsight, I wish I had considered doing this after two years of owning the property as it would have been much cheaper as the cost increases each year the lease goes down. All in all I spent around £6,000 but I would recommend anyone to do it. I now have 180 years left on my lease and have locked in the value of my property which is great news."
What are costs are involved?
The up front costs involved in a lease extension will depend on the lease you currently hold and the procedure you wish to follow (All gures are approximate on a standard lease, if matters are particularly protracted further legal costs may be incurred):