One of the myths we are constantly busting in our sales and marketing suites is that with Shared Ownership you’ll never own 100% of a home. In fact, Shared Ownership was created to make home ownership more accessible to those who can’t afford to buy outright. Want to know how it works and some top tips on getting there? Well, you’re in luck, we’re here to break it down for you.
First off, what is Shared Ownership in our words?
Shared Ownership is a government backed scheme aimed at helping people take their first steps onto the property ladder. Thanks to this scheme, buyers can purchase a share (25-75%) of their home rather than purchasing 100% all at once.
The best part, you can buy a new or existing ‘re-sale’ property with a much lower deposit than if you were buying the property outright. This is calculated on the share you purchase, rather than the full value of the property. You only pay a deposit based on the share you are buying, so this could be as low as £5,000.
What costs are involved?
You will pay a subsidised rent on the percentage of the home that you don’t yet own alongside the mortgage for your share. The higher the percentage that you own, the less rent you will pay. Some properties also include costs such as service charge, which can vary for different homes. Our sales team will break this down for you.
But, how do you end up owning the whole home?
This is done through staircasing, a process of purchasing further shares in your home until you reach 100%.
Ok, and how does that work?
When you buy your first home through Shared Ownership, you start buy purchasing a 25-75% share, whatever is affordable to you. When you want to purchase further shares (restricted to a minimum of 10%) your property will be re-valued in order to work out how much further shares would cost.
There will be additional fees associated with this process such as valuation, solicitor and mortgage related costs you will need to consider. These fees vary, so you will be advised of the exact costs by your solicitor and mortgage lender.
How will you know if now is the right time to staircase?
This is a question only you can answer. However, most residents have had a change in circumstances such as a large pay increase, inheritance, a change of jobs or added a significant other to their lease. These are all great opportunities to further invest in your property and future.
So, you’ve decided to opt for Shared Ownership?! Here are our top tips for kick starting your journey to owning your own home:
- Check to see whether you qualify for Shared Ownership. There are some restrictions in place to ensure that the scheme benefits the people who need it most:
- You cannot own a home in the UK or abroad at the time of completion.
- If you have enough savings to purchase a home outright in the area you want to live in, you will not qualify for Shared Ownership.
- You should have a regular income to cover your mortgage and rent. Your household cannot be higher than £90,000 (£80,000 outside of London).
- Some local authorities may have additional eligibility to ensure that the scheme benefits local people, such as you must live or work in the area you want to buy in.
- Have a look around. There are many housing providers, all building homes in different locations across the UK. Do your research and work out who would be the best provider for you.
- Make sure you have enough savings; Shared Ownership is a more affordable route onto the housing ladder but you will need to have sufficient savings to cover:
- Mortgage broker fees
- Legal fees
- Moving costs
- Sort out your finances. As well as having savings, you’ll need to cover your outgoings too. Our affordability team will look at your total household income and minus mortgage and rental costs as well as things such as council tax, energy bills, insurance and existing credit commitments such as car finance or credit cards. So, make sure your existing outgoings are as low as possible.
- Start looking at properties and their locations. Buying a home, no matter the share is a big commitment so make sure that you’re happy with everything before you put down your deposit.
- Continue to save once you have moved into your new home, this way staircasing may be closer than you first thought.
Latimer Housing has a number of Shared Ownership developments throughout the UK. For further information visit: