What is Shared Ownership
Shared Ownership is an incentive scheme that allows you to buy a share of a new house (usually between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining part. Shared Ownership is also known as a part-buy, part-rent scheme. You can use this scheme to help you get on the property ladder, or to buy a bigger home than you could not afford on the open market.
Shared Ownership is perfect for first time buyers or those who currently do not own a home. This scheme is available to those in a household with a combined income of less than £80,000 a year, or £90,000 in London and if this is your first home or if you have owned a home before but can no longer afford to buy a property.
You will likely purchase your Shared Ownership property via a Housing Association. Your home will be a new build house or a re-sale of an existing Shared Ownership property, of which you’ll need to purchase the same percentage of shares as the existing owner, or more.
Am I eligible to buy a Shared Ownership home?
The scheme is available if you are part of a household earning up to £80,000 a year (or up to £90,000 if you live in London), and if this is your first home, or you used to be a homeowner but you can no longer afford to buy a property. You will also need to have no outstanding credit issues, so make sure you get your finances in order before you apply.
Although the Housing Association may have shares of up to 75% in your home, you will become the owner of the lease. As the leaseholder, you will be responsible for repairs inside the property and the Housing Association will take care of the outside. To cover any costs that might be necessary for outside work, you will need to pay a service charge, which will be charged on a monthly basis. It is a good idea to find out how much the service charge might be and factor that into your monthly outgoings, before you sign on the dotted line.
In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or alternatively you can purchase further shares in your home.
With most properties you are eventually able to own the property outright if you wish to, although there are some restrictions on rural schemes.
You don’t have to be a key worker, such as a nurse or teacher, to apply for shared ownership but military personnel will be given priority over other applicants.
What’s the application process?
- Speak to the housing team in your local council, or Housing Association, to see whether the scheme is available in your area and whether you’re eligible to apply.
- Look on the Share to Buy website to see what properties are available in England
- Find out if you can get a mortgage. Not all lenders will give you a mortgage for shared ownership but many of the major ones will. You will have to apply for a mortgage to pay for your share and will undergo strict affordability checks by the lender. You will also be expected to be able to provide a deposit.
- Make sure you will be able to afford all the costs of homeownership; including mortgage fees, moving costs, stamp duty, insurance, repairs, mantenance and, if it’s a flat in a block, your service charge. Remember for Shared Ownership, although you own only a share of the property, you still have to pay all of the maintenance costs.
Contact us on 01727 832383 for further information.