What is shared ownership?
Shared ownership is a government scheme that allows you to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the un-owned share. It’s an affordable way to get on the property ladder. You can usually buy shares between 10% and 75% of the property value. You typically need to put down a minimum of 5% deposit, depending on the mortgage lender, but that’s only on your share rather than the total property price. Later on, you could buy bigger shares if you want to,usually until you own the home outright, this is
known as staircasing.
Am I Eligible?
Eligible applicants must meet the below criteria:
- The applicant is unable to buy a property on the open market due to income level or deposit amount. Cash purchasers can also apply.
- Existing homeowners that have had a change in circumstances such as a relationship breakdown. At the time of completing on your shared ownership home. You must have your name removed from any other property title.
- Be over the age of 18.
- Applicants must not have an income in excess of £80,000 per annum.
- The property must be the applicant’s main and only residence.
How do I apply?
First, you’ll need to apply to your local Help to Buy agent. You can find your local agent on the government’s Help to Buy website. Your application will be assessed within around four days. If accepted, you can start looking for a shared ownership property. Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, you’ll need to go through a financial assessment with the housing association. They will typically ask to see:
- Three months payslips.
- Three months bank statements.
- Proof of ID.
- Proof of savings.
- A mortgage in principle.
- Information about existing debts and other credit arrangements.
Following this assessment, you’ll find out what share you can afford to buy and can then pay a reservation fee.
The Shared Ownership Timeline
- Register with local help to buy agent.
- Find suitable property.
- Go through financial assessment with the housing association.
- Pay reservation fee.
- Instruct a solicitor.
- Submit full mortgage application.
- Once legal work is completed and you have a mortgage offer– exchange contracts.
- Complete – Congratulations!
What is staircasing?
It is possible to buy further shares of your property from the housing association - this is known as staircasing. The cost of increasing your share will depend on the market value of the property at the time. To staircase, you’ll need to pay for a RICs valuation and ensure you have the cash or mortgage finance in place to purchase the additional shares.
What happens when I want to sell?
You can sell your shared ownership property at any time. You will need to pay for a 100% open market valuation by a qualified RICs chartered surveyor. This will determine the value of your home. You are only able to sell the percentage of equity you own and the valuation will determine the maximum asking price for your share.
For example if the valuation is £100,000 and you own a 50% share then the maximum selling price will be £50,000. You cannot ask for more than it is valued at however, you can accept a lower price.
Once the housing association have approved the valuation you are free to market your share with an estate agent of your choice. Any buyers will need to apply to the housing association and be approved for the shared ownership scheme. You are responsible for paying any estate agents charges and solicitors fees.
What are the advantages of shared ownership?
- It can enable you to get onto the property ladder more quickly than you might if you were buying a home outright as yo need a lower deposit.
- You can buy additional shares as and when you can afford to.
- It may be cheaper than private renting.
- You can sell a shared ownership property at any time, and will benefit from any increase in value it’s seen since you bought it.