The share can be as little as 10% rising to 75% of the property’s full market value and provides you with an opportunity to get onto the housing ladder. Generally you will pay rent on the share retained by the Housing Association.
Am I eligible to purchase a Shared Ownership property?
In order to be eligible to purchase a shared ownership property the following criteria will need to be met:
- You will need to be either a first time buyer, someone who currently owns a shared ownership property and is now looking to move or a former homeowner who can no longer afford to buy a property
- You will need to be over the age of 18 years old
- You will need to have an annual household income of less than £80,000 a year or less when purchasing outside of London and a household income of less that £90,000 if you are purchasing in London.
How does shared ownership work?
When your purchase a shared ownership property you are able to decide what share of the property you can afford to buy and you pay rent to the housing provider on the rest. You can then take a mortgage out to buy your share or pay for your share from your own savings. You will also need to pay a deposit which is normally between 5% and 10% of the share you’re looking to buy and not of the full market value of the property.
In the future you are able to increase the share you own in the property by a process called staircasing. Staircasing allows you to purchase up to 75% of the property and in some cases you are able to purchase 100% of the property however not all associations allow you to purchase a 100% share so you will need to check this with the association beforehand.
Each time you staircase there is a legal cost that you will incur so you will need to bear this in mind when deciding how much of a share you wish to purchase, there may also be stamp duty implications each time you buy a further share in the property. Some associations may also limit the amount of times you can staircase so this is a question that should be asked if you are considering buying a shared ownership property.
What homes can I buy through shared ownership?
You can buy:
- An existing property through the shared ownership scheme
- A new build property
- A property that meets your specific requirements
How to apply for a shared ownership property?
If you are interest in purchasing a shared ownership property you will need to register with the Help to Buy agent in the area of England you wish to live in. The Help to Buy Agent will then assist you in completing the application form and confirm your eligibility of the scheme.
Once your eligibility has been confirmed you will need to find a shared ownership home you wish to purchase. Your details will then be passed to a mortgage advisor who will be able to assess your affordability and let you know the share that you can afford to purchase.
How does a Reservation Fee work?
The reservation fee is paid to the landlord to secure your home. The payment of this fee means that no one else will be able to reserve your home for a fixed period and you will be informed by the landlord what the fee is and how long you are able to reserve the property for. The fee is then deducted from the final amount you will need to pay on the completion day (the day you buy the property). In most cases, if you decided to no longer proceed with the purchase after the fee has been paid you will not usually get a refund of the fee, however its best to check with your landlord before your reserve the property regarding this.
After the fee has been paid and you have reserved your property you will need to find a property lawyer to handle the conveyancing transaction for you.
How can Waldrons assist with your Shared Ownership?
Here at Waldrons we have a dedicated team of specialist property lawyers who will be able to represent you in your purchase of your shared ownership property.
Our role involves guiding you through the legal process from when you instruct us up until the completion and would include explaining the terms of the shared ownership lease, checking the conditions of your mortgage offer if you require mortgage assistance and carrying out the necessary legal searches that are required.
We offer a personalised service to our clients and you will deal with a named property lawyer who has a direct email address and direct telephone number.
Furthermore, we operate on a no sale no fee guarantee therefore if you have a change of heart, we will not charge you for any legal work that we have carried out on your behalf to date! If you’d like further advice, please click here to contact us.