Shared ownership schemes are a cross between buying and renting; aimed mainly at first-time buyers. These schemes are intended to support those people who don’t earn enough to buy a home outright. Most of the homes available are newly built, but some are properties being re-sold by housing associations. You own a share and then rent the part you don’t own at a reduced rate. With shared ownership, you buy between a quarter and three-quarters of a property, with the option to buy a bigger share in the property at a later date.
Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
The criteria for who’s eligible for the shared ownership scheme varies from country to country. In England, you need to meet one of the following;
• Be a first-time buyer or someone who used to own a home but can’t afford one now
• Have combined household income of less than £80,000 (in London, it’s less than £90,000)
• Already rent a council or housing association property.
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. https://www.sharetobuy.com/
• 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 still have to apply for a mortgage to pay for your share and will have to 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, maintenance 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.
Take a look at our current shared ownership development - Vertex