What is Shared Ownership?
Owning your dream family home could be more affordable than you think when you use this fantastic government-backed Part Buy/Part Rent scheme.
With Shared Ownership you can buy a share of your new home from a housing association, typically between 25% to 75% of the home's value, whilst paying rent on the share that you don't own. So if you have a smaller deposit and a moderate income you can still own the home you’ve been dreaming of, in the area that you want to live, with less deposit and less monthly outgoings to worry about.
What's more, if your financial circumstances change and you have more money to invest after you’ve moved in, you have the option to buy a bigger share up to 100% of your home in the future, this is called 'staircasing'.
Sound too good to be true? Thousands of people across the UK are taking advantage of this fantastic scheme with this trend set to continue.
Who can apply?
The big question we all ask when considering Shared Ownership is – am I eligible? There are two things to think about when looking to use Shared Ownership.
- You must earn less than £80,000 a year, per household (£90,000 if you’re in London, £60,000 in Wales, Scotland no cap specified)
- You must be a first-time buyer, or no longer have your name attached to a property.
How can I get a mortgage for Shared Ownership?
You’ll need a mortgage in the same way you would if you were buying on the open market. Shared Ownership mortgages are available from most mortgage lenders, who will lend to you if you have a 5% deposit or greater.
Example: Say you've bought a 25% share of a £180,000 new home, worth £45,000. The monthly payment would split into two parts, 1) a repayment on a mortgage and 2) a monthly rent.
If you put down a 10% deposit (£4,500), the mortgage required will be for the remainder of your share, i.e. £40,500, or £186.83 per month. The housing association charges rent on the share that they own, which would be £309.83 a month. Therefore the total amount payable each month would be £496.66 per month.
Don’t worry, we have our expert in-house financial advisors, The Mortgage Bureau, on hand to answer any of your questions and to find out if this is the right scheme for you.
What are the advantages of Shared Ownership?
The benefits of opting for a part rent/part buy scheme is that you have flexibility in terms of the deposit and share you want to buy which means your mortgage is manageable based on your income. For many this is a much more affordable route than full rental, traditional mortgage or Help to Buy options. Although you are paying rent, you can gradually reduce this amount by staircasing your way out of the agreement and own up to 100% of your home. This is a fantastic scheme for lots of people across the UK who may have struggled previously to buy their own home.
Debbie, one of our customers bought her family home in her dream coastal location. It was always her and her husband’s dream to own a home in the picturesque village of St Agnes, situated on the North coast of Cornwall.
When the couple found they were expecting, they began to look at ways in which they could make their dream come true. When their daughter Gracie was born, the pressure was really on to find somewhere suitable for their young family.
But with house prices so high in their preferred locations, as well as the usual outgoings, which now included nursery fees, escaping their rented rundown bungalow in Porthtowan seemed impossible.
However, thanks to the Shared Ownership scheme, the couple were able to put down a 5% deposit of the 50% share to buy a brand new 3-bedroom end-of-terrace home in St Agnes, built by Beechgrove Homes, part of the Sanctuary Group and one of our premier developers.
Debbie said: “Living within walking distance of the beach really is a dream come true. St Agnes is a gorgeous village and the local community have made us feel really welcome.
The development itself is fantastic and includes a great play area which our daughter loves. Charlotte, the sales manager at Countrywide, was so helpful and guided us through the whole process. In fact, we became firm friends and are still in touch."
Having worked in the property market for over 30 years, here’s what the UK New Homes Managing Director, Owen McClaughlin thinks about the scheme:
“With property prices on the rise in such a busy market place, a shared ownership purchase can enable buyers to own the home that suits their family circumstances more quickly than if they were buying a home outright. Buyers are able to purchase additional shares after they’ve moved in and using this scheme can be cheaper than renting. An owner can also sell a shared ownership property at any time, making sure there is a benefit from any increase in value since they bought their home, which are all excellent reasons as to why thousands of people are taking advantage of this fantastic scheme across the UK.”
What are the disadvantages of Shared Ownership?
This type of purchase isn’t for everyone and there may be some additional costs and restrictions on what you can and can’t do with the property under the lease agreement. It is always advisable to do your homework in terms of maintenance charges and costs associated with staircasing, including mortgage, legal and valuation fees. There may also be other stipulations in the contract regarding renting the property and making changes under the lease, but our inhouse team of experts will be able to guide you through the process.
It is fair to say that the positives outweigh the negatives as far as Shared Ownership is concerned. Providing you go into the purchase with your eyes open to future staircasing costs and potential lease restrictions, part-rent-part-buy is an affordable way to buy a home. You have control of the deposit and share you want to purchase to keep costs at a level you can afford. Over time you can own more and more of your home and even take advantage of price rises should you decide to sell in the future.
We are here to guide you step by step throughout the whole process, from the day you enquire to the moment you move in. With Shared Ownership helping more than 200,000 people buy a new home now is the time to make your move.