What is shared ownership?
Whether you are renting, a first time buyer, second time buyer or moving due to a change in circumstances shared ownership can enable you to get a foot on the property ladder, without the need to buy a whole property outright. This is why shared ownership is often referred to as part buy, part rent.
Shared ownership gives you the opportunity to buy a share in a home from as little as 25% of the house value. On the remaining part of the property that you do not buy, you pay a subsidised rent. The current rate for the rented portion is 2.75%, which will be outlined in the property lease.
Initially you can buy up to a 75% share and ultimately up to 100% on certain homes. However, on some homes the maximum purchase is set at 80%. This is so that the home remains for the benefit of others who might need to purchase through shared ownership.
How does shared ownership work?
- Subject to affordability you buy a share a home, from 25% on a long-term lease.
- The owned share can be paid for by taking out a mortgage or with a lump sum from savings, inheritance or from the sale of a former property.
- You cannot purchase a shared ownership property as a second home.
- Most mortgage lenders require a deposit. You will need to pay this on the share that you are purchasing, not the whole house value.
- You will have the normal rights and responsibilities of home ownership such as repairs and decoration.
- After the initial purchase you can increase the percentage share if your circumstances later allow. This is called staircasing.
Who is eligible for shared ownership?
You can buy a home through shared ownership if:
- Your household earns £80,000 a year or less
- You are a first-time buyer, living at home or renting
- Your circumstances have changed, you previously owned a home but cannot now afford to buy a new home outright
How to apply
You can get a good indication of your eligibility to purchase as shared ownership home by registering with Help to Buy and completing their shared ownership application. For some properties registering is also a specific requirement of the property purchase.
You can do this online at www.helptobuyagent2.org.uk/apply-online
You can also call them on 0345 850 2050 for help and advice.
When you have registered with Help to Buy you will be given you a reference number. We will ask for this number and also a decision in principle from a lender if you need a mortgage.
Once you have found a shared ownership home advertised on our website that you would like to purchase from us, we will ask you to complete our application form, which can be found below. If the new home is already built, we can arrange a viewing. You can also reserve homes off-plan.
Completed application forms need to be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also ask you to copy and scan supporting documentation. If you are not able to do this, we will provide you with a postal address to use instead.