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When you buy a home through a shared ownership scheme you buy a share of the property and pay rent on the rest, eligibility criteria to secure a mortgage to buy a share (usually 25% and 75%) in property whilst paying rent on the rest of the share.
As the buyer only needs a mortgage for the share they are purchasing the deposit required is usually a lot lower when compared to a purchasing the property outright.
The buyer has the opportunity to purchase additional shares during the time in the property through a process known as staircasing and in most cases can staircase all the way to 100%.

As the buyer owns more share in the property the rent they need to pay will reduce and once they own 100% of the property they will no longer need to pay rent.

The eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership
If you are interested in shared ownership, there are some general eligibility criteria you must meet as follows:

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • Your household income must be £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 a year or less in London).
  • You are a first time buyer or in the process of selling your home.
  • You should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market.
  • You must show you are not in rent or mortgage arrears.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good credit history and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home.

You should also check the eligibility criteria required with the housing association selling the property, as they may their own specific requirement.

Buying a Shared Ownership home
To purchase a Shared Ownership home you will need register with Share to Buy, which will allow you to search for suitable Shared Ownership properties and contact housing associations for viewings.

When you have chosen a property you will need to ensure you have the required deposit and are able to obtain a mortgage.

What to do before applying for a Shared Ownership home

  • Check the eligibility criteria of the housing provider of the property you are interested in.
  • Price up the various costs and work out your monthly payments.
  • Read and understand your lease and what restrictions it sets out.
  • Consider your long term plans and whether you can afford to staircase


About the Author Amdad Hussain 

Amdad started his legal career in 2015 and has focused on residential conveyancing. During his time he has been dealing with Freehold, Leasehold and Right to Buy matters and since joining Walker Solicitors in May 2019 he has progressed to dealing with Development and Plot Sales.

Tel: 01922 639080

@: amh@walkersolicitors.com

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