Shared Ownership has become increasingly popular with first time buyers, growing families and even couples looking to downsize towards retirement. So, let us look at why the scheme has seen such high demand.  

The Shared Ownership Process 

For many, shared ownership is the ideal alternative to purchasing a home on the open market because of its affordability and flexibility. The scheme is designed to help people get on the housing ladder by purchasing a percentage of a property, between 25%- 75%, giving you breathing room to buy as much of the home as you can afford and pay rent on the remaining percentage of the property you do not own.  

Another appeal of Shared Ownership is that in most cases you will only need a 5% deposit. This is based on the percentage share you are buying and not the full property value, making it even more affordable. When the time is right you can purchase more of the property, often staircasing to 100% and acquiring the freehold to your home. If you are a shared owner of a flat or apartment, you will become a long-term leaseholder.  

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for shared ownership?

If you do not currently own another property, or you are in the process of selling your property, you will be eligible for Shared Ownership. Shared ownership is available to anyone over the age of 18, as long you meet the criteria. While it is most attractive to first time buyers, it is also a great option for downsizers and growing families. 

Can you completely own a Shared Ownership Property?

The beauty of shared ownership is that in your own time you can control the stake you have in the property, and in most cases increase this all the way to 100%. You may still have some grounds and service charges at this point, but we cover these details in our shared ownership guide. 

Mortgage payments and rent – is it expensive?

Costs of renting a property alone can be particularly expensive however with shared ownership, you often pay less than you would if you were to rent through a private landlord, and in time you will most likely have the chance to own the property outright. 

What is Staircasing?

Staircasing is the process that allows you to buy more shares in your home, owning a greater proportion of it each time you staircase. The more shares you own, the less rent you pay.  

Can you move from one shared ownership to another?

Yes, moving from one shared ownership home to another is increasingly popular. Most things in life are unpredictable and may leave you wanting to downsize or even needing a playroom! It is worth noting that the process of moving from one shared ownership home to another can have its complexities. Often, owners will have to vacate the current property before completion of their new home. It is important you contact your housing provider as soon as possible and seek financial advice before taking the next steps. 

Is Shared Ownership suitable for growing families?

Many shared ownership properties are the ideal place for growing families to call home. Recently, Viaduct Housing Partnership has been able to advertise two-, three- and four-bedroom homes through Shared Ownership - giving you that peace of mind when you start looking. 

Can you decorate if you do not own 100% of the property?

One of the best things about becoming homeowners is putting your own stamp on the property. Whilst you will need permission to make any structural changes, you are free to decorate to your hearts content.  

Can you sell the property if you do not own it outright?

As a percentage of your home still sits with the housing association, it is at their discretion to take up the specified nomination period and advertise the property to people on their waiting list. You will only be able to advertise the property yourself if they are not able to sell it within the outlined period in your lease. Once the sale has gone through, you will receive your stake in the house based on its valuation at the time. 

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