There are a variety of reasons that make people want to buy a home. Sometimes renting has become more of a drain than an investment and you want to hop onto the property ladder. Alternatively, you may already own a home and think that you won’t qualify for shared ownership schemes – but that might not necessarily be the case.
For example, if you are struggling to buy into an area you need or if you are living in a property which is becoming too cramped for your family, then you could still qualify.
And if you’re over 55, there is an Older Person’s Shared Ownership scheme which has been designed with you in mind – for more information on this, see pages 38 and 39.
So now do you think shared ownership could be the way forward? Read Homefocus’s introduction to shared ownership to become even more informed as you begin your moving journey.
For example, did you know you can secure a house on as little as a 5% deposit on your share? Did you know that you can just buy a small share of your home to ensure affordable monthly repayments? And did you know buying could prove to be cheaper than renting? If the answer is no, then take a thorough look at the magazine before asking your local housing association to get you on the right path.
And if you think you’re already an expert on the subject then we challenge you to read Homefocus – and fail to learn a thing or two!
What’s it all about?
Thousands of people up and down the country are picking up the keys to their very own home, thanks to affordable housing schemes. Now, that term might raise a few eyebrows, but in reality, it does exactly what it says on the tin: make home ownership affordable – in many cases, it can cost less than renting.
Plus, the term affordable home ownership covers a whole range of different schemes, each one slightly different to cater for a number of different needs. So, whether you have enough to pay for the majority of your home, or can only afford a small share, there is help out there for everyone.
What’s more, the majority of schemes are backed by the government, so you can be sure that the help you receive is there for good. It’s unlike renting privately, where your landlord could end your tenancy.
Which schemes are available?
Help to Buy Equity Loan
You own 100% of your home, but only have to cover a percentage of the initial cost with your mortgage and deposit. You can defer the rest as it’s covered by an equity loan. There’s nothing to pay on the equity loan for a few years, and the scheme you choose will determine whether you pay any interest after this and when you have to pay the loan back.
Also known as part-buy/part-rent, this works by allowing you to buy a share (between 25% and 75%) of your home and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder, which is owned by a housing association or local authority.
Save as you rent
There are options offered by housing associations that will help and encourage you to save towards a deposit for a home. For example, Rent to Buy will allow you to pay a reduced rent on the understanding that you will buy that specific home in due course.
Intermediate rent will provide you with a reduced rent to save for a deposit to buy elsewhere.
A savings scheme which can help first time buyers put away up to £4,000 a year and receive a 25% government bonus. It’s worth starting even if you’re not sure when you’ll be able to buy your first property as the money will go a long way towards your deposit.
Am I eligible?
Any first time buyer with a household income LESS than £80,000 outside London, and £90,000 in London, will be able to apply for shared ownership. For Help to Buy, the criteria is even wider. And for the Lifetime ISA, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 39 and are a UK resident, and planning to save for your first home, you can open a Lifetime ISA.
You could also be eligible if:
* You’ve owned a home in the past, but don’t own one now
* You need to buy a home of your own for the first time, for example after a relationship breakdown
* You own your own home but it’s far too small for your needs – for example you have two children in a one-bedroom flat and you can’t afford to buy somewhere bigger
* You can’t otherwise afford to buy a suitable home in the area you need to live in.
Where do I start?
Find out more in our magazine and on our website, or to get the ball rolling visit:
• your housing association/council
• in London see london.gov.uk/homes.