Article by Jeffrey Gritzman
The three most important things to look for when looking to buy a home are said to be location, location, location. The reasons why you want to live in a particular location vary from person to person: close to work, close to transport, good school catchment areas, near family and friends, it’s the area I know, it’s trendy, up and coming, prices bound to go up in the next few years, handy restaurants, bars and coffee shops...you can add your own reasons why somewhere is the place you really want to live.
And if you’ve got enough money you can live there. But if you’re on a budget, then you’re stuck, having to buy where the developers and housing associations offering affordable homes have their new-build properties. Or do you?
Under Conservative and Labour Government sponsored initiatives, housing associations have been offering shared ownership, a way of helping people with modest incomes onto the homeownership ladder, for over 30 years. And the homes they provide, are designated to go on helping people become home owners into the future. So, when a shared owner decides to move on, the first option that they and the housing association they’re partnering with has, is to find somebody else who can benefit from the shared ownership opportunity.
What that means is wider choice. Shared ownership properties that have been built over the whole of the past 30 years could be available to you. Different styles of properties in areas that were just starting to become popular 10, 20 and even 30 years ago but are now established, areas where you grew up and where your parents and family members live but have seen little in the way of new building for years, all of them might have shared ownership properties that you aren’t aware of, available for you.
The main reason that you don’t know about them is that housing associations have very little money to shout about these ‘one- off’ shared ownership opportunities. But they are there and it’s up to you to find out about them. In the second-hand market,furniture is often referred to as pre-owned, clothing as pre-loved and when its shared ownership, housing associations often call them resales. So contact the housing association in the areas you want to live in and ask if they have any resales going.