Does it mean you have to share a house with someone?
“Shared Ownership is associated with a number of perceptions. For some people, the phrase might bring back mildly alarming memories of living with housemates and their accompanying clutter. For others, the idea of owning only part of a home is simply less preferable to owning all of it. Shared Ownership however, makes home ownership more accessible, not through the lending of more money like in other Help to Buy schemes, but by allowing the buyer to borrow less.”
Is Shared Ownership more affordable than other schemes?
“With Help to Buy, you might put down a deposit of 5% on the full purchase price of the home. With a Shared Ownership scheme, you’ll need a deposit of 5% on your share only, keeping costs lower and potentially increasing your chances of securing a mortgage. Buying a home this way means that you are only buying a part of it straightaway. You might have heard of it previously referred to as Part Buy Part Rent, or NewBuild Homebuy.”
How does it work?
“Most people will start by buying a share of between 25% and 75% of the total value of the home, and purchase more shares when they are able to (a process known as ‘staircasing’). The remainder is owned by the housing association, and you’ll pay a subsidised rent on this share. This means that the deposit and mortgage required will be significantly less than you’d need to buy the whole home. As more shares are bought and ownership is increased, the rental payment will reduce.”
Who can apply for Shared Ownership?
“Shared ownership is government funded and designed as a stepping stone for people who otherwise could not afford to buy a home on the open market. It is not solely designed for first-time buyers, but there is criteria to meet in order to be eligible. For example, there are maximum household income levels in place to ensure that properties are accessible to applicants who are unable to purchase on the open market; within a London borough it’s £90,000 and outside a London borough it’s £80,000. There are also no minimum income thresholds, however we will need to check that you’ll be able to afford to purchase your home and that this will remain the case in the long term.”
How do you apply for Shared Ownership?
“If you are applying for a home outside of a London Borough you will need to apply to your local Help to Buy agent, you can find them by visiting the Help to Buy website here: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/find-helptobuy-agent/”
What if I already own a property?
“If you currently own a property, you will be required to sell before we would accept an offer on a Shared Ownership home - we do this so we can help as many people as possible. In this case, we will require evidence to show that you have a buyer and solicitors have been instructed.”
Where I can find a Shared Ownership home?
“Shared Ownership homes come in all shapes and sizes to suit all sorts of lifestyles. The stunning one and two-bedroom apartments at Chiswick Gate in Hounslow are ideal for those commuting into London. A 30% share of a one-bedroom apartment will cost £159,000, compared to the full market price of £530,000 with only a 5% deposit required.
Hatchwood Mill in Wokingham is perfect if you’re looking for a beautiful family home with a garden for children to play. Prices for the two-bedroom semi-detached houses with a study start from just £175,000 for a 40% share (full market value £437,500).
You can find out more about all the homes currently available to purchase through Shared Ownership with Thames Valley Housing by calling 0208 607 0550 or visiting https://tvhsales.co.uk/.”
By Kush Rawal, Sales & Marketing Director at Thames Valley Housing