Staircasing explained: moving up to 100% ownership of  your home

staircasing on shared ownership - wooden stairs

Victoria Galligan, Editor of Homefocus magazine, explains the term staircasing and how it means you can own ALL of your own home via shared ownership…

It’s understandable that the term “shared ownership” can make people wary at first – if you don’t own 100% of your property, it’s natural to wonder about the possibilities and have questions about what happens if your situation changes. 

Shared Ownership offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a percentage share of a property (between 25% and 75% of the home’s full market value) paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share. 

Vote for Homefocus in the First Time Buyer Awards!

Homefocus has been nominated for an award

Homefocus has been nominated for the Best First Time Buyer Media Coverage award – and we want your votes to help us take the crown!

The awards, run by First Time Buyer magazine, recognise the property industry’s efforts to help buyers get onto the housing ladder.

The Homefocus team are proud to be nominated for their contribution to the media coverage of shared ownership opportunities.

Our articles explain shared ownership options, from Help to Buy to Older Person's shared ownership, with expert advice on finances, looking for a property and more. 

Editor Victoria Galligan said: “We are delighted to be nominated for this award, and to be part of such a prestigious event in the property industry.

A new beginning for Mulberry Homes at Great Bowden

Mulberry Homes – the first sod is cut

A recent 'cutting the sod' ceremony at Mulberry Homes' new Heathcote Grange development in Great Bowden, Leics, celebrated one of the first milestones on the site and marked the official start of the construction work.

Chair of the Harborough District Council, Lesley Bowles, joined the homebuilder's Land and Operations Director Steve Mitchell for the event on Leicester Lane.

Heathcote Grange is set to provide a sophisticated selection of three and four bedroom luxury homes, positioned amidst beautifully landscaped surroundings in the heart of Great Bowden.

It's love at first sight for home buyers

Anna and Nathan, with their baby, went on many a house viewing  but fell in love at first sight with a Countryside home

With one in two UK homeowners partaking in just one house viewing before making an offer, home builder Countryside has teamed up with relationship expert, John Donlon, to uncover just what makes us lead with our hearts when it comes to buying a new home.

According to a recent survey by Countryside, it took just one house viewing for 53%* of homeowners before purchasing their home, describing the experience as ‘love at first sight’. An additional 25% stated that only a second house viewing was needed before making a final decision. 

A Smart Home ‘house sitter’ gives homeowners peace of mind

smart home

Millions of Brits are relying on ‘house sitters’ to give them peace of mind when they’re away on holiday, according to a study.

Researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults found two thirds depend on friends, family and neighbours to check in on their homes while they jet off on their sunshine break.

And 35 per cent admit they can’t relax unless they know someone is keeping an eye on their property.

The key reasons we turn to house sitters are to pick-up the post, water plants, keep pets fed – and provide regular status updates.

Commissioned by Hive, a leader in Smart Home technology, the research also found around three in 10 would be able to enjoy their holiday more if they could check in on their home remotely.

'Help to Buy focuses on helping families to secure their dream home'

House Crowd Frazer Fearnhead on Help to Buy

Frazer Fearnhead, CEO and co-founder of peer-to-peer lending property platform The House Crowd, talks to HomeFocus about Help to Buy…

What are the benefits of the Help to Buy market for buyers?

To buy a property, you need to have enough money saved to put down a deposit. The problem with this is that many people simply can’t afford the deposit outright. This is especially true for first-time homeowners who want to get a foot on the property ladder, but just don’t have the means. People moving to a new house also feel the pinch when trying to take a step up to a larger or more expensive property. Help to Buy increases affordability for both groups of buyers by setting the deposit at 5% – much lower than a typical mortgage option.

REVEALED: The facts none of us know about property

Think you have a better knowledge of the housing market than 11-year olds? Think again.

  • Younger generation were tested on their knowledge of the housing market
  • Confusion around stamp duty and what a cul-de-sac is
  • Two year-seven students, a uni student and a young adult were quizzed
  • Further details can be viewed here, video embed codes in ‘Further Information’ at end of release


Members of the public were pushed to their limits when questioned about different aspects of the UK housing market.


Preparing your home for winter

Preparing your home for winter

Now that autumn is officially here, it’s time to start to think about preparing your home for even colder weather over the winter months.

Fortunately, leading specialists Gutter Supplies have some top tips that will save your home from taking the brunt of the harsh weather.


Although gutters may not be on the top of your list of priorities, it is essential to keep them damage free and in working order through the colder months.

Government announces crackdown on "unjust and unnecessary" leaseholds

Leaseholds on new-build properties in England could be banned after the government condemns them as being "unjust and unnecessary."

Leaseholds on new-build properties in England could be banned after the government condemns them as being "unjust and unnecessary."

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has set out plans to deliver a fairer, more transparent system for homebuyers by banning newbuild houses being sold as leasehold, as well as restricting ground rents on flats to as low as zero. 

Leasehold generally applies to flats with shared spaces, but there is now an increasing trend of developers - particularly in the north west - selling houses on these terms as well. 

In some cases, leaseholds can put huge financial pressure on homeowners and can make it difficult to sell on the property.