If you are unable to buy a property outright on the open market, then Shared Ownership could be the ideal solution for you. It is a part-buy, part-rent scheme, which enables purchasers to buy an initial share of usually between 25% and 75% the value of the property and pay a subsidised rent on the remainder. A service charge may also be payable to cover the cost of communal maintenance.
As your income increases you can buy further shares of your home until you own 100% of the value and no longer share the ownership with us. The greater the percentage that you own, the lower the percentage on which you pay rent. However, if you do not wish to buy more shares in the property, you do not have to.
Once you have purchased equity in your home, you are free to sell any time you choose. When you decide to sell we retain the right, for a short period, to nominate a purchaser to buy your home. This is to ensure that others unable to buy on the open market have the opportunity to purchase a home of their own.
In order to qualify for Shared Ownership you must meet certain criteria, which include the following:
- You will be expected to be a first time buyer, although some applications who previously owned a home may be eligible – such as relocation for work or relationship breakdown.
- Your gross household income must not exceed £90,000 per annum.
- You must be unable to afford to suitably sized home on the open market.
- You will need to have sufficient savings of around £3,000 to cover the initial cost of the mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees and stamp duty, where applicable.
- You must be able to meet the costs of rent, mortgage, service charges and other associated outgoings.
- You must not own a home anywhere else in the world, unless a court order has forced you to remain on the deeds of a property.
- You should be a British or EU/EEA citizen or have indefinite leave to remain. If you do not have indefinite leave to remain, you will need to prove you can secure a mortgage with a suitable lender.
We give preference to applicants in the following order:
- Armed forces personnel, either serving or recently discharged.
- Local authority or housing association tenants within the borough the properties are developed in.
- Key workers within the borough.
- Other people living or working in the borough.
- First time buyers in neighbouring boroughs.
We will prioritise according to family size for larger properties, but are unable to do so for single applicants for 2-bed homes.
Contact us if you want to know more about Shared Ownership and whether it is suitable for you.