Shared Ownership & Help to Buy: Am I Eligible?

Shared Ownership & Help to Buy: Am I Eligible?

If you are thinking of becoming a homeowner in 2019, it might seem like the concept of purchasing your own property is now more unobtainable than ever. With first-time deposits doubling in price over the last 10 years, and rental fees continuing to rise, many are looking for an affordable alternative. This is where Shared Ownership can help.

This government backed scheme was primarily introduced to help first-time buyers get an initial step on the property ladder. By splitting the cost of a home between shares and rent, it is especially beneficial to those on lower incomes, struggling to save for a deposit.

How does Shared Ownership work?

It gives the buyer an opportunity to purchase a share for a new build or resales home, with the remaining costs being paid as rent. This share will be worth between 25% and 75% of the property’s market value, depending on what you can afford. It should also be noted that, initially, this is only applicable to leasehold owners.

Later in the process, however, you have the option to increase your ownership of the home by ‘staircasing’. This involves gradually buying additional shares, usually in 10% increments.

For further details on how Shared Ownership works, check out our blog post on the topic by clicking here.

Is a valuation required?

Whenever you choose to increase your ownership of the property, you will also be asked to provide a residential valuation from a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) regulated surveyor.

By comparing your property to similar houses in the same area, this inspection will ensure that the agreed amount accurately reflects the current market value. Using this information, your housing association will then calculate your share.

For more information on shared ownership valuations, or to book an inspection, click here.

Who qualifies for Shared Ownership?

The eligibility for this scheme will depend upon several factors. However, you must:

  • Be an existing shared homeowner, a first-time buyer or have previously owned a home, but can no longer afford to buy.
  • Have an income of below £90,000, for those living inside London
  • Have an income of below £80,000, for anyone living outside of London
  • Be at least 18 years of age

For more information on the requirements of Shared Ownership schemes for the disabled or elderly, you can use the official Help to Buy website by clicking here.

How can you apply for Shared Ownership?

Depending on where you live, your regional Help to Buy representative will be able to offer further advice regarding your eligibility and budget. You should also be aware that, in addition to the requirements listed above, certain areas and Housing Associations will operate by their own conditions when it comes to costs and priority.

Contact us

If you are considering a shared ownership scheme and require any additional advice regarding the process of obtaining a valuation, please get in touch and one of our friendly and expert sales team will be happy to discuss this with you.

Simply give us a call on 01249 569010, or contact us via email at sales@whitehorsesurveyors.co.uk.

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