Shared ownership is a scheme designed to help you buy a home of your own. It’s an alternative to renting or full ownership, and is suitable if you cannot afford to buy a home outright. You can buy a share of a property and pay rent for the rest of it. You have the same rights and responsibilities as any other homeowner. We offer brand new and resale properties for shared ownership. Shares start from 25 percent, but vary for every property, so please check with the sales team. There is a minimum initial share as advertised; however you can buy a bigger share depending on the property. This will depend on your finances and will be determined at the financial assessment stage.
Who can apply for this scheme?
- You must be in housing need and unable to afford to buy a home on the open market.
- Your household income must be £80,000 or less a year.
- You’re a first time buyer (or you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now).
- You rent a council or housing association property.
Who can’t apply for this scheme?
- You are able to buy a home outright.
- Your household income is over £80,000 a year.
- You are not able to meet the cost of rent and mortgage payments.
- You aren’t going to live in the property you are buying.
- You are using the scheme to fund a buy to let property.
- You currently own your property
How do I apply?
You need to be registered with the local Help to Buy agents for your area: see www.helptobuysouth.co.uk or call 0800 456 1188. Please then call us to discuss the properties currently available, or apply for one that you have already seen advertised.
We will first check that you have an approved application with Help to Buy South. We will then need you to be financially qualified by an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) recommended, not employed, by GreenSquare.
We will ask you to complete a questionnaire for the IFA to carry out a financial assessment. This questionnaire will provide the IFA with your personal, employment, income, expenditure and credit details. We will also provide you with a checklist of documents the IFA will need to see in order to carry out your financial assessment. The IFA will then call you to carry out the assessment. They will then contact us to say whether your assessment has been successful or not.
The financial assessment you are asked to undertake is free of charge. You are free to seek advice from other sources when purchasing your mortgage. Please note our IFA will charge a fee if you submit your mortgage application with them. If you are successful, you will then be sent an offer letter. Viewings will generally take place once you have passed the financial assessment.
If you are applying for a shared ownership resale property, the next stage is to go ahead with instructing solicitors and applying for the mortgage. Our sales team will guide you through this process.
If you are applying for a new build shared ownership property, the next stage is the reservation process. This is when we complete the reservation form with you and request your reservation fee of £250. (Please note that if you change your mind and pull out of the sale you will only receive 50% of this fee back; this will cover our administration fees.) You will then start the sale process by instructing solicitors and applying for your mortgage.
Our sales team will guide you through this process.
What happens if there is more than one application against the property I apply for?
Priority will be given to:
Military personnel (or former members of the British Armed Forces that have been honourably discharged in the last two years, or bereaved partners of service personnel killed in action who apply within two years of bereavement) then: first come, first served, ie the first applicant to return a completed financial assessment questionnaire. The only time this will differ is if there is a section 106 agreement on the development that stipulates applicants must have a local connection.
How do I get a mortgage?
You will need to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) to recommend a mortgage lender and product to suit you. You may have to pay your IFA once you have taken out the mortgage, although advice is usually free.
You can find an IFA on the Help to Buy agent’s website: www.helptobuysouth.co.uk. GreenSquare also has a recommended IFA that you can speak to.
How do you decide what the rent will be – and will it go up?
On a new property, we will set the rent based on the share of the property that you do not own. The rent cannot be any higher than 3% of the value of the share of the property that you don’t own. We will set the rent for each property on an individual basis. The rent is usually less than we would charge for our social rent homes, because you are responsible for your own repairs and maintenance. The monthly rent payment due will increase each year from 1 April; you will be given at least 28 days’ notice of this change and rent will increase by no more than RPI plus 0.5 percent.
There are some costs that you will pay as a one-off before you move in:
- Legal fees
- Stamp duty on homes costing more than £125,000 mortgage adviser fee if an application is submitted
- Mortgage valuation fee and any arrangement fees
- Removal costs
- Reservation fee to secure the property, usually £250 (new build only). This fee is deducted from the sales price on completion.
- Deposit (amount determined by the mortgage product you choose) – a minimum of 5% of the share you are purchasing
- Furnishing the property (carpets, curtains, furniture, and appliances). Please note: this varies by property because some come with carpets and appliances.