Shared Ownership schemes, also known as Help to Buy, are a fantastic way for those on a lower income to make the all-important move up on to the property ladder, which may otherwise have been unachievable.
Operated and regulated by specialist divisions with the housing association, these schemes offer you the chance to purchase various percentages of ownership shares on a property and then pay a reduced rent to the association on the remaining amount.
To be accepted into a shared ownership scheme you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Although these differ from one association to the other and can also vary due to geographical area, as a general rule of consensus you will have to be able to show you earn under a certain amount per annum and do not own any other properties.
Deposits required for your owned share of the property are significantly lower than a regular purchase, set at around 5%. Bear in mind that as well as your mortgage repayments you will also need to pay rent to the association for their share, although again this generally will work out to be a much more affordable total outgoing.
Typically, the share you can buy will initially be limited to between 25 and 75 per cent. However, it may be possible for you to acquire a bigger share at some point in the future through a process known as ‘staircasing’ and in certain cases to even buy the whole of the property outright.
Buying through a shared ownership scheme requires specialist legal advice. At Stephens & Son solicitors in Chatham we have a dedicated team of conveyancing lawyers who can assist you in this process.
Drawing on many years of experience dealing with shared ownership, they can:
- explain how the shared ownership scheme relevant to you operates, including the terms of any lease you will be required to sign;
- explain the terms of your mortgage offer;
- ensure you understand the financial commitments involved in proceeding;
- assess whether stamp duty land tax will be payable on your purchase;
- discuss your options where stamp duty land tax will be payable, including ways to keep your tax bill as low as possible if you plan to increase your share;
- register your interest in the property with the Land Registry;
- help you acquire a further share in the property where this is possible; and
- assist you in selling your share in the property.
We can also provide advice on other schemes designed to help get you on the property ladder, including Help to Buy Equity Loans for new build homes and the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee for older properties.
Advising individuals throughout Kent and beyond
We have offices in Maidstone, Gravesend, Tonbridge, Chatham and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.
We can also offer meetings at your home if necessary, and in exceptional circumstances a telephone appointment can be arranged via skype.
The cost of buying a property through a shared ownership scheme will vary depending on your circumstances. We are happy to provide a quotation after discussing your requirements.
Get in touch
Call us on 01634 811444 if you need our help. Alternatively complete our Contact Us form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.