Do you want to get a foot on the property ladder, but your finances are holding you back? Have you heard of shared ownership, but you're not sure if you're eligible?
We've put together this helpful guide as an informative resource where you can find everything about shared ownership explained. It can also help those who already live in a house with shared ownership, who are unsure how to go about selling their property.
How does Shared Ownership Work?
If you want to take a step towards owning a property, but you don't have enough money to buy a house outright, shared ownership could be a solution for you. Instead of buying the whole property, you can purchase anywhere from 25% to 75% of a house's value and pay rent on the rest.
Usually provided by private developers or housing associations, shared ownership schemes are targeted at first-time property buyers who would not otherwise be able to get on the property ladder. Most shared ownership houses are new-builds, but you may find a house that is being re-sold by a housing association.
In a process called 'staircasing', you can increase your overall share of the property over time. The greater your share, the less rent you will be required to pay.
Rent in shared property ownership is typically charged at a discounted rate, but bear in mind that since all shared ownership property is leasehold, you will likely need to pay for services and maintenance.
Who is Eligible for Shared Ownership
That's shared ownership explained, but now you will need to check if you're eligible.
Here are the general rules for shared housing ownership eligibility in the UK:
Cumulatively, you and those you live with must be earning less than £80,000 – if you live in London, the limit is slightly higher at £90,000.
You're eligible if you're a first-time buyer, having never owned property before.
If you used to own property, but now you can longer afford to get back on the property ladder, you may be eligible for shared ownership housing.
You may be eligible if you currently part-own property through a shared ownership scheme.
You must be over the age of 18 and have a good credit history, without mortgage or rent arrears.
Bear in mind that the rules differ slightly between countries, so it's best to double-check with your local government authority to see if you can apply where you live.
Selling a House with Shared Ownership
If you have shared ownership of a property, you'll be able to sell your share to a buyer on the open market who meets all the eligibility criteria listed above. However, there are two exceptions: firstly, the housing provider or landlord has 'first refusal', which is the right to buy your house before another party. They can also decide who to sell it to if they wish.
When you decide to sell, you can arrange for an agent or surveyor to value your property and this will allow your landlord to work out how much your share is worth. Remember, property values change over time. Your share might not be worth as much as you bought it for, or it could even be worth more.
If you need to sell your house with shared ownership fast, without the hassle and expense of unpredictable buyers, unstable property chains and pricey estate agents, give Zoom Property Buyer a call on 0333 880 4362. As a specialist cash buyer, we can buy your property fast, without asking you to pay a penny. You could even have the money in your bank account within 7 days!