Shared Ownership is a government-backed scheme, designed to make stepping onto or along the property ladder more affordable. There are many benefits to buying a home with the Shared Ownership scheme. If you are struggling to raise a large enough mortgage to buy a home, or perhaps you have a good income but not enough deposit, or just find that homes in the area you want to live are simply out of reach, Shared Ownership could be your answer.
At Southern Housing New Homes our range of homes available with Shared Ownership include something for everyone, from quiet countryside homes to contemporary city centre apartments. You won’t be able to buy just any home with Shared Ownership but there is plenty of choice in hotspots across the country which are either new or existing homes, known as ‘resales’.
You’ll start by buying from 25% up to 75% of a home, and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining part you don’t buy from us. The bit you own is called a share (don’t worry, it’s not called Shared Ownership because you HAVE to share with someone, unless you want to of course!)
For example, if you buy 40% of a home valued £300,000, you’ll typically need a 5% deposit of £6,000, get a mortgage for the rest of the share value, and pay rent on the remaining 60%.In the future, whenever you can afford to do so, you can buy more shares to increase what percentage you own, right up to 100%. This is called staircasing. The more you own, the less rent you’ll pay. If or when you come to sell, we have a team on hand to help you with this part of your journey with Southern New Homes.
So, if you don’t currently own a home, your household income is less than £80,000, or £90,000 if looking to buy in London, and you have savings to cover your deposit and standard buying fees, Shared Ownership with Southern New Homes could be what you’re looking for.
Shared Ownership FAQs
Staircasing simply means buying more shares of your home. The more of the home you own, the less rent you’ll be paying each month. You’ll normally be able to buy a minimum of 10% more in your home, or if you can afford to, buy the rest of the home so you then own 100% (or anything in between!). The value of the additional share you buy will be based on the full market value of your home at that time, not the original purchase price. Normally there’s no restrictions on when you can buy more of your home, but remember there will be costs to pay such as solicitors fees, so it’s often best to buy as much as you can afford from the start.
We list both new homes and resales on our website which showcases your Shared Ownership home to thousands of potential buyers, just like you right now! So, if you have the right home, in the right place, at the right price for someone else looking to buy with Shared Ownership, chances are you’ll have a buyer in no time.
You may sell your share at any time but you must tell us that you want to move. Your lease may have clauses that allow us to nominate a prospective purchaser and you may be required to have your property valued to determine the sale price of your share. You will benefit from any increase in the value of the shares that you own but you must be aware that you will also be affected if the value of your share falls. So, if you purchased 25% but bought more of the home and you now own 40%, the new buyer could only purchase 40% or more in your current home.
Shared Ownership is designed to help people buy a home that cannot afford to do so without the help of the scheme. You can rent out a room in the home at any time, but you must live there at the same time. There may be some case-by-case situations that we will consider, such as a short-term relocation for work, so always speak to us in the first instance. If you are a serving member of the armed forces, and you're required to serve away from the area where you live for a fixed period, you may sublet the entire home but you'll need our permission (as landlord) first.
A monthly service charge will vary, depending on the home you buy. For example, buying an apartment with a lift, concierge and resident gym will cost more than an apartment without! If you buy a house, there may still be service charges but we will be able to give you a breakdown of the costs. Broadly speaking, communal areas are covered in your service charge and therefore the maintenance is organised and run by Southern Housing or management company.
Check with the team at Southern Housing, but often your buildings insurance is included in your monthly service charge; this means you may only need to arrange contents insurance but always ask first! As a shared owner, you’ll have the responsibilities like any other home owner; this means you’ll need to cover minor, or day-to-day repairs and maintenance such as changing light bulbs, keeping your boiler serviced, or fixing any white goods such as a washing machine should it break. Unlike renting, Shared Ownership means you don’t need to ask permission to paint the walls or hang a new photo, but any major home improvements you must ask us for written consent to the improvement or structural alteration that you want to make.
If you are buying a new home, you may be buying off-plan without getting to view the actual home you intend to buy. This is completely normal and you’ll have a thorough explanation of the layout of the home via floor plans with dimensions, or by also viewing a show home. This may be up to 6 months ahead of when the homes are ready to be moved in to, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan the decor (and continue to save to buy new things for when you do get the keys!).
There are a few factors that will impact how long it takes to go from viewing the home to getting the keys. If the home is ready to move into immediately, the process of buying a home will usually take between 6 - 10 weeks, but can depend on how quickly your chosen solicitor and mortgage provider processes paperwork so it’s important to pick both solicitors and mortgage/financial advisors that understand Shared Ownership, or it could cause delays. With Southern Housing, you’ll be provided a list of recommended advisors who are familiar with the Shared Ownership process.