Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
The dream of owning a home is a common aspiration. However, the rising costs of property can often make this dream seem unattainable. Shared Ownership, a Government-backed scheme, offers a glimmer of hope for those who are keen to step onto the property ladder. Here is the essential criteria and steps to determine your eligibility for this unique opportunity.
Understanding Shared Ownership
Shared Ownership is designed to provide individuals and families with an accessible route towards home buying. The scheme allows you to purchase a share of a property (usually between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the remaining portion. Over time, you have the option to increase your ownership share, a process known as "staircasing," until you eventually own 100% of your home.
Eligibility Criteria: The Key Factors
Before embarking on your Shared Ownership journey, it's important to understand the eligibility criteria that will determine whether you qualify for the scheme:
Income: Shared Ownership is available to those with an annual household income of £80,000 or less outside of London, or £90,000 or less in London. Buyers will also typically need a deposit between 5-10% of the share they’re purchasing.
First-Time Buyers: Shared Ownership is mostly used by first time buyers, but if you have sold your property or are in a process of selling, you may also be eligible.
Local Authority: Some housing associations and developers prioritise applicants who live or work in the local authority area where the property is located. This preference aims to support the growth of communities and ensure that local residents can access affordable homeownership opportunities.
Housing Need: Shared Ownership is intended to help those who have a housing need. This could include individuals or families who are currently renting and seeking a more stable housing situation or those struggling to afford a home on the open market.
Creditworthiness: While Shared Ownership is designed to be accessible, you'll still need to demonstrate your ability to manage mortgage payments and associated costs. Lenders will assess your creditworthiness and financial stability as part of the application process.
Residency: You should have the legal right to reside in the UK. Some restrictions may apply to non-UK citizens, but it's important to consult with housing associations or developers to understand specific requirements.
The Shared Ownership scheme is a beacon of hope for those who wish to escape the cycle of private renting and take their first steps towards buying a home. By understanding the eligibility criteria, conducting thorough research, and seeking professional guidance if needed, you can navigate the Shared Ownership journey with confidence, ultimately making the dream of a place to call your own a reality.