As the leading property portal for first-time buyer homes, and hosts of the London Home Show, we at Share to Buy have heard every misconception surrounding the Shared Ownership scheme.

Whether you’re concerned about the buying process or unsure what your options are once you’ve bought your home, we’ve busted some of the biggest myths surrounding the part buy/part rent scheme!

Myth: Outright sale or Shared Ownership – either way I can’t afford the deposit.

Fact: One of the biggest positives about buying a Shared Ownership home is that the deposits are usually much smaller than buying on the open market. Generally, you’ll only need to raise a deposit of around 5-10% of the share that you’re purchasing, not of the full value of the property.

That means that if you want to buy a 25% share of a home that costs £500,000 – with your share equating to £125,000 – that’s a minimum 5% deposit of just £6,250!

Myth: There’s no way people can afford to pay both rent and a mortgage each month.

With Shared Ownership, you only pay a mortgage on the percentage share that you own and a below-market-level rent on the remainder to your housing association.

Fact: In many cases, the monthly payments for a Shared Ownership home can be less than renting privately. Plus, if you go on to buy more shares in your home, your mortgage payments will actually increase while your rent decreases.

Myth: I shouldn’t have to share my home with a complete stranger.

Fact: You don’t have to buy or share your home with anyone that you don’t want to! The term ‘shared’ in Shared Ownership actually refers to the fact that you’re sharing ownership with the housing association who you pay your rent to.

This means that whether you’re looking to buy a family home with your partner, a pad with your best pal or an apartment all to yourself – you can do it all through Shared Ownership.

Myth: I’m not a first time buyer so I’m not eligible for the scheme.

Fact: Due to the lower deposits, Shared Ownership is often popular with first-time buyers who are looking to take that first step onto the property ladder but it’s actually available to all different types of purchasers.

As long as you meet the necessary eligibility criteria – such as being over the age of 18, have a household income of under £90,000 in London (or under £80,000 outside of the capital), and you don’t currently own another home – then Shared Ownership could still be an option for you!

Myth: If I’m only buying a share of my home, I’ll never be able to get a mortgage.

Fact: This simply isn’t the case – there are more and more lenders offering Shared Ownership mortgage options all the time! However, it’s worth noting that all mortgage lending is calculated in pretty much the same way. Regardless of whether you’re buying through Shared Ownership or on the open market, it all comes down to your income, outgoings, credit rating and the size of your deposit.

Myth: Shared Ownership is only available on tiny flats in run down areas.

Fact: This couldn’t be further from the truth! Whether you’re looking for a studio flat in an up and coming regeneration area, a two bedroom apartment with river views or a three bedroom family home in the countryside – there really is a Shared Ownership home to suit every buyer.

Myth: I’m still paying rent so it’s not like I can decorate how I want.

Fact: Want to hang up some of your favourite artwork in the living room? Maybe you’d like to create your own wall mural in the bedroom? Or perhaps you want to paint every room a different colour of the rainbow? You can do it all because a Shared Ownership property is your home!

The only time when you’d need to get permission from your housing association is if you’re looking to make any structural improvements to your home, such as fitting a new bathroom suite or adding an extension.

Myth: There’s just no future in a Shared Ownership home.

Fact: Knowing your next steps is an important part of buying a Shared Ownership home as every buyer may have a different vision of their future.

You can choose to buy more shares in your home through a process known as staircasing; in most cases, you can go on to buy 100% of your property and become the outright owner. In this instance, you’d no longer pay any rent, you’d only pay your mortgage.

For owners who would prefer to sell their home, they can do so at any point. As outlined in the terms of your lease, your housing provider will generally have a set period of time (usually around eight weeks) to try and sell the home on your behalf. If they don’t manage to sell it within this time, you’ll be able to advertise the property yourself, selling privately or through an estate agent of your choice.

Interested in finding out more about Shared Ownership? Head over to today and register to attend the London Home Show on Saturday 21st September. Taking place at the QEII Centre in Westminster during Shared Ownership Week, this free event gives budding buyers the chance to speak with housing providers, mortgage brokers and solicitors all under one roof!