There’s often confusion surrounding the Shared Ownership scheme, and especially around your next steps once you become a shared owner. Once you’ve bought your home, are you locked in? Are you stuck on the percentage share that you first bought? Can you ever actually own your home outright?

As part of Share to Buy’s Jargon Busting in 30 seconds or less series, we’ve taken a look at the process of buying more shares in your Shared Ownership home – also known as ‘staircasing’.

Staircasing is the name given to the process of buying more shares in your Shared Ownership home. This is completely optional and you do not have to buy more shares if you don’t want to.

If you decide to purchase more shares, your mortgage payments will increase and your rent will decrease.

While you’ll need to check the terms of your lease for any potential restrictions to the process, you are generally given the opportunity to staircase three times in your home. These will often need to be bought in chunks of 10% or more, and the final share you buy will need to bring you to the maximum share you are allowed to purchase.

If you do decide to staircase to 100%, you become the outright owner of your property and no longer pay any rent, just your mortgage. At this stage, if you wish to sell, you’re no longer required to give your housing association the opportunity to market the property first.

Interested in finding out more about the staircasing process? Head over to today for plenty of helpful guides and tools, including our Staircasing Calculator!

You can also 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!