You’ve saved your deposit, your offer has been accepted and you’ve signed all of the paperwork. Finally, you have a Shared Ownership home to call your own! But that doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. Find out more about your options once you become a shared owner!
Buying more shares
As and when your financial circumstances change, you can choose to buy more shares in your Shared Ownership home through a process known as ‘staircasing’; this is completely optional and you do not have to buy more shares if you don’t want to.
The greater the share you buy in your home the less rent you will pay to your housing association. In most instance, you can purchase up to 100% of your home and in becoming the outright owner, no longer need to pay any rent. 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.
You may acquire additional shares in your property at a price equal to the relevant proportion of the current full open market value of the property. For example: if your home is valued at £300,000 and you want to buy an additional 25% share, the purchase price of your share will be £75,000.
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. It is therefore sensible from a financial point of view to staircase in the largest steps that you can manage.
Selling your home
If you choose to sell your Shared Ownership home, you will first need to contact your housing association to make them aware. You’ll also need to obtain an independent valuation prior to sale to determine the current value of the property.
Generally speaking, your provider will have around an eight week period to market your home first and, if they find a buyer, they will go through a similar process to the one you went through when you bought the home. If your provider doesn’t find a buyer during this time, you can then choose to sell your property privately or through an estate agent of your choice.
You can sell whenever you like and there is no minimum share percentage you must reach, however, it’s worth remembering that you will need to sell your home to another Shared Ownership buyer who is purchasing shares equal to or higher than what you currently own.