Staircasing: your questions answered
Published October 2020
Chloe Spires, our Resale and Staircasing Officer, answers some of the most common questions people have when considering buying a bigger share in their home.
Is there a right time to staircase?
It’s best to staircase when your mortgage is due for renewal as many mortgage products have early exit fees. If you’re looking for a new mortgage deal then you can factor in the changes to your share as part of the process.
Other than that, you can staircase whenever works for you. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in your home, if you’re now in a position to buy a bigger share then we’re happy to talk to you about your options.
Do I need a deposit to buy a bigger share?
You don’t need to wait to build up a deposit as you can use the equity in your share of your home to act as a deposit. Of course, if you do have savings then combining them with the equity in your home could help you to buy an even bigger share, if that’s what right for you. I can explain more about how it works when you get in touch.
Can I staircase more than once?
There are no restrictions on how many times you can staircase. You can staircase to 100% in just one step if it’s affordable for you, or take it slower by increasing your share 10% at a time.
What size share can I choose?
The minimum share you can buy is 10%, but it’s best to buy the biggest share that you can afford. That’s because if your plan is to staircase to 100% ownership you’ll pay fewer solicitors fees along the way if you staircase in fewer steps. Plus, the bigger the share you buy, the more of your home you own and the less rent you pay on the remaining shares!
Will I need to speak to my solicitor?
There will be legal work and may be some solicitors costs involved. When you’re re-mortgaging, lenders will often offer “free legals” or a lump sum towards your legal expenses as an incentive. This is something you can discuss with your mortgage advisor or lender. If you don’t have something like that included with your mortgage, we do have a recommended panel of solicitors you can use instead.
Does anyone have to come into my home?
We’re doing as much as can online and over the phone but your home will need to be valued as part of the process, which means someone will briefly visit your home. The company we work with are making sure all employees wear PPE and maintain a good social distance while they are in your home. It’s a good idea to give door handles, light switches and other areas that people are likely to touch a clean before and after the appointment.
Is there any reason why I wouldn’t be able to staircase?
A few of our homes do have leases which might restrict the size of the share you are allowed to staircase to. If you’re already at the maximum share allowed, then you won’t be able to buy an additional share. The restriction is more often found in rural areas and is a result of the planning permission to make sure local people continue to have a chance to find homes in the area.
The restriction does only apply to a small number of our homes and it should have been explained before you moved in but we can check that for you when you get in touch.
How do I start the process?
To get the ball rolling, all you need to do is complete our staircasing enquiry form. Then I’ll get in touch to explain the next steps.