Advice: what is shared ownership and how does it work?

Our Sales Officer, Leanne, has been supporting people looking to buy shared ownership homes for two years. Here’s Leanne’s quick guide to what you need to know about shared ownership before you buy.

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership is really just an alternative route onto the housing ladder. You buy and own the share in your home that you can afford at the time and pay a monthly fee on the rest. The bigger the share you buy, the smaller the monthly fee you’ll pay to us. As you’ve bought your share, you get the benefit of any increase in the value of your home which is great for when you need to remortgage and if you choose to sell – as long as the housing market is doing well, you’re likely to get a return on your investment, unlike when you’re renting.

You can also increase the size of your share over time, we call that ‘staircasing’. So for example, if you can afford to buy a 50% share today, in five years you might want to buy another 25% share, taking your total share to 75%. There’s a lot more flexibility in shared ownership than people realise, as it is designed to make homeownership a reality for as many people as possible.

How do I know if shared ownership is right for me?

There are some really simple eligibility criteria set by the government that determine who is allowed to apply for a shared ownership home. You can find out more about that on our before you apply page.

Once we know you meet the criteria, we can start working with you to find the right fit for you. We’ll put you in touch with an Independent Financial Adviser who’ll help you work out exactly what size share you should be buying.  The process is the same for everyone, but your share will always be calculated on your personal circumstances. You may not own the same size share as your next door neighbour, but you both get to enjoy all the benefits of living in your own home!

Is it safe to buy a home during the Coronvirus crisis?

Yes, people across the UK are moving home every day! The government has put some extra advice and guidance in place around moving home which we’re following very closely and we’ll advise you on how to stay safe during any viewings or appointments we may have. We’re doing as much as possible online to make sure we can all keep our distance, without compromising the support we can offer you.

The majority of our shared ownership homes are brand new which means you don’t need to worry about meeting any previous owners, but when you are buying a home someone is currently living in, we’ve put plenty of extra measures in place to make sure the process is as safe as possible.

Leanne’s top tips for deciding if shared ownership is right for you:

  1. If you’re saving as much as you can but still don’t have enough for a 20% deposit, shared ownership could be a great option for you.
  2. Shared ownership is the ideal option if you are looking to move away from renting. Instead of paying someone else’s mortgage you will be paying your own, as well as having all the benefits being a homeowner brings.


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