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FIRST STEPS Shared Ownership

You can find out more about Shared Ownership by reading the FIRST STEPS Shared Ownership Buyers' Guide.

With FIRST STEPS Shared Ownership, you buy a maximum share that you can afford in a new or existing shared ownership home. Shares start at 25%, and go up to a maximum of 75%, of the full market value of the home.

On the share of the home you don't own, you pay rent, initially capped at a maximum of 3% on the part owned by the housing provider.

If you buy a flat or a house on an estate with shared areas, you will also pay a service charge for maintenance and upkeep of communal areas and the grounds of your building.

You will need to be able to cover the cost of the mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees, and stamp duty (if applicable). You will need access to approximately £4,000 in savings. In most cases buying a home involves paying a deposit, which is in addition to the approximate £4,000 in savings needed to cover the costs of buying. The amount of deposit required will depend on the mortgage provider you chose, the terms of the mortgage and your credit rating.

When you can afford to, you can take your next steps and increase the share you own; this is known as 'staircasing'. The cost of the additional share that you buy will be based on the current market value of your home. You can staircase until you own your home outright. By buying an additional share through staircasing, you will reduce the amount of rent you pay. If you staircase to the point where you own outright, you will no longer have to pay rent.

In most cases you will be required to take out a mortgage to buy the maximum share that you can afford. However, if you are unable to raise a mortgage because of age, disability or a conflict with religious beliefs your housing provider will be able to waiver this requirement. You will still be required to undergo a financial assessment to establish the maximum share you can afford to purchase.

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