First time buyer and rental options

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Alternative ways to rent or buy a home

At Share to Buy, we understand that each person’s circumstances are different and not everyone will be ready to buy their first home right away.

Specialising in affordable housing options, we offer information about various home-buying products including Shared Ownership, Older Persons Shared Ownership, Help to Buy, Discount Full Ownership and Discount Market Sale. There are also plenty of alternative rental options tailored to those who are aiming to get on the housing ladder in the next few years including Intermediate Rent, Rent to Buy and London Living Rent.

Whether you’re just starting out on your property journey, want to know more about your rental options, or are ready to take the plunge and purchase your first home, read on to find out more!

First Homes Discount

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This government-backed initiative aims to help local people and keyworkers buy a home in areas of high demand. Eligible buyers are able to purchase a new build home with a discount of 30% to 50% of the market value of the property.

Each home sold through the scheme is valued by an independent surveyor to make sure the discount is based on actual market value, and these homes cannot cost more than £250,000 (or £420,000 in London) after the discount has been applied.

Learn more about the First Homes Discount on Share to Buy.

Shared Ownership

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Shared Ownership is a part-buy part-rent scheme which allows eligible purchasers to buy a portion of a new build or resale home. The purchaser pays a mortgage on the share they own, and a below-market-value rent on the remainder to a housing association.  

As the buyer only needs a mortgage for the share they are purchasing, the amount of money required for a deposit is often much lower compared to homes available on the open market.

Learn more about Shared Ownership on Share to Buy.

Older Persons Shared Ownership

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Older Persons Shared Ownership (OPSO) is available to buyers over the age of 55, enabling eligible purchasers to part-buy part-rent a purpose-built home. This scheme is ideal for those looking to downsize from their existing family home, or for those where their current abode is no longer suitable to their needs.

OPSO works in a similar way to Shared Ownership, meaning that the buyer purchases a share in a property, usually between 25% to 75%, through a mortgage or savings and then pays a subsidised rent to a housing association on the remainder.

Learn more about Older Persons Shared Ownership on Share to Buy.

Discount Full Ownership

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Available to eligible buyers in London, Discount Full Ownership is currently provided by Pocket Living. Pocket homes sell for at least 20% below local market prices, with the buyer purchasing 100% of the home.

Unlike Shared Ownership, this means that no equity is held by the developer, there is no rent to pay and no need to buy more shares down the line.

Learn more about Discount Full Ownership on Share to Buy.

Discount Market Sale

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Also known as Council Shared equity, or a reduced market value scheme, Discount Market Sale is a low cost homeownership product where an eligible buyer can purchase a new build property at a discounted price.

The discount is usually around 20% which means that housing costs are significantly reduced. Unlike Shared Ownership, there is no rent to pay on the remaining interest held by the council.

Learn more about Discount Market Sale on Share to Buy.

Deposit Unlock

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Deposit Unlock allows eligible buyers to purchase a new build home with a 5% deposit. This scheme sees the house builder pay to insure the mortgage that the buyer takes out, with an aim to make lenders more comfortable about offering high Loan-to-Value (LTV) mortgages on new build homes.

As part of Deposit Unlock’s eligibility criteria, you can only buy from participating home builders and mortgage lenders, and the maximum loan you can take out to buy a property through this scheme is £750,000.

Learn more about Deposit Unlock on Share to Buy.

Help to Buy

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Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme which provides eligible buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% (or 40% in London) of the value of a new build home. The government provides this loan so the buyer only needs to raise a 5% deposit, with a 75% mortgage (or 55% in London) making up the rest.

Please note that Help to Buy will be coming to an end on March 31st, 2023. However, the scheme closed to new applicants on October 31st, 2022.

Learn more about Help to Buy on Share to Buy.

Intermediate Rent

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Intermediate Rent is designed to help first time buyers who can’t currently afford to buy a home but want the chance to save for a deposit to purchase within the next five years. Eligible renters will let a brand new or refurbished home at approximately 20% less than similar properties in the local area.

These homes are let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis, usually with a six month contract period. However, you may have the opportunity to rent a home for longer than this initial contract period.

Learn more about Intermediate Rent on Share to Buy.

Rent to Buy

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Working households are able to rent a new build home on an Intermediate Rent basis, with the property let at a 20% subsidised rate with a fixed rate of inflation.

The property would be let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for up to five years and a saving plan will be put in place to help you raise a sufficient deposit to purchase your home on either Shared Ownership or equity loan terms within that time.

Learn more about Rent to Buy on Share to Buy.

London Living Rent

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Available to eligible renters in the capital, London Living Rent aims to help middle-income households who currently rent and are trying to save to buy a home through Shared Ownership or outright purchase.

These homes are offered on three year tenancies with below-market value rent, however this can be extended to a maximum of 10 years. Landlords are expected to encourage tenants into homeownership within this time, and occupants are also given extra priority for other Shared Ownership homes across London.

Learn more about London Living Rent on Share to Buy.

Share to Buy is a one stop shop for affordable homes. On our website, you can search for propertiescompare mortgages and find out all you need to know about alternative home-buying schemes using our article index.