Shared Ownership Mortgage Guide and FAQs

At Share to Buy we understand that for those who have never needed one before, the prospect of finding a mortgage can be daunting. This guide and the FAQs at the bottom of the page cover all you need to know about finding a mortgage for your Shared Ownership home.

Types of Mortgages

There are several different types of mortgage products on the market. The most common are:

Variable (Standard Variable Rate)

A variable or standard variable rate mortgage is a rate which is set by each mortgage lender and is the rate which borrowers will usually revert to once they have come to the end of an initial fixed or tracker rate.

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate mortgage is one where the interest Rate that you pay is fixed for a set period of time usually 2, 3, 5 or 10 years.

Tracker Mortgage

A tracker mortgage is one where the interest rate will be a given percentage (currently above) the Bank of England base rate for a set period of time. It is a variable rate as the interest rate will change at the same time as any change in the Bank of England base rate.

Discount Mortgage

A discount rate is a variable rate that offers a discount on the lenders’ standard variable rate for a set period – normally 2 to 5 years.

Interest Only

Mortgage lenders are generally only willing to consider an interest only loan if you have a 50% deposit or more and where you can show an acceptable repayment plan. In practice the housing association is most unlikely to agree to your taking out an interest only mortgage on a Shared Ownership purchase.

Which mortgage type is best for me?

Deciding on the most suitable mortgage type for you will very much depend on you financial situation and your appetite for risk.

You are more likely to find a fixed rate preferable if:

  • You are on a tight budget
  • You think that interest rates will increase
  • You prefer to know what your repayments will be over a period of years

A variable rate could be preferred if:

  • You require the lowest possible rate
  • You can afford to increase your repayments if interest rates rise
  • You require a scheme that does not have early repayment charges


Browse our helpful FAQs below to answer any Shared Ownership mortgage questions you may have. For more information or to discuss your options, you may wish to speak to a specialist mortgage broker

What is an Agreement in Principle?

An Agreement in Principle (AIP) is an agreement from a mortgage lender that they will lend you the mortgage amount requested, subject to satisfactory proof of income and valuation of the property.

Before issuing an Agreement in Principle the lender will carry out a credit check and subject your application to their internal credit scoring. This agreement is not binding on either you or the lender. An Agreement in Principle is the first part of the process of applying for a mortgage.

Should I get a Mortgage in Principle before viewing properties?

It is not essential to get a Mortgage in Principle before viewing a home, but it does make sense to do so.

An Agreement in Principle (or Decision in Principle) checks affordability but the really important part of the AIP is the credit score. If there is anything in your financial past that could stop you being able to buy, then you would want to know before being accepted for a home, only to find that you can’t actually buy it.

How long does a Memorandum of Sale usually take to get?

This can vary considerably between housing associations and whether you are buying a new build property or a resale home. With a new property you would normally expect to receive the memorandum within 10 working days.

Some mortgage lenders will not accept a mortgage application unless the MOS is submitted with the application, while other lenders will want a copy before issuing a mortgage offer.

For information about the documentation required when applying for a mortgage, please check out our guide here.