Step by step guide to buying a Shared Ownership home

Your 10 step guide to buying a Shared Ownership property

Interior photo of a open plan kitchen and living area

For first time buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder, the world of alternative home ownership schemes can seem overwhelming. However, by following our easy step by step guide to buying a Shared Ownership home, you’ll soon see how straightforward the whole process really is!


Step one

Firstly, create an account on Share to Buy. From here you can search for homes based off of your own requirements and need – this includes property type, number of bedrooms, search radius and deposit amount.

Each live property will offer a budget calculator, outlining the minimum deposit required and monthly costs. You can also save your searches and register to receive alerts when new properties are announced by email.


Step two

When you find a property (or properties) that you like the look of, click on the ‘Register Interest’ button. This will send your details directly to the housing provider who are selling the home.


Step three

Once a viewing has been arranged and attended through the housing provider, and you’re sure you want to make that property your home, you can put down a reservation fee. This will usually require a deposit of around £200 – however, the amount will vary depending on the provider.


Step four

If you meet the eligibility criteria, the housing provider will then invite you to attend a financial assessment; a calculator provided by the Homes and Communities Agency will be used to assess what share in the property you can afford to purchase. It’s also worth noting that the financial interview is normally for new build properties only, as with resale homes you generally have to match or exceed the current owner’s share.

You can find out more about the differences between new build and resale homes here.


Step five

Once you know the share that you’ll be buying and therefore the monthly rent payable at outset, you will be able to consider your mortgage options; you can see what mortgage schemes might be available to you via our Mortgage Comparison tool.

To find out if you meet a lender’s affordability calculations and lending criteria, you can either contact the lender directly or discuss with a mortgage adviser. A mortgage adviser may charge a fee but will be able to assist you with finding a suitable mortgage, even if your first choice is not available, as well as arrange a mortgage agreement in principle. You may wish to contact the firms on Share to Buy’s Mortgage Broker Panel.


Step six

At this stage, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer who will handle all of the legal aspects of buying or selling a property for you. You can check out Share to Buy’s panel of specialist Shared Ownership solicitors and conveyancers here.


Step seven

After the financial interview, the housing provider will issue your solicitor with a ‘Memorandum of Sale’, which summarises the details of your proposed purchase. Not all mortgage lenders will require this but if you are buying with a 5% or 10% deposit, you will most probably need one.


Step eight

When the time comes to exchange contracts, you will be legally bound to buy the home, and the housing provider will be legally required to sell you the property. At this time, you will also find out your ‘completion date’, or ‘completion on notice’ if you have bought an off-plan property.


Step nine

On the completion date, your mortgage lender will give your solicitor the money to buy your home. Your solicitor will then pass this money on to the housing provider’s solicitor. When this is done, you officially become the owner of the property!


Step ten

At the final stage, the housing provider will give you the keys so that you can finally move in to your new home and start making it your own.



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 FAQs and guides.

You can also keep up to date with @SharetoBuy over on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

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