Step by step guide to buying a Shared Ownership home

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!

  1. Firstly, create an account on Share to Buy – from here you can search for homes based on location, bedroom numbers, deposit amount and other key criteria.
  2. When you find a property (or properties) that you like the look of, click on the ‘Show Interest’ button. This will send your details directly to the housing provider who are selling the home.
  3. 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 then put down a reservation fee. This will usually require a £200 deposit – however, the amount will vary depending on the provider.
  4. 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.
  5. Once you know the share that you will 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 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, and arrange a mortgage agreement in principle.
  6. You will need to appoint a solicitor to do the necessary legal work. You can find specialist Shared Ownership solicitors and conveyancing professionals on the Share to Buy website.
  7. After the financial interview, the housing provider will issue your solicitor with a ‘Memorandum of Sale’, which summarises the details of your proposed purchase.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.

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