Share to Buy Expert Sessions: Your questions about homes
Shared Ownership homes with Share to Buy
Is Shared Ownership available on houses as well as flats?arrow_downward
Shared Ownership is available on purpose built homes including studio flats, apartments, houses and townhouses amongst other property types. These properties are either new build homes or resales which are being sold by the current Shared Ownership.
You can search for Shared Ownership homes in your local area on Share to Buy’s property portal.
Is Shared Ownership only available on new build homes?arrow_downward
No – Shared Ownership is available on both new build and resale homes.
New build homes are purpose-built properties that are usually part of a larger development or area regeneration; a buyer of a new build property will be the first person to live in the home. Resale properties are homes that a current owner bought through the Shared Ownership scheme and wishes to sell on.
What are the benefits of buying a new build home?arrow_downward
Most new build homes come fitted with high-specification appliances and materials. New homes must also comply with the latest building regulations, ensuring that they include the most up to date heating systems and insulation.
Another big positive of buying a purpose-built home on a new development is that you won’t be part of a moving chain that could threaten your completion date.
Is Stamp Duty applicable on new build Shared Ownership homes?arrow_downward
If you’re a first time buyer in England, you will not need to pay Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000.
As a first time buyer, when purchasing a Shared Ownership property you will have the option of paying Stamp Duty on the full value of the property as if you were buying outright, or you can just pay Stamp Duty on the share that you’re purchasing. If you have already purchased your property and did not elect to pay the full Stamp Duty at outset, then you will not be liable to pay more Stamp Duty until you purchase an 80% share of your home via the staircasing process.
Do all new build homes come with parking?arrow_downward
No, not always. It will depend on the development.
What does it mean if a home is off-plan?arrow_downward
Response from Southern Home Ownership – Buying a home off-plan means that it is still in the process of being built and therefore you won’t be able to view it until after you’ve committed to buying it. In many cases this will mean legally agreeing to buy the property by exchanging contracts.
To help in your decision, you’ll be invited to view the floor plan of the off-plan home and the show home that will be finished in the same way that your home will be.
Can I choose the interiors of my home if I buy off-plan? For example, can I pick the types of tiles or work surfaces I'd like?arrow_downward
Response from L&Q – With homes being built by L&Q, we may be able to offer you the choice of two contemporary colour palettes to choose from, depending on the stage of the build. Homes being built by another builder and sold by L&Q will include a ‘set specification’. All of our interiors and fixtures are of high quality and have been chosen to be neutral, we are confident you will not be disappointed.
What are resales homes?arrow_downward
Resale properties are homes that a current owner bought through the Shared Ownership scheme and now wishes to sell on. With resale, you will need to purchase a share equal to or higher than what the current resident owns.
What are the benefits of buying a resale home?arrow_downward
The initial purchase price of a resale property can often work out cheaper than that of a new build home. The rent on a resale property also generally works out considerably less than that of a new build of the same type and size as these rent increases will be set out in the lease; they are also based on consumer price inflation, not on rising property prices.
With a resale property, you can also see exactly what you’re getting for your money. You will be able to view the property and fully envision yourself living there, something that you don’t get if buying an off-plan home that’s still in the process of being built.
Can I purchase any property on a Shared Ownership basis?arrow_downward
Shared Ownership is only available on properties that have been built for that scheme by a housing association using a Government subsidy. Therefore, the option does not exist to make an offer on an outright sale property on a Shared Ownership basis.
Is there a warranty on new build Shared Ownership homes?arrow_downward
Response from Southern Home Ownership – Yes, most new Shared Ownership homes come with a 10 to 12 year new-build warranty to cover the structure of the building.
Do Shared Ownership homes come furnished?arrow_downward
No – Shared Ownership homes will be unfurnished unless otherwise specified. However many homes, especially new builds, will include kitchen appliances such as a fridge, oven, dishwasher, etc.
Can I buy a property with more bedrooms than my household needs?arrow_downward
There are no restrictions on the property size you can buy. As long as you can afford it, you can apply for properties with as many bedrooms as you wish.
How does leasehold work with Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
Most Shared Ownership properties are leasehold homes. To put it simply, leasehold ownership is like a long tenancy. Your lease will give you the right to occupy and use the home for a longer period – or the ‘term’ of the lease – which will usually be for 99 or 125 years. The home can be bought or sold during that time.
What is the average length of lease on a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
Your lease will give you the right to occupy and use the home for a longer period – or the ‘term’ of the lease – which will usually be for 99 or 125 years. The home can be bought or sold during that time.
Who pays for the lease extension on a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
Response from L&Q – The leaseholder would be responsible for paying for the lease extension. The premium that they pay depends on a number of factors and which route (formal or informal) they take. They would be responsible for 100% of the cost of the lease extension, not just the share that they own.
A lease extension is a statutory right for 100% leaseholders provided you meet the eligibility criteria detailed below. Shared Owners cannot formally apply to extend their lease through this statutory right, but L&Q still offer an informal lease extension service.
In order to be eligible for a lease extension you must hold the lease of the flat and this means hold a lease:
• With a term of 21 years or greater
• Granted under the Social HomeBuy Scheme with 100% ownership
• Granted under the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire rent to mortgage terms
• Own 100% of their home through a lease (100% leaseholder)
To progress formally, a 100% leaseholder must have held their lease for at least two years. We ask the same for Shared Owners, however this is at our discretion and assessed on a case by cases basis.
L&Q can offer advice on surveyors and solicitors that provide preferential rates to L&Q residents. Further information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can my leasehold home ever become freehold? What if I buy 100% of the property?arrow_downward
If you buy a Shared Ownership flat, you will only own the leasehold – this is the same if you were to buy on the open market. However, if you go on to buy all shares in a Shared Ownership house, you can discuss becoming the freeholder of the property with your housing provider.