Censeo Financial: Getting ready to buy your Shared Ownership home

Specialist mortgage brokers talk Shared Ownership, credit scores and deposits

Introducing Censeo Financial

Censeo Financial are an award-winning mortgage broker specialising in Shared Ownership and affordable homeownership. Having been trading for over 16 years, we work with many housing associations, councils and developers, and have helped thousands of first time buyers get onto the property ladder.

We have access to all lenders who offer Shared Ownership mortgages and often get exclusive deals that you wouldn’t get from going to a lender direct. We understand the importance of providing a friendly and helpful service and have achieved 98% five star Google reviews in the last 12 months – we strive to offer the best service possible and to find our customers the best mortgage for their personal needs saving time and money.

Buying a Shared Ownership home in 2022

Buying a property is a big decision, so it is vitally important that you do your homework. As a first time buyer you will probably need a mortgage which is likely to be one of the largest financial commitments that you make in your life.

Buying a home may start years in advance while you save for the deposit, legal costs, and household furnishings – often costing more than you think. Some may be fortunate to have the help of the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’ but even then, parents may need time to save or access their funds.

If you want to secure a mortgage, lenders will need to see evidence of your income to check regular overtime and bonuses, they will review your bank statements to help establish your lifestyle and to check your outgoings such as credit/store cards and loans including ‘buy now pay later’ arrangements are accurate. Generally, a lender will need to see three months’ payslips, six months’ bank statements, proof of residency, company accounts for those who are self-employed and own a business and copies of your passport so make sure you have them handy.

Set aside some time to look at all your monthly outgoings – including a realistic amount per month that you can live comfortably on. If you can, try putting together a simple spreadsheet which includes all your bills, spending, debt repayments, income sources and of course your spending on leisure activities! For a full list of the documents, you will need visit censeo-financial.com.

Many lenders offer mortgages up to 95% of the share so you may only need a 5% deposit, but this could still be several thousands of pounds. Much will then depend on two key factors – your employment status and your credit score. Having a regular income and being in full time employment is the ideal but many lenders recognise that thousands of people are self-employed so whilst it is harder to get a mortgage and you may not secure the best rates, it certainly isn’t impossible. Although 5% deposit will secure you a mortgage with some lenders, if you have a larger deposit 10% or more you will usually get a better interest rate with the lender.

Image of a mortgage application - find Shared Ownership homes on Share to Buy!

Most lenders will undertake a credit score, it is important that this is sufficiently high for banks or building societies to lend to you. Therefore, make sure that you don’t miss any payments, you aren’t carrying too much debt (unsecured loans and credit cards) and you have a good credit history. It’s easy to check your score, just go online and register on websites such as Experian, Equifax or Clearscore.

When you are ready to look at property, it’s best to do a quick calculation using an affordability application, like the Censeo Affordability App, this will let you know what you can afford and roughly what your monthly outgoings will be.

Starting your search

Armed with this knowledge, you will then be able to do the exciting part – looking for a Shared Ownership home you know you can afford with the help of sharetobuy.com.

Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, a more detailed affordability assessment is recommended which a specialist mortgage broker like Censeo can assist you with. Just go online and visit Censeo’s easy-to-use online portal.

The assessment will assess your ability to afford and sustain the mortgage, rent and service charge alongside existing financial commitments in line with the affordable homes criteria and lenders underwriting requirements. This will tell you if you are eligible to buy a Shared Ownership property or not and allow us to assess your likely ability to secure a mortgage.

Alternatively email enquiries@censeo-financial.com or call one of our friendly and helpful team on 0207 090 7290 who will assist you. Censeo work with many housing associations to assess affordability. We will give you a Decision in Principle certificate which you can take to the viewing – this gives the person on site confidence to know you can proceed and could benefit you in securing your preferred home.

Young couple hugging whilst unpacking boxes - find Shared Ownership homes on Share to Buy!

Once offered the property you’ll have 28 days to gain a mortgage offer. The best way is through a specialist mortgage broker who specialise in Shared Ownership and affordable homeownership properties like Censeo as you need sound financial advice from a company who knows the product. Having access to all lenders, their experience saves you time and possibly money as they know the lenders criteria.

The process of securing a mortgage is in two stages, first an Agreement in Principle and then the full mortgage application. While and after the mortgage is issued, many make the mistake of buying furniture for their home; this is natural but taking out loans or maximising credit cards can invalidate mortgage offers so be careful. Finally, when buying a home, you need to protect you and your home with insurance.

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 such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy.