Jargon Busting: Staircasing in 30 seconds or less

There’s a lot of myths and misconceptions around the Shared Ownership scheme, what it is and what happens once you’ve bought your home through the part buy/part rent scheme.

Surely I can never fully own a Shared Ownership home? What happens if my financial circumstances change and I want to buy more shares? Do I have to staircase even if I don’t want to?

As part of our Jargon Busting in 30 seconds or less series, we’ve taken a look at the process of buying more shares in your Shared Ownership home, also known as ‘Staircasing’.

As and when your financial circumstances change, you can choose to buy more shares in your Shared Ownership home through a process known as Staircasing; this is completely optional and you do not have to buy more shares if you don’t want to. As you purchase more shares in your home, your mortgage payments will increase and your rent will decrease.

While you’ll need to check the terms of your lease for any potential restrictions to the process, you are generally given the opportunity to staircase three times in your home. These will often need to be bought in chunks of 10% or more, and the final share you buy will need to bring you to the maximum share you are allowed to purchase. It is therefore sensible from a financial point of view to staircase in the largest steps that you can manage.

If you decide to staircase to 100%, you become the outright owner of your property and no longer pay any rent, just your mortgage. At this stage, if you wish to sell, you’re no longer required to give your housing association the opportunity to market the property first.

For more information on Shared Ownership and Staircasing, check out our other pages below:

What home buying terminology do you find confusing? Let us know at @SharetoBuy over on TwitterFacebook or Instagram and we’ll look into adding this to our jargon busting series!

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