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MAYOR OF LONDON

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FIRST STEPS in Kensington

Information on shared ownership in Kensington

The Mayor’s FIRST STEPS programme offers a range of intermediate housing options to Londoners on low and modest incomes, which may enable you to buy with a smaller deposit or rent at a lower rate than is otherwise possible. The Mayor has partnered with property portal Share to buy to advertise all FIRST STEPS properties in one place and www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps is the official website where you can find affordable homes to buy and rent in Kensington and across London. Use the tabs at the bottom of the screen to find more information on FIRST STEPS schemes available in Kensington, or start searching for properties by following these three simple steps:

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3 bed properties in Hackney - Now open to all London residents!

23rd April 2014

Family Mosaic Sales have now opened the remaining three bedroom properties at Lime Wharf, Hackney to all London Residents.
Prices start from £785,000 with shares available from £235,500 (30%)
​View the three bedroom properties at Lime Wharf
If you live or work in a London Borough and want to live by the canal in Hackney email us at sales@familymosaic.co.uk or call 020 7089 1315

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Affinity Sutton have 1 remaining 2 bed apartment at Saffron Square in Croydon, CR0

19th March 2014

Affinity Sutton have just one remaining 2 bedroom fourth floor apartment at the landmark Saffron Square development in Croydon.   Available from £68,125 (based on a 25% share of the full value £272,500) and a 5% mortgage deposit of just £3,407.  The property will be ready to move into from 26 March 2014.    Don’t miss out, contact the sales team today on 0300 100 0303 or sales@affinitysutton.com to request a sales pack.

Visit our News Archive

FIRST STEPS Shared ownership in Kensington

With FIRST STEPS Shared Ownership, you buy a maximum share that you can afford in a new or existing shared ownership home. Shares start at 25%, and go up to a maximum of 75%, of the full market value of the home.

On the share of the home you don’t own, you pay rent, initially capped at a maximum of 3% on the part owned by the housing provider.

If you buy a flat or a house on an estate with shared areas, you will also pay a service charge for maintenance and upkeep of communal areas and the grounds of your building.

You will need to be able to cover the cost of the mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees, and stamp duty (if applicable). You will need access to approximately £4,000 in savings. In most cases buying a home involves paying a deposit, which is in addition to the approximate £4,000 in savings needed to cover the costs of buying. The amount of deposit required will depend on the mortgage provider you chose, the terms of the mortgage and your credit rating.

When you can afford to, you can take your next steps and increase the share you own; this is known as 'staircasing'. The cost of the additional share that you buy will be based on the current market value of your home. You can staircase until you own your home outright. By buying an additional share through staircasing, you will reduce the amount of rent you pay. If you staircase to the point where you own outright, you will no longer have to pay rent.

In most cases you will be required to take out a mortgage to buy the maximum share that you can afford. However, if you are unable to raise a mortgage because of age, disability or a conflict with religious beliefs your housing provider will be able to waiver this requirement. You will still be required to undergo a financial assessment to establish the maximum share you can afford to purchase.

Please note: this type of shared home ownership is shared with a housing association, NOT other private individuals. Moreover, you should note that only specific properties are available as shared ownership flats and houses, there is no scheme where you can purchase any property on the open market with a shared mortgage/shared equity or similar such arrangement. In London, the only properties available are new shared ownership homes or second hand ‘resale’ shared ownership apartments and houses, all of which can be found at FIRST STEPS’s property portal brought to in partnership with Share to buy ltd at www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps.

Rent to save in Kensington

Rent to Save is designed to enable aspiring home-owners to move into the home they have chosen, even if they have not yet been able to save a sufficient mortgage deposit.

As the rent will be at a lower than market rate, you will be able to save throughout the period of your tenancy. Using typical assumptions for rental levels and mortgage deposits for shared ownership, a household regularly saving just the difference between their rent and market rent would have a sufficient deposit in less than two and a half years.

The housing provider will discuss with you your savings goal from the outset of the tenancy and how you should work towards this. The housing provider will explain to you how they will review your savings goal on an ongoing basis to ensure you are on course to achieve it.

The key features of the product are:

  • Let at up to 80% of the equivalent market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation.
  • The property would be let on an assured shorthold tenancy for a fixed term, up to five years, linked to (but not necessarily the same as) the required savings period. The period can be extended if you still want to buy but need a bit more time.
  • The tenancy can be ended, subject to the terms of your tenancy agreement and initial fixed terms being spent, at any point.
  • A savings plan will be put in place to help you raise a sufficient deposit to purchase on either shared ownership or equity loan terms within five years.
  • The housing provider will discuss with you their regular reviews to check your progress in saving for a deposit.
  • You can purchase on shared ownership or equity loan terms at any point in the tenancy, subject to still being eligible (see the ‘Am I eligible?’ page)

Availability of Rent to Save properties is currently limited as the product is due to rolled out from April 2013 onwards, but you can register for alerts on sharetobuy.com for when such properties are uploaded and from time to time you can also find Rent to buy properties and Intermediate Market Rent apartments at www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps. Share to buy is an affordable homes property portal provider and the official partner of the GLA and the Mayor of London in delivering the FIRST STEPS property portal.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the wealthiest borough in England.  Situated immediately to the west of the City of Westminster, it contains major museums in South Kensington as well as some of the major department stores including Harrods.  The borough is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, which is the largest in Europe.  It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London, which are among the most expensive in the world.  For transport the borough is well served with 12 underground stations on six different lines.  There is a wide range of schools including the famous Lycee Francais.  Affordable housing is generally to be found at the northern boundaries of the borough in North Kensington.

London Buildings and Monuments

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Share to Buy Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA register number 306800. You can find more detail on our status in our Initial Disclosure Document [109k] and Terms of Business.

For further information, contact us or write to: Share to Buy, PO Box 11998, Sudbury CO10 3BS. Registered in England and Wales no: 04909788.

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