Help - getting started with our Shared Ownership property website
Share to Buy created this website to help people looking for homes for sale and rent under an affordable housing scheme.
Each shared ownership property comes with a unique 'Budget calculator' tool showing the minimum deposit you require and the monthly costs.
You can even vary the deposit as well as the size of the share and then press 'UPDATE' to see how this might affect your total monthly payments.
Common questions if you are starting out
If you are just starting your research into affordable housing we hope that the following information might help you get underway.
- What benefit do I have from registering a user account on sharetobuy.com?
- What is shared equity?
- What is shared ownership?
- Am I eligible?
- What properties can I buy?
- What deposit do I need?
To get the most of our property site, you will need to register and create a user account, or sign in if you already have one. This enables you to set up property alerts so that you can receive emails about properties which may be of interest to you. Most importantly, although you can search for property without a user account, to be able to send enquiries and see the sellers details you will need to be signed in. When creating a user account, you will only sign up to receive new property alerts and emails promoting affordable homes; it is entirely optional whether you sign up for our general newsletter which will publish website news, new features on the website and contain updates to the government schemes, mortgages etc.
Shared Ownership is a Government-backed affordable housing scheme formally called 'new build homebuy' but often referred to as 'part buy / part rent' because of the way it works. You can:
- Buy a share in a property, usually in the range from 25% to 75%
- Pay below-market rent on the remaining share owned by a housing association
Although your maximum share can sometimes be capped, with most schemes you can 'staircase' to full ownership in future (i.e. buy more shares in the property up to 100% ownership). All the properties at sharetobuy.com are available to purchase and rent under the main affordable housing/homebuy schemes, including both shared ownership and shared equity.
Shared equity is similar to shared ownership in that it is a way of purchasing a brand new property with a smaller deposit than you might normally require on the open market. The main government backed shared equity scheme is Help to Buy. With shared equity schemes, you purchase all of the property but receive an equity loan to make your overall ‘deposit’ larger so that you can access relatively competitive mortgage rates whilst only putting down your own 5%. With Help to Buy equity loans, the equity loan is 20% (40% for properties in London) of the price provided half each by the builder and Government.
Eligibility rules vary for different affordable housing schemes. We suggest that you browse the Shared Ownership properties on our website and if there is a one you like, you can email the housing association or other provider offering that property and they should be able to confirm whether you are eligible.
Only certain types of property are available for purchase via a Shared Ownership scheme - unfortunately there are no longer any 'open market' schemes where you can buy a share in any property on the open market. The current availability of shared ownership properties consists of:
- New build flats and houses sold by housing associations or shared equity developers
- Second hand flats and houses already purchased under a Shared Ownership scheme, where the existing owner wants to sell their share (known as a 'resale').
You can find both new build shared ownership properties and second hand 'resales' at sharetobuy.com.
You generally need a deposit for a Shared Ownership property purchase. Each Shared Ownership property on sharetobuy.com has a special 'Budget tool' which confirms the minimum deposit you will need to purchase a share in that property. You can vary the deposit and press UPDATE to see how this affects your potential monthly payments, and you can also search for properties by the maximum deposit available to you.