Step 1- Are you eligible?
Shared ownership is designed to help people who are struggling to buy a property outright, get onto the housing ladder. So there are some restrictions on who can buy. You can take advantage of shared ownership if you are:
- unable to afford to buy a home outright on the open market;
- have a household income of less than £80,000;
- Meet the relevant local authority eligibility criteria;
- have sufficient savings to meet the one-off costs of buying a shared ownership home, and access to capital or a mortgage to fund your share of the purchase;
- be first time buyers, although some applicants who own or have previously owned a home may be eligible. This includes people who have lost a home through a relationship breakdown and shared owners whose family has grown and they need a larger home but who are still unable to afford to buy outright.
Step 2- Can you afford it?
Check if you can afford to buy a property by contacting a financial advisor, your bank or building society to make an initial enquiry about getting a mortgage. You should tell them that you want a mortgage offer in principle and that you are purchasing a shared ownership property. If it is not a re-sale then you must also tell them that it is a new build. You will need to have savings that you can use as a deposit as well as £3,500 to £4,000 to pay all the costs associated with buying a property. We can let you have details of financial advisers who specialise in shared ownership mortgages.
Step 3 - Find a Property
Housing Solutions advertise all of our shared ownership properties on our sales and lettings website and on Share to Buy -
If you want to discuss properties that we have available then please telephone 01628 543181. Some of our new developments may be sold off plan and some we may hold an open day and viewings for. You can register your interest in our properties through the local Help to Buy Agents website or by calling us direct.
Step 4 - Application
You will need complete our application form and will require you to provide the following supporting information:
• Proof of your identity (a full colour copy of your passport, photo driving license)
• Full Equifax Credit Report https://www.equifax.co.uk/
• Proof of savings. You will need to have enough savings to cover any deposit your mortgage provider has asked you to pay, as well as savings to cover all the legal and other costs associated with buying a property;
• Proof of your income (pay slips covering the last three months or three years’ accounts if you are self employed i.e copies of your SA302’s and your latest P60);
• A letter from each applicant’s employer stating you are in permanent employment, where you work, how long you have been employed at that location and details of your annual salary;
• Bank statements covering the last three months;
• Documents showing details of any loan agreements;
• Credit card statements for the last three months;
• A copy of your rent book, rent statement or mortgage statement for the last six months (if applicable);
• A reservation fee of £500.
Step 5 - Affordability Assessment
All applicants must, in line with HCA guidelines undertake an affordability assessment. This assessment is carried out by an Independent Financial Advisor, approved by the HCA, and assists all applicants with a guide to the right share level they are able to purchase. The assessment takes into account gross income, bonus and overtime amounts, working tax credits, disability allowance and guaranteed maintenance. This forms part of the above application process and your application will not be considered without this being done.
Step 6 - Checks
We will then assess your application and supporting documentation and decide whether you are eligible to buy a home and can afford all the costs of owning a home.
Step 7 - Offer
If you are successful in your application we will send you an official offer to buy the home. You will have seven working days to respond to this offer. If you decide not to go ahead at this stage we will return your £500 reservation fee. Once you have confirmed that you are going ahead with the purchase we will bank your reservation fee of £500. If you decide to pull out of the scheme at a later date, for whatever reason, this reservation fee will not be refunded.
Step 8 - Appointing a solicitor and arranging your mortgage
In conjunction with accepting the above offer you will need to appoint a solicitor. It is important that you choose a solicitor who is experienced in shared ownership. You should call a number of solicitors to find out how much their fees are, including local searches, stamp duty and other costs associated with buying a property before you agree to use one of them. You will need to let us have details of the solicitor when you accept the above offer.
You will also need to complete a full mortgage application. Once you have received a copy of your mortgage offer, you should send this to us immediately.
Step 9 - Memorandum of Sale and the start of the Legal Transaction
Housing Solutions will send to you a memorandum of sale which you forward to your solicitor to formally instruct them and start the legal transaction. Similarly Housing Solutions will instruct our own solicitors in the sale to you so that they can prepare the contract pack to send out. Housing Solutions require a 28 day exchange of contracts deadline from the date this contract pack is sent to your solicitors.
Once your solicitor and ours have received all the documents they need we can exchange contracts. This means that you sign a legally binding agreement to buy the property and we sign a contract to sell it. When we exchange contracts we will ask you to pay a further deposit of 10 per cent towards the value of the share you are buying. On the day of exchange of contracts your solicitor will agree the date that you will complete the purchase. This is normally 7 days after the exchange of contracts.
Step 10 - Moving in to your new home
Your purchase is completed. Congratulations this is the day that you can move into your new home! We will arrange to meet you to hand over the keys and check all the meter readings and show you how everything works in your new home.