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Shared ownership presents a great opportunity to buy a home sooner than you expected. This Government-backed scheme enables buyers to purchase a share of a leasehold property (normally 25%-75%) and pay rent on the remaining portion.

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  Buy sooner: get your foot on the property ladder with a much smaller deposit

  Stability and security: more control over your home compared to renting

  Put your stamp on it: no restrictions like rental properties, you can paint, decorate, and truly make the place your own

  A strategic move: benefit from your home’s potential appreciation over time

  At your own pace: increase ownership shares, sell the property, or transition to full ownership when you’re ready


The shared ownership process: A step-by-step guide to part-buy, part-rent

  • Step 1. Assess your finances

    As with any property purchase, you should seek mortgage advice first to understand your borrowing capacity and explore the available mortgage options. We will put you in contact with a mortgage broker who specialises in shared ownership and will help you determine what you can realistically afford. This is a key part of the shared ownership process.

  • Step 2. Find your dream home

    Now that you have a clear understanding of your budget, the exciting part of the shared ownership buying process begins. Time to look for the right home.

    A good way to find shared ownership properties is to Google ‘shared ownership + location you want to buy in’. You can also filter on websites like Rightmove and Share to Buy to find properties that are available through buying schemes. Or find all homes available through SOWN here

    Buyer’s tip: On many sites, you can register for updates on new listings to be the first to know when new properties become available.

  • Step 3. Reserve a home

    When you finally find the home you’ve been searching for, you'll need to express your interest in reserving it with the selling agent or housing provider. At this stage, you will be required to complete a financial assessment specific to the property you wish to reserve, fill in an application form and provide proof of eligibility, such as income, identification and proof of savings.

  • Step 4. Start the mortgage process

    Once your reservation is accepted, the next part of the shared ownership buying process is to begin the mortgage process. We can put you in contact with specialist mortgage brokers who have access to several lenders and mortgages and can help arrange the mortgage most suitable for you. You’ll need to have all the necessary documents ready, including proof of income, identification and bank statements.

  • Step 5. Property valuation

    Your mortgage lender will want to carry out a valuation of the home you are purchasing to confirm that they are happy to lend against the property. This is carried out by an independent qualified surveyor of your mortgage lenders’ choosing. This valuation is essential for your mortgage lender as it determines the loan amount they will provide.

  • Step 6. Appoint a solicitor

    Meanwhile, you will need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. They will review contracts, conduct searches and ensure a smooth transfer of ownership. Once your solicitor has done everything they need to, they will send you a contract and full report to sign and return to them.

    Buyer’s tip: At SOWN, we work with a panel of solicitors who specialise in shared ownership purchases. We can provide you with their details as part of the purchase process.

  • Step 7: Exchange of contracts

    If your mortgage application is successful, your lender will issue a mortgage offer detailing the terms and conditions of the loan. Make sure you review this document carefully and address any queries or concerns with your solicitor or mortgage broker. If everything looks good, you can proceed to exchange contracts on the sale. At this stage, you will typically pay a deposit: usually 5-10% of the share value.

  • Step 8: Completion of the purchase

    Congratulations! Completion is the final step, where the remaining balance of the purchase price is paid and legal ownership of the property is transferred to you. Your solicitor will handle the necessary paperwork. We will meet you at your new home on the day of completion to hand you the keys and show you around.

  • Step 9: So this is home

    Home sweet home. It’s time to make the home your own and enjoy it with friends and family.

    The shared ownership buying process can be an exciting and rewarding journey towards homeownership. We hope that this step-by-step guide helped you feel better prepared for each stage of the journey.

    We are always here if you have any questions. Get in touch.

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