Shared Ownership from Oakfield Chartered Surveyors: Affordable Property Solutions

Shared ownership is a home-buying scheme that allows you to purchase a percentage of a property while paying rent on the remaining portion. Oakfield Chartered Surveyors can assist with shared ownership matters, including valuations and surveys, to help determine the value of your share of the property and ensure it is in good condition. We can also guide you through the process of buying or selling a shared ownership property, making the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

 
 
Shared Ownership

Understanding Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is a housing scheme that has gained popularity in recent years as an affordable property solution for individuals who may not be able to purchase a home outright. This arrangement allows buyers to purchase a share of a property, typically between 25% and 75%, and pay rent on the remaining portion. Over time, buyers have the option to increase their share through a process known as “staircasing” until they eventually own the property outright.

The benefits of shared ownership are multi-fold. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for individuals or families with lower incomes to step onto the property ladder, offering them a more achievable path to homeownership. Secondly, it allows buyers to enjoy the stability and security that comes with owning a home while still having the flexibility to increase their stake in the property at their own pace.

When entering into a shared ownership agreement, it’s important to understand that buyers will typically need to take out a mortgage to finance their share of the property. This means that affordability checks and eligibility criteria will still apply, although they may be more lenient compared to purchasing a property outright.

 
 
 

Imagine you find your dream home but don’t have all the funds needed for a full purchase. With shared ownership, you can take that first step towards homeownership by buying a percentage of the property and gradually increasing it over time. It’s like having one foot on the ladder already!

 
 

Now that we have a solid understanding of what shared ownership entails, let’s explore its evolution over time and how it has become an increasingly viable option in the housing market.

  • Research shows a rise in the demand for shared ownership services, with a year-on-year increase of 4% in inquiries in the United Kingdom.
  • About 200,000 people in England alone are currently living in homes under shared ownership schemes according to UK Government data.
  • The National Housing Federation reports that shared owners are typically younger (average age of 33) and more likely to have families than those in traditional sales or rentals.
  • Shared ownership is a popular housing scheme that allows individuals with lower incomes to step onto the property ladder by purchasing a share of a property and paying rent on the remaining portion. The option to increase their stake in the property over time provides flexibility and security to buyers. It’s important to note that buyers will still need to take out a mortgage to finance their share, but eligibility criteria may be more lenient compared to purchasing a property outright. Shared ownership has become an increasingly viable option in the housing market, offering an achievable path to homeownership for those who may not have been able to do so otherwise.
 

Require assistance with Shared Ownership?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Marlow and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

The Evolution of Shared Ownership

Shared ownership has evolved significantly since its inception, adapting to changing market conditions and government initiatives. Originally introduced in the 1970s as part of social housing programmes, shared ownership aimed to provide affordable housing solutions primarily for low-income households.

This concept gained momentum throughout the years and began to extend beyond social housing. Private developers started offering shared ownership properties, making it accessible to a wider range of buyers. Government-backed schemes and initiatives have also played a pivotal role in promoting shared ownership as a viable option for first-time buyers.

For instance, in the United Kingdom, government initiatives like the Help to Buy scheme and Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme have been instrumental in boosting the availability and visibility of shared ownership properties. These programmes provide financial assistance and support for individuals looking to purchase a share of a home.

Shared ownership has become more prevalent in recent years due to rising property prices and the increasing challenges of saving for a full deposit. As such, it has gained recognition as an effective way to bridge the affordability gap for those aspiring to own their homes.

Having explored the evolution of shared ownership, we now have a comprehensive understanding of its origins and its current significance as an affordable housing solution.

 
 

The Shared Ownership Process

Shared ownership is an increasingly popular scheme that allows individuals to purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining portion. This enables people who may not have sufficient funds for a full mortgage to step onto the property ladder. So, how does the shared ownership process work?

Firstly, it’s important to find a suitable property that is eligible for shared ownership. These properties are typically offered by housing associations or developers who specialise in affordable housing options. Once you’ve identified a property, you will need to apply through a registration process and meet certain eligibility criteria set by the provider.

For instance, let’s say you find a beautiful two-bedroom apartment in a desirable location. You would then need to go through the application process with the housing association responsible for selling the shares. They might require you to have a specific income level or be a first-time buyer.

Once your application is approved and you’ve passed affordability checks, you will enter into a shared ownership lease agreement. This legally binding document outlines the responsibilities of both the homeowner and the housing association, including details on how shares can be purchased in the future.

With all the paperwork sorted out, it’s time to proceed with the financial implications of shared ownership. However, before diving into that topic, let’s explore the crucial role played by Oakfield Chartered Surveyors in this process.

 
 
 

Roles of Oakfield Chartered Surveyors

Oakfield Chartered Surveyors play a vital role in ensuring a smooth shared ownership process. Their expertise and knowledge contribute significantly by offering professional guidance and services throughout various stages.

One key area where Oakfield Chartered Surveyors assist is by conducting thorough surveys on the properties being considered for shared ownership. These surveys aim to identify any defects or issues that may impact both short-term enjoyment and long-term investment potential. By providing comprehensive reports, Oakfield Chartered Surveyors enable potential buyers to make informed decisions and negotiate fair pricing.

In addition to surveys, Oakfield Chartered Surveyors also offer valuation services. This is particularly crucial in shared ownership, as it helps determine the initial value of the property and subsequent valuations for purchasing additional shares. Accurate and independent valuations provided by Oakfield Chartered Surveyors ensure transparency and fairness in the shared ownership process.

When it comes to legal matters, Oakfield Chartered Surveyors can provide expert advice on contracts, lease agreements, and any legal implications involved in shared ownership transactions. Their role is to protect your interests and ensure that all contractual agreements are fair and in compliance with regulations.

For example, if there are any disputes or issues that arise during the shared ownership process, Oakfield Chartered Surveyors can act as an impartial mediator and help find a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties involved.

With their comprehensive range of services and expertise, Oakfield Chartered Surveyors serve as valuable partners throughout the shared ownership journey.

 
 
 
 
Shared Ownership Property

Looking for a Shared Ownership Valuation?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Marlow and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

The Financial Implications of Shared Ownership

Shared ownership can be an attractive option for individuals looking to step onto the property ladder, especially in areas with high housing prices. However, it’s essential to understand the financial implications associated with this type of arrangement before making a decision.

When purchasing a shared ownership property, you typically buy a percentage share of the property and pay rent on the remaining share owned by a housing association or developer. This initial purchase can require a smaller deposit compared to purchasing a property outright, making it more accessible for those with limited savings.

For example, let’s say you decide to buy a 50% share of a property valued at 200,000. This means you would only need to provide a deposit and secure a mortgage for half of that amount, significantly reducing the upfront costs.

Keep in mind that along with your mortgage payments, you will also have monthly rent obligations for the portion of the property not owned by you. It’s important to carefully consider these ongoing costs when budgeting and determining affordability.

As your circumstances change over time and if you wish, there may be opportunities to increase your ownership share through a process called staircasing. This allows you to gradually increase your equity in the property, reducing the amount of rent paid each month.

However, it’s worth noting that with any increase in ownership share comes additional costs such as valuation fees, legal fees, and potentially higher mortgage repayments. Therefore, it’s crucial to factor in these expenses and determine if staircasing aligns with your long-term financial goals.

Another aspect to consider is that when you eventually decide to sell your shared ownership property, you will only benefit from the percentage share that you own. This means that any increase in the property value will apply only to your portion. While this can result in lower returns compared to owning an entire property, it also reduces potential losses if there is a market downturn.

Lastly, it’s important to recognise that shared ownership properties may have restrictions on subletting or making alterations to the property. These restrictions can impact your ability to generate additional income from renting out a room or making significant changes to suit your personal preferences.

 
 
 
 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shared Ownership

Shared ownership offers several advantages that make it an appealing option for many individuals. One significant advantage is the opportunity to enter the property market with a lower deposit requirement. This enables aspiring homeowners who may not have saved a substantial deposit to take their first steps onto the property ladder.

Through shared ownership, individuals can enjoy the benefits of owning a property, such as stability and a sense of pride in homeownership. They can also benefit from any increase in property value over time, albeit limited to their ownership share.

Furthermore, shared ownership provides security and stability for those who prefer a long-term solution rather than fluctuating rental agreements. It offers greater control over one’s living environment, allowing residents to personalise their space and create a sense of belonging within their community.

For instance, imagine someone who has been renting for years and wishes they could make adjustments to their home but is prohibited by restrictive rental agreements. With shared ownership, they not only have more freedom to make changes as they see fit, but also have greater control over their housing situation in the long run.

However, like any housing arrangement, shared ownership has its disadvantages. One notable disadvantage is the ongoing financial commitment of mortgage payments, rent, service charges, and potential ground rent obligations. It is crucial to assess your financial capabilities and ensure that these costs align with your budget before committing to shared ownership.

Additionally, the process of selling a shared ownership property can be more complex compared to selling an outright owned property. As you are selling your ownership share rather than the entire property itself, there may be certain restrictions or processes involved that could potentially impact the sale timeline or limit your potential buyer pool.

It’s worth considering that shared ownership may not be the best option for everyone. Some individuals may prefer the flexibility of renting, without the long-term commitment and the responsibility of property ownership. Renting can provide more mobility and freedom to relocate as circumstances change, whereas shared ownership can be more binding.

 
 
 
 
 

Success Stories and Challenges

Imagine Sarah, a young professional looking to step onto the property ladder but unable to afford a full property on her own. Shared ownership presents an opportunity for Sarah to achieve her homeownership dreams by buying a portion of a property and paying rent on the remaining share. Sarah’s success story lies in how shared ownership provided her with an affordable solution that matched her financial situation. She was able to purchase a 50% share of a two-bedroom apartment, allowing her to build equity while paying a reduced mortgage and monthly rent on the remaining portion. This arrangement not only gave Sarah a sense of stability and permanent residence but also served as an investment in her future.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that shared ownership is not without its challenges. One significant hurdle involves the limited availability of properties under this scheme. As shared ownership gains popularity, the demand often exceeds the supply, leading to fierce competition among potential buyers. This can make finding a suitable property more difficult and time-consuming.

Furthermore, the restrictions surrounding shared ownership can prove challenging for some individuals. For instance, there are strict eligibility criteria that applicants must meet, such as income thresholds or being a first-time buyer. These requirements can limit opportunities for those who don’t fit within the specified criteria.

Another challenge arises from the need for ongoing affordability assessments. As part of shared ownership agreements, residents are typically required to pay both mortgage payments on their share and rent on the remaining portion. Regular assessments may be carried out to ensure that homeowners can still afford their monthly payments based on changes in circumstances or interest rates. This process can cause uncertainty and potential financial strain if adjustments need to be made.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Shared ownership has its successes and challenges, which vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences. Despite the potential hurdles, many individuals have achieved their homeownership goals through this scheme, making it worth considering as an affordable property solution.

 
 
 
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