Shared ownership in six easy steps

Shared ownership can help you buy a home of your own. It's a great alternative to renting or full ownership and it might be suitable for you if you can't afford to buy your own home outright.

How does shared ownership work? 
You buy a share of a home and pay rent on the share that you don't own. If you wish to do so, you can buy all or some of the remaining share in the future; this is known as ‘staircasing’. Aster offers a range of properties for shared ownership. Most of these properties are brand new but some are resale properties, where the current owner bought the house through shared ownership and now wishes to sell on. Depending on the scheme, type of property and location, shares as low as 25% are available.

And we’ve produced a simple step-by-step guide to help you get a foot onto the property ladder and buy a share in a shared ownership home of your choice:

Step 1: Get yourself registered 
You will need to get yourself registered with a shared ownership home provider, like Aster. 
Your household needs to earn £80,000 a year or less (or £90,000 a year or less in London) and one of the following should apply: 
• you’re a first-time buyer 
• you used to own a home, but can’t afford to buy one now 
• you’re an existing shared owner

Step 2: Start viewing! 
As soon as you have successfully registered, you can start registering your interest in the properties you like and, if they have already been built, begin viewing them. If you want to reserve a home, you will typically be asked for a small deposit to secure it. 
Shared ownership properties currently available from Aster can be found on our sales pages.

Step 3: The offer 
We are required by law to carry out a series of financial checks on you to meet the UK’s money laundering regulations. When this is done and you’ve successfully passed the checks, we will formally offer you your home. You will then be invited to an interview with an independent mortgage advisor who can give you advice on how to mortgage your new home (or you can choose to arrange this yourself with your own broker).

Step 4: Get a solicitor 
Next, you need to appoint a solicitor. Everyone who buys a home needs the correct legal representation and shared ownership purchases are no different. Your solicitor will help you through each stage of your purchase, liaising with our solicitor and your mortgage provider, and carry out all of the legal searches needed to confirm that the home is ours to sell you a share in, and advise whether any major building projects or similar are planned for the local area and may affect your purchase.

Step 5: Issuing the memorandum of sale and exchanging contracts 
The penultimate step is issue the memorandum of sale. In the case of shared ownership properties, this is done by the housing provider selling the property. This will contain all the main details about your purchase and a proposed date when the exchange of contracts will take place. If the offer of a mortgage has been made to you, you’ve paid your deposit, and contracts have been exchanged, you will then be given that eagerly anticipated date for when you complete your purchase and move in to your new home.

Step 6: Completing your purchase and moving in 
The day has finally arrived – the money for your purchase is exchanged between both sets of solicitors and it’s time to celebrate because you are now officially a homeowner! You’ll then be able to go and pick up the keys to your new home and move in. 
To view shared ownership properties available in your area visit our sales pages, email or message @Sales_Aster on Twitter.