Create an Aster account for alerts on homes right for you. You can update and adjust your alerts and ‘favourites’ through your own account as you go and you’ll be the first to get information on homes when they become available.
It’s an ownership thing.
This Shared Ownership Thing podcast
Welcome to This Shared Ownership Thing podcast. Each month we sit down to discuss frequently asked questions, share the incredible stories of our customers and dispel the myths and rumours of Shared Ownership. Visit Aster.co.uk/sales for more information.
Episode 1: In the first ever episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) and Gemma Robinson (Senior Marketing Officer) gather round the mic to discuss their top 3 FAQ’s about Shared Ownership, Toby & Sam's Aster Life Story, Buying guide - how to find a mortgage lender and Aster's upcoming Launches.
Episode 2: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) speaks with a recent Aster Shared Ownership buyer Tiana Chadwick . Listen to hear Tiana's experience of purchasing a shared ownership home and why it was the right decision for her.
Episode 3: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) speaks with a fellow Aster Marketing Officer, who is also a recent Aster home shared ownership buyer, Lauren Allen. We discuss how Lauren went from selling Shared Ownership Homes to buying one herself.
Episode 4: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) is joined by the Business Development Manager from The Mortgage People (TMP) Alex Greaves and they discuss all things mortgages, from applying to the paying off process.
Episode 5: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) is joined by Aster Sales Resale and Staircasing Manager, Anna Dillon and they discuss all things staircasing and resales.
Episode 6: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) is joined by Aster Home Ownership Manager, Hannah and they discuss all things Shared Ownership.
Episode 7: In this episode of "This Shared Ownership Thing" Podcast, Cheryl Gibbens (Marketing Officer) is joined by Gemma Robinson (Senior Marketing Officer) to discuss interior design tricks and tips provided by Blocc to make your Shared Ownership house feel like a home. Blocc are the Uk’s leading light providing interior design for showhomes, retirement properties & private residences: www.blocc.co.uk Read the "Picture This!" blog here: www.aster.co.uk/sales/blog/be-inspired/picture-this We mentioned Ikea's Kallax unit that can be found here: www.ikea.com.
The conversation surrounding shares being purchased between 25-75% is based on the current shared ownership model and our shared ownership homes under the existing scheme. You may have heard that there are some changes to the Shared Ownership model on the way. Whilst this doesn’t impact on our current shared ownership homes for sale we will be updating our website with more details around the new model soon. If you have any questions about this in the meantime please do get in touch with us or visit the Government’s website to find out more.
- Episode 1
Hello, and welcome to ‘This Shared Ownership Thing podcast with the Aster sales team. Each month we sit down to discuss frequently asked questions, share the incredible stories of our customers andwe dispel the myths and rumors of shared ownership. My name's Cheryl, and this week I'm joined by my co-host, the fabulous Gemma Robinson. In this episode, we're going to discuss the top three FAQ's, our Aster life stories, information surrounding our buying guide and the upcoming launches of our new shared ownership homes. So before we get started, we'll just take a minute to introduce ourselves. So my name is Cheryl Gibbons and I am a marketing officer for Aster sales. Over to you Gem.
Thank you Cheryl. So my name is Gemma Robinson and I'm the senior marketing officer within Aster sales team. I'm currently covering a maternity leave cover whilst Alex is on leave.
Fabulous - and is there anything cool or interesting about yourself that you can share?
Oh, that's a really good question. I don't particularly think of myself as that cool, but I would probably say the cool thing is about me. Oh, that's a really good question Cheryl. I would say the fact that I was born in the channel islands, so somewhere a little bit different, and we lived there for a little while before coming back over to England. So that's a little cool fact about me. Something a bit different.
That's super cool Gem, and one thing I'm going to drop in there about myself of course, is that I've just completed the 24 hour national three-peak challenge. And if you're wondering, I will be dropping that into every single conversation from now on, so…..
Rightly so Cheryl it's a great achievement.
Okay. So here's a few questions for our listeners to get to know you Gem. Are you ready?
I am indeed.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Ooh, that's a good one. Definitely dog. Although a few years ago probably would have said a cat until we got our dog Elsa because she rules the roost. So I'm going to go with dog.
Okay and next question. If you're just working at home, are you someone who wears jeans or are you a lounge wear queen.
Hang on? So people actually wear jeans when they're at home?. I didn't even realise that was a thing.100% lounge wear. I'm all about the comfort, kind of the only staple part of my wardrobe - leggings or lounge wear. I don't know about anybody else, but I certainly opt for the leggings over jeans every day of the week now.
My kind of girl!. And the last question is what is your preference? Starbucks, a little star b's or a Costa?
Oh, I think it depends on the drink. I think if there's a hot drink, I'm going to go Costa, but if it's a cold drink, like a frappe or something like that, I'm going to go Starbucks. Okay. Controversial maybe, but you know, a little bit on the fence. I like both depending on the type of beverage.
And just for our listeners, especially if Amy Nettleton's listening. What is your favorite cold coffee drink?
Oh, well, it's not really necessarily a cold coffee drink, but I do like a chilled chai tea.
And what is in a chai tea?
Well, it's a nice Chai, spicy cinnamon flavours and I think it's more tea based as opposed to coffee, but it just really kind of makes me think of summer and it's quite a nice refreshing drink itself. It's not to everybody's cup of tea, but I certainly like it.
I'm sure you can get Amy trying that sometime soon.
I'm not sure.
Okay. So moving on to shared ownership, presumably you found this podcast as you're interested in shared ownership, and you want to find out more about the product and how it works, but for those of you that don't know shared ownership is a model that enables you to purchase a share of a home, usually between 25 to 75% and you pay rent on the remaining share. And the deposits are usually a minimum of 5% of the share that you purchase. So for our first topic, we're going to share some of the questions that we frequently get asked through live chat or social media or on the phones from our amazing customers. So Gem, I'm going to ask you some of the questions that we are asked most frequently. Okay. Are you ready?
I am indeed. Go ahead.
Okay. So for shared ownership, what sort of deposit would someone need?
Okay, so this is a great one. So you usually only need a 5% deposit based upon the percentage share of the property you're buying. So just as an example, if you were to buy a 40% share in a £300,000 property, so the share would be £120,000, your 5% deposit would actually be based upon the share. So the £120,000 you're buying as opposed to the full property price. So that would mean it's around the £6,000 mark. So it's far more achievable as opposed to having to raise a deposit on the full market value.
Okay, perfect. That makes sense. Next question. Can you buy more shares once you've purchased your initial share? So say I went and purchased 30% of a home. Could I then go on to buy more shares in the future?
Absolutely, and that is the beauty of shared ownership. You don't have to stick at the share you initially buy, you can do if you wish to, but you can obviously buy more if you want to. It's called staircasing (So that's the jargon that we use to buy more shares.) and in most cases you can staircase and buy a 100% of the property. Now I say most cases because there are some homes in which have a cap on the staircasing amount that you can purchase, but that can be outlined to you before you purchase the home itself. So you'll be made aware at the outset what the maximum you can buy. But like we say, in most instances you can go on to buy a hundred percent of the property and then buy outright.
Okay. So if someone was wanting to staircase their home, would they do that through Aster?
Absolutely. We've got a dedicated team, a resale and staircasing team, led by Anna and Karen and you have a dedicated resale negotiator who would actually be able to guide you through the whole process. It's all dealt with in house. So we can guide you through this every step of the way and full information is on our website about that. But if anyone's ever got any questions about how the process works, they can get in touch with us on live chat or on social media, and we can talk them through exactly what they would need to do.
Fabulous. Thank you. And the last question, if someone has purchased a shared ownership home with Aster, but would then like to sell it a few years later, would they be able to do that?
Absolutely, and it kind of leads on from the question previously as well. We have a dedicated team that can help do this. So as soon as you decide you want to sell, your property will get valued and placed on the market with Aster. So we have an eight week period in which we would try and sell that property for you, bearing in mind, we have a database of people that are looking for properties in different areas. So we're quite well-placed to do that. If the property hasn't sold within that timeframe, you can obviously go to another estate agent of your choice and sell it through them.
Fabulous. Thank you, Gem. So that is the three most common questions we've been asked recently, mainly on our live chat function on our website. So it's good to get those answered. For any more answers to our FAQ, you can also visit aster.co.uk/FAQ or you can ask your question direct by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or via live chat on our website.
So next we are going to look at one of our Aster life stories. So the story that we'll be playing is Sam and Toby, and there'll be telling us all about their shared ownership journey with Aster. They were looking for a place that they could call home for themselves and something that they could also afford in the Oxfordshire area.
Both Sam and I had a period where we were renting obviously, and Oxford is notoriously expensive for many reasons. So the kind of desire to get out of the rental property market and into, onto the property ladder, so to speak was kind of always the aim. That was the time to both kind of get away from renting and towards more stable.
We pay...well no we do pay less in rent, pretty much I'd say, and we also own a place and that comes and you do feel different when you actually own somewhere you sorta feel very proud of it. And, and you want to be there that's what I've noticed, sort of beforehand. I didn't really care about where I stayed. It was just somewhere to wake up and go to bed in, but now I find myself actually wanting to go home.
Aster is a housing developer and also a housing association. So they build their own houses for sale for direct sell for shared ownership and then also housing association as well, that markets properties.
Aster helped a lot just by, by being a source of information for it, because it's quite a daunting thing when you're making that first step. And certainly my generation, I didn't ever think we'd be able to just cause it seemed just the way everything was going that we'd be renting forever. But Aster was quite like a solid source of information to say, I know there are other ways just of getting there other than just sort of the more traditional route and they, yeah, they, they sort of told us all about shared Ownership.
Aster just get on with things they don't burden you with things you don't actually have to know about. They're just there when you need them. At the end of the phone or on email, they just do an awful lot of hard work, but you're sort of unaware of it and you're happy with that because you trust them.
Aster take the stress out of it and when you're a first time, when you're first time buyer, that's a massive, massive thing that's almost hard to overstate and they make the process very surprisingly easy which again, for people, our age in our situation was a massive, massive help.
You know, it's the best thing I've ever done. And that is in a massive way thanks to them.
I think this is a fantastic life story. I know I've seen this a few times and heard about Sam and Toby. What I particularly love about their story is they were well aware of Oxfordshire being super, super expensive. They didn't obviously feel that it was achievable to buy a property in the area they loved. But shared ownership really allowed them to continue to stay in a place they love to live and actually be able to call it home. So it's really given them the security that they were after. And that's why I love about the shared ownership product. You can stay in the place that you want to live. You're not necessarily pushed to another area due to costs and you know, the cost of the property itself. So I think it also highlights how the product can work for you. So you can stay in an area you want to live in.
Yeah, I think as well, one really special thing. Sam and Toby both mentioned in the life story, how, before they had found a home, they, they were just in a place that they could drop all their stuff off that like they didn't refer to it as home, but shared ownership has enabled them to actually have a place that they can call home themselves. So yeah, really special and a good story for how shared ownership works for people.
So you can also visit aster.co.Uk/Lifestories to watch more of our customer testimonials. If you would like to hear their stories,
Now we're going to move on to buying guide. So if you're thinking about buying your first home, but you don't know where to begin, we have a handy buyer's guide on our website. You can find this on aster.co.Uk/Propertybuyingguide. And for this part of the buying guide episode, we're going to discuss how to find a mortgage lender. So Gem, if I was to look at buying a shared ownership home, how, where would I start in trying to find a mortgage lender? What would I do?
Okay, so there are various ways in which you can find a mortgage lender. So, you know, the typical online research asking friends and family for, you know, recommendations or word of mouth. The good thing here at Aster is we do work with a company called T M P, which stands for the mortgage people. Now they can help you, not only do the affordability assessments to work out the share of the property you can afford to buy, but they’re also really well-placed and they know the other shared ownership mortgage providers that are out there and can advise on lenders available for you and your circumstances. So they really take the hassle out of finding the right mortgage product, because with shared ownership, you will need a specific shared ownership mortgage product type, as opposed to a mortgage that you could get on the high street.So one thing, you know, we always would like to say, you know, if you've got any questions about the whole process, the affordability assessments, or how to reach TMP, get in touch with us, we're always available for you to contact us on live chat or social media. So you can just pop us a message and we can certainly direct you to TMP who will be able to provide you some advice in this regard.
Perfect. Thank you, Gem that's super helpful to know. And lastly, on our first little episode, we are going to go through the exciting upcoming launches that we have for our new homes. So Gem, would you like to share what locations we have shared ownership homes coming up in?
Absolutely. So it's going to be a really busy couple of months for us all so it's a really fantastic opportunity to get your foot on that property ladder. So we'll have a couple of properties coming to Hop Field Place in Alton, which is in Hampshire. We've also got some properties at Carrington Place in Redhill, in Surrey. Carmel Meadows in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. River's Edge in Wimborne, Dorset. The Pavilions in now, excuse me in advance, is it Bodicote or Bodycote. Bodicote. Thank you, Cheryl knows this is because Cheryl looks after Oxfordshire. So thank you there. New Fields, in Chichester in Sussex. Rookery Park in North Bersted in Sussex. Shopwykes Lakes in Chichester in Sussex. Larkbear in Barnstable in Devon and Victoria Heights in Exeter in Devon. So you can really see there's a vast amount, you know, coming to Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Dorset and Sussex and Devon too, so you know, across the whole of the south and Southwest and we're really proud of.
Definitely, and if anyone was wondering, or if you are looking for new home, we cover areas starting from the bottom in Cornwall and Devon, and we go right up to the Sussex, Surrey, Oxfordshire area. So if you're looking for a home there, we might have something for you.
But anyway, thank you so much, Gem, for jumping on the podcast today for episode one.
Absolute pleasure. Thank you for inviting me along.
It's been lovely having you and thank you to everyone for listening. This shared ownership thing podcast is brought to you by Aster sales and you can visit aster.co.Uk/Slash sales for more information.
- Episode 2
Hello, and welcome to this shared ownership thing podcast. Each month we sit down to discuss frequently, asked questions, share the incredible stories of our customers. And we dispel the myths and the rumors of shared ownership. My name's Cheryl and I'm a marketing officer at Aster sales, and this week I'm joined by a recent Aster home shared ownership buyer, Tiana Chadwick. In this episode, we're going to discuss Tiana's shared ownership journey and how she's getting on a year after moving in.
Okay. So before we get started, let's learn a little bit more about yourself, Tiana. I have a few quick fire questions for our listeners to get to know you. Are you ready?
Let's start with, are you an early riser or do you love a lay-in and obviously I know you have your little Teddy, so I can assume it goes around that.
So I am an early riser, but I do prefer the lay in, whenever I get a chance I will lay in.
How often do you get a chance?
Erm not very often.
Okay. Secondly, I'm going to hit you a little bit with all these questions, first tea or coffee. And what's your favourite brand and also what is your favourite coffee shop?
So I'm a coffee kind of girl. I love the Nescafe coffee. You know, the one in the powder form and I am a Starbucks girl.
What is your go-to Starbucks order?
At the moment it's a pumpkin spice latte because it's that time of year but normally some kind of flavoured latte. That's my favourite.
And do you go wild and have anything like a caramel syrup shot in there or?
Oh yeah, absolutely. Like there's always some kind of syrup in there.
My kind of girl, okay. Lastly, are you a Netflix-er, and have you got a favourite series that you're watching or that you've just finished?
Yep. I am a Netflix-er, I'm watching the maid at the moment, which is pretty good. And I've also finished the Squid Games last week, which I absolutely loved.
That was intense. Wasn't it Squid game?
Very intense. I wasn't expecting like the twist. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I wasn't expecting the twist at the end. Like you go through so many different emotions watching it.
Yeah, very intense. Thank you for the answers.
Okay. So for the listeners, we assume that you found this podcast as you're interested in shared ownership, and you want to find out more Tiana made the jump to shared ownership back in 2020. And for any listeners that may not know shared ownership is when you buy a share of a home and you pay rent on the remaining share that you don't yet own. This enables you to have a lower deposit and to get the home that you want for a price that you can afford, shared ownership isn't for everyone. However, it can really benefit some people. Tiana, why did you choose to go down the shared ownership route as opposed to renting or buying a home on the open market?
So we had been renting since I finished university really together. So we were just paying so much money into somebody else's mortgage and it was just really unaffordable to be able to save like a large deposit, to be able to buy on the open market, alongside renting. So we decided to go down the shared ownership route because of that reason mainly and I mean, shared ownership is not going to be for everyone, but for us it worked really well because obviously now we've got a family and we're paying some rent, which is nowhere near as much as what we were privately renting. And the rest of the money that we're paying every month is going into a mortgage. So that will forever help us in the future and it's not dead money. It's something that we actually own.
Amazing. Yeah. It's so nice to hear how it's worked for you, because like you say, it won't work for everyone but there are people that shared ownership does definitely work for.
Oh yeah. A hundred percent. Absolutely.
Another part shared ownership is staircasing. This is the term that she used to describe buying more shares in your home, buy more shares in your home means paying less rent. So by staircasing you'll own more shares of your home, you'll reduce your rent that you pay and you'll move forward on a journey to potentially owning a hundred percent of your home. If that's what you wish to do. All of our shared ownership homes can differ. So if we have anyone listening that would specifically like to discuss their staircasing options, just get in touch and we can help staircasing is a great opportunity. Is this something that you would potentially look into doing in the future Tiana? Does it interest you?
Oh yeah, a hundred percent. So we bought the highest amount that we could afford at the time, which is 25%. We were, our first initial plan was, well, let's see, cause we've got a fixed mortgage for five years and then we're going to re-mortgage. So we thought, well, let's just move into the house, give it the five years and see how we feel in it. We were hoping in that time that we had had another child because we bought a three bedroom, and then kind of see how we live in the home. I think that's the beauty of shared ownership, you can buy what you want to afford and you can kind of see how the home fits for you before you go into buying more, which we probably will be doing, but we'll just see how we get on, I guess, it's nice to have that option.
Definitely. I love how, as you said, like you can sort of make shared ownership work for you. So yeah, that's really nice, if it wasn't for shared ownership, where do you think you would be now? Do you think you'd still be renting privately?
Yeah, a hundred percent. We wouldn't be in any kind of position to be able to buy our own house, especially with the last year because of Coronavirus, the banks are, really pumping up how much deposit you have to put down to be able to get a more, which makes it even more harder. With Shared ownership you can put down just the 5%. So I don't think we would be able to afford the open market. We would still be renting and paying a lot of money, on rent.
So obviously you moved into your home in 2020, wasn't it? So was that before COVID hit or was it during that you moved in?
It was during COVID. So we actually got the email from Sarah, to say that the house had been allocated to us the day that we went into lockdown, the first lockdown down. Yes. It was a very long process. It was very hard, but it was so worth it, so so worth it. I'm really glad that we had Sarah.
You got there in the end.
Oh, we did. We did, we had to fight a bit, but we did.
Bless you, I'm so glad. How did you find the process from making an inquiry to moving into your home, obviously taking into consideration that you done that during COVID? So it was quite long.
Yeah, it was long. It was very frustrating. And it was very hard, the banks completely shut down, so we couldn't kind of get our mortgage on board and but you guys were just amazing. Like you were there every step of the way, Sarah, I cannot praise Sarah enough for what she did for us. Like she was just always there. If I had a little bit of a wobble, which I had plenty of wobbles, always at the other end of the phone telling me, like reassuring me that yeah, it's hard but there's loads of people in the same position and we're going to do it and it's going to be fine and you're going to be moving into your home and the day that we actually got our keys, I felt like was a day that was never going to come and when it did, it just felt even more amazing that we had kind of achieved that together.
That's amazing. I love that. I remember when I was in the process of buying my house and it was a new build. So they were like loads of delays and everything. And everyone keeps saying to you, oh, it will be so worth it on the day you get the keys and you're like, mm I'm not really sure right now, but then that day comes and it's just like, ah!
I'll do that stress all over again. For the same outcome.
So obviously your Shared Ownership journey has worked well for you. Would you encourage others to think about shared ownership as a potential house buying route.
A hundred percent. I actually have already, there's a lady that I worked with who was quite intrigued with this shared ownership and she's bought her house through you guys as well. So I would always suggest it to somebody. I think it won't work for everyone like we've already said that, especially people that have families or are on their own and want to buy on their own. It's definitely such a good option.
Love that. I love that you've, recommended it to a friend as well. That's awesome. You've now been living in your shared ownership home in Hampshire for a year. How has that year been and what do you love about the area that you've moved to?
It's been really good. I'm from Hampshire anyway. So is James but, we've lived outside of Hampshire and it just doesn't feel like home. If we're not here and we've obviously lived in rental properties and that didn't really feel like home either. So we feel really comfortable here. Our neighbors are really, really lovely, which really helps, our next door Neighbors got a child the same age as our little boy. That's really, really, really nice. And I just feel like part of the community it's really bizarre. I've never really felt like this before, and I guess we're just really happy. I'm really, really comfortable with, with our home. And it's always nice coming home, whereas before it kind of wasn't, I mean, it was awfully nice to come home, but it didn't feel like what it feels like now.
That's really special. And I think it's amazing that shared ownership has helped do that for you. So that definitely says a lot. Obviously we all have our home accounts on Instagram. And do you have your account where you shared your shared ownership journey on there, are there any home inspo that you personally love and would recommend following if any of our listeners are starting their shared ownership journey or just need an account to follow for home inspiration?
Yeah, a hundred percent. So I follow, a few different accounts, a few different reasons. Well, I did find when I first started my, account on Instagram was that the shared ownership community it's huge on Instagram. There's a page called the Mulberry reach home. She and her partner actually bought through shared ownership and her account is amazing. Like they've just built a whole brand new media wall inside their shared ownership home. And it's incredible. I really highly recommend, she's also got two dogs that are very, very cute. They're big dogs, but they're very cute. And also I really love home by Laura. That's kind of an inspo page, she didn't buy through shared ownership, but she completely renovated our home, from something that was kind of needed a good load of work. And it's just beautiful. I love her house so much and she's also very, very lovely.
Oh, definitely have to check those out. Thank you. Okay. So we've come to the end of our questions. Thank you so much for popping onto the This SO thing podcast it's been lovely having you on, and it's so lovely to hear about your shared ownership journey.
No worries. Thanks for having me.
You are more than welcome!
Okay. And finally we know how helpful it is to answer the questions that have been asked. And one question that has popped up recently is if I buy a shared ownership home, can I sell it if I want to move? And the answer is yes, we've had shared owners previously who have sold to move to a different area, for example, to be closer to family. And we've also had shared owners who have used shared ownership, kind of like a stepping stone and are now looking to sell as they're ready to buy on the open market. We have a dedicated resell team who will be there every step of the way to support you and answer your questions in regards to selling, we will also be having a lovely resell team member on the podcast soon. So if you have any questions, please feel free to just send them in for her. Or in the meantime, you can contact us on email@example.com. You can call us on 01380735480. Or you can message us on social media. You can find us under Aster Sales. Anyway, thank you everyone for listening. This shared ownership thing podcast is brought to you by Aster Sales, visit aster.co.uk/sales for more information.
- Episode 3
Hello, and welcome to This Shared Ownership Thing podcast. Each month we sit down to discuss frequently, asked questions, share the incredible stories of our customers. And we dispel the myths and the rumours of shared ownership. My name is Cheryl. I'm a marketing officer at Aster sales, and this week I'm joined by a fellow Aster marketing officer who is also a recent Aster home, shared ownership buyer, Lauren Allen. In this episode, we're going to discuss how Lauren went from selling shared ownership homes to buying one herself. Before we get started. Let's learn a little bit more about yourself, Lauren. Are you ready?
Ready, Let's go.
New Speaker (00:48):
Okay. So here's a few quick fire questions for our listeners to get to know you. Number one, are you an early riser or do you love a lie in?
I am early to bed and I like to sleep in, so a bit of both.
New Speaker (01:04):
So how many hours sleep do you like to get a night?
Nine or Ten.
New Speaker (01:08):
Oh yeah, my kind of girl. Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Tea please strong and sweet.
New Speaker (01:19):
Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Doggies all the way from me.
New Speaker (01:25):
Yes. Completely with you on that one. And lastly, what is your favorite snack? Because you know, all we talk about is snacks in this team.
Yeah. So my life does revolve around chocolate. I do like Raw Halo, I also like the brand, If I'm feeling really, really special, I need Booja Booja Truffles.
New Speaker (01:44):
Oh, that sounds very boujee.
Yes, exactly that, vegan dairy-free organic, hit me right up with them.
New Speaker (01:53):
I love that from you Loz
Okay. So Lauren, your shared ownership journey to all of our listeners, presumably you found this podcast as you're interested in shared ownership and you want to find out more. Well, you've come to the right place. Shared ownership for anyone that's not too sure is when you buy a share of a home and you pay rent on the share that you don't yet own. If you're able to do so, you can then go on to buy more shares of the home and this is called staircasing. This enables you to get a home that you want for a price that you can afford, like how our Lauren has. Now let's chat about someone who used to sell shared ownership homes, and then decided to buy one for herself. Lauren, can you remember the point when you thought that shared ownership was right for you?
So we wanted to get on the property ladder. Like a lot of other people, we aspire to have something, an investment, something we owned and could call home. So when I came into the Shared Ownership team, I didn't know anything about it. So it gave me a lot of insight into the product and how it could work. And then I realised it would really work for me and my family.
Perfect. And it has done just that hasn't it?
Amazing. So how did it feel to be the Aster customer when you're used to being the person selling the shared ownership homes?
I think that was good for me, cause I felt like I could see both sides of the journey. So I could see it from a customer's point of view as well and what a customer would want and the information we need and how we can help as a team.
Amazing. So, yeah, I guess that helps you now you're back to selling the shared ownership homes, you know, what sort of information the customer will need now.
Yeah. And the sort of questions people ask aren't a surprise. Cause I was asking those questions to.
Perfect. So if someone was thinking of going down the shared ownership route, what advice would you give them?
I would say, do your research look up and know your product and what you're getting into, get financial advice and know what you can afford and be comfortable with it.
Yeah. That's perfect. And is there anyone that you would recommend for the financial advice?
So we work alongside TMP. They are mortgage brokers as well. So I use them just because I knew then it was all in their hands and they knew what they were doing and I had access to Shared Ownership mortgages.
Perfect. Yeah, that was great advice. And we can pop in the details about TMP in the bio for this podcast. So thank you.
New Speaker (04:39):
What are the main benefits of shared ownership to you?
For me, it was about affordability. Being able to afford the house I wanted and be able to afford the life I want at the same time. I didn't have to spend years saving a deposit cause my life was happening now. I didn't want to put it on hold while I was living with my parents to save for the deposit. The fact that pets are allowed in Shared Ownership houses, whereas with renting, you can't always have pets. The fact that you can decorate your home and make it your own was really important to me. As you know, I love Pinterest so decorating home and making it into my own was something I really wanted to do. And I liked the security of having a share in a home.
Yeah. You've got something that you own. So the money that you pay, it goes towards something you own.
Love that, you've been living in your shared ownership, home in Wiltshire, I believe it's for almost three years now. So what do you love about the area, and what made you choose the area to start off with?
So I really wanted to live in the town where I'm from. I didn't want to have to move out it. I've done that before, and I felt very lonely and isolated. So being able to walk to family and friends was something I really wanted to do, and it's a really beautiful town Wiltshire. So that was something I was really interested in staying here.
Yeah. I think it's quite common isn't it for shared ownership to help people stay in the area that they originally grew up in because some people might find that they're priced out of the area. So they have to move away from family and friends, but it's allowed you to stay in that area that you're from.
Yeah, it would be too expensive for me to buy it outright in this area. So Shared Ownership helped me with that.
Perfect. I love that. So thank you so much for sharing your story with us Lauren, and we hope you're as happy as ever in your home. We have more customer stories available for our listeners to see on our website, just visit aster.co.uk/lifestories to watch more of our customer testimonials.
Fabulous, thank you.
Thank you so much for coming on.
No worries. See you later.
Okay. So after hearing the amazing story from Lauren and her finding her very own shared ownership journey, our next topic, we're going to share some of the questions that we frequently get asked through, live chat on social media and on the phone from our amazing customers.
New Speaker (07:14):
First question, can I have a pet in a shared ownership home? So pets are accepted in shared ownership houses. In most cases, it's normally flats that are the exception. But the best thing to do is just to ask us, and we can check this with the specific sales negotiator for the home that you're interested in. As we know just how important this can be for you.
New Speaker (07:37):
Is shared ownership only for first time buyers? No, it isn't just for first-time buyers. You may have previously owned a home before, but to proceed with purchasing a shared ownership home, you must have no legal ties with any other property. If you are in the process of selling your current home, it will need to be sold or under offered to proceed.
New Speaker (07:57):
Do I have to buy the share advertised on the website? Okay. So there's two parts for this one, one for new builds and one for resales with a resale home, the minimum share you can purchase is the share that is being advertised at, this is because this is the share that the current vendor owns and is selling. So you will be buying this share or even a higher share, if that's possible. With new builds, you can buy a share between 25 to 75%, but we usually advertise our shared ownership homes at a 40% share as a starting point, but the affordability assessments are carried out with TMP (The mortgage people) will determine what share you can afford to purchase, and if this is an affordable option for yourself.
New Speaker (08:39):
You may have seen or heard that changes are being made to the shared ownership model and lower shares can be purchased, but this doesn't impact on our current shared ownership homes for sale, and we will be updating our website with more details around the new model soon.
New Speaker (08:53):
So that is our three top asked questions that we've had recently on all of our different platforms, but for more answers to our FAQ's, you can visit aster.co.uk/FAQ. Or you can ask your question direct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or via live chat on our website.
Okay. So we've come to the end of episode, three of our This Shared Ownership Thing podcast. Thank you for listening. This podcast is brought to you by Aster Sales visit aster.co.uk/sales for more information.
- Episode 4
Hello, happy February. And welcome back to this shared ownership thing podcast. After having a month off, we have recharged and we are full of energy, ready to kick the podcast back off in 2022. Every month, we have a chit chat about all things, shared ownership, sharing our incredible customer stories, and also debunking common misconceptions of shared ownership. I'm Cheryl the marketing officer at Aster sales. And today I'm joined by the business development manager from The Mortgage People also known as TMP, Alex Greaves. This episode, we're going to discuss all things shared ownership mortgages, but before we kick off, let's learn a little bit more about yourself, Alex. Here's a few quick fire questions for our listeners to get to know you. Are you ready? Ready? Okay. Number one. What is your most used emoji on your phone?
Poo <laugh>. I've got three children. <laugh>
Not always, but regularly.
<laugh> okay. Number two. If you had to go on karaoke, what would your go to song be?
So it's daydream believer by The Monkeys, but I am trying to change it. I wanna do something with a bit of rap in it, which I think will be very cool. <laugh>
I love how you answer that as if you go on the karaoke regularly.
Well, I don't, but I do, I do like to plan ahead, so I've been trying to change it. Yeah.
Do you have a karaoke lined up anytime soon?
No, I don't have anything lined up very soon. <laugh>
Um, number three, would you rather be reincarnated as a dog or a cat? And why?
So I prefer dogs, but I would rather come back as a cat because they can do whatever they want, at any time they want, can't they? Yeah. Like the dog's just tied in and relying on you to go out for a walk and stuff. So definitely a cat.
<laugh> I can imagine you just pouncing from wall to wall, to your neighbours.
Um, and lastly, what is your favourite meal?
So chicken or lamb madras with pilau rice and a naan bread.
Oh, you don't go popadoms?
No, I do you know what?.Strangely. I find that they really fill me up.
Even if I have like a couple before then I'm not, I can't eat all of my proper foods, so no, I stay away from the popadom.
My 11 year old has a Korma.
<laugh> popadoms with the mint sauce. I love that. It is.
That is nice. So I do actually, if I do eat, popadoms, then have all the stuff on it as well. That is lovely in it.
I've heard of it, don't think I've tried it.
Oh, mm. That was incredible.
What is that? What's in it?
I can't remember. What's it? It's really sweet. I'm not sure if it's coconut maybe really. Sorry if I've got that wrong, but, mm.
Love that! Awesome little introduction for what you do.
We have asked our followers on both social media and on live chat, what they would like to know about mortgages for shared ownership homes. The following questions are what we've had sent in by people, both looking to buy a shared ownership home and people that have bought a shared ownership home already. So let's kick it off with this one. What is the process with TMP and how long after completing the affordability assessment will I hear back?
So the process is so in initially, um, one of the team Aster would send the client an email, which has a link onto our website. Um, just click on the link, um, answer a few basic questions, like income name, any debt, that kind of thing. And once they hit the submit button, um, we will receive it straight away. Now we'll get in contact with the client within 24 hours to maybe ask a few extra questions. If there's something that's not quite there, um, or to confirm whether you've qualified to buy the property and what share, or in some cases to, to let them know that they've not been successful and why. So really it takes about within 24 hours after completing the assessment, we would come back to that person to let them know what's happening.
Okay, fab. Does someone need a mortgage in principle/ decision in principle before they complete the assessment with you guys?
Uh, in short, no. So, um, when we do the financial assessment, that's making sure that the customer would, uh, meet the homes, England criteria and it establishes what share they can go for, but once we've actually done it, we will then contact the client. As I said, chat them through, um, what share they can go for. We would look to get 'em mortgage and principle done at that point, which will be based on lenders that have mortgages available for that specific client. So no, we can do all of that for them makes no difference.
I mean, I'd call it a DIP decision in principle. Um, some people used to call it like a mortgage promise a while ago. I think like some lenders used to call it that, but yeah, MIP and DIP are the same.
So I think probably the main thing is like the bank account conduct. Um, so I suppose if, if somebody was asking to borrow a load of money, um, the lenders need to feel confident that that person can manage their current situation. So, um, try not make sure that, uh, everything's being paid on time. Um, try not to take out any debt before you take out a mortgage as well, or before you apply for a mortgage, because that will affect what you can borrow. Um, so they're the main things really just look at it as if you are gonna lend somebody some money, you'd wanna feel confident that they can pay you back. So that's what you've gotta be able to prove to the mortgage lenders. And that's the same with them, whether it's shared ownership, whether it's the standard mortgage, whatever. So they'd all be looking at the same thing.
So if someone had say a car on finance, would that normally negatively affect it or would it all just be based on affordability?
So it wouldn't, as long as everything was kept up to date, um, it wouldn't negatively, negatively affect it because I suppose if you were looking at like a car loan, that's like an asset that you've got for that debt. So that's actually how I view it is kind of a healthy debt. Um, so no, it wouldn't have an impact, but it would actually impact what they're able to borrow because it's the certain amount of money that they can't pay the mortgage back for each month.
That makes sense. Um, why is it better to purchase a higher share with shared ownership?
Um, well, I suppose the biggest share you buy the less rent you pay and, nobody likes paying rent do they? Everyone must rather be paying that money on a mortgage. Um, secondly, most people that I've spoken to in the past, they either want to buy more shares in the future or they wanna own all of the property. Now, since I've been doing mortgage for about 10 years, house prices are continuing to rise. So if you were to buy a bigger share initially, then that share would cost less than if you were to buy it in the future when house prices have increased. If that makes sense.
That does make sense.
So, um, again, we can't guarantee that house prices will always increase, but based on my knowledge over the last 10 years, it generally works out to be cheaper, to buy the bigger share up upfront.
Um, so it's not really a straightforward yes or no, it's gonna come down to that particular situation. But if we assume that both partners are happy for that to happen, um, it really comes down to affordability. So I would suggest whoever you, whoever they arranged the mortgage with initially, um, go back to that advisor, let them know about the situation as it stands today. And they will look through the case. Okay. Um, they will look at the income of the new household any day to day living costs. And they would then possibly go back to the mortgage lender and say, look, this is the situation, uh, and do their own affordability calculation. So in theory, yes, but there's a lot of things to start doing. And again, that would be the same, whether it's shared only if you put standard mortgage, there's no difference between how lenders would look at it.
Okay, awesome. Um, what is the lowest deposit percentage that I need to have? Can my deposit be less than 5%?
So I suppose really 5% is the figure that you would need as a minimum. Um, so if the scale was a hundred thousand, then your deposit would be 5,000 pounds. Um, by having a 5% deposit, you get access to more lenders with lower interest rates, uh, with a choice of you have a, a mortgage with lower set of fees or higher set of fees, it just gives you more options. Um, so you are more likely to get a mortgage that's tailored to your plan. Um, there are a couple of lenders that will do mortgages with less than 5% deposit, but their interest rates tend to be a little bit higher as are their setup fees. Uh, and there's just not as many options. So if you can get to 5% deposit, definitely go down that route.
Thank you so much to Alex for being a guest on the podcast. You've shared some really invaluable information which will really help our listeners who are starting their shared ownership journey. And if you are feeling inspired, we have some customer stories available for our listeners to see on our website, just visit aster.co.uk/lifestories to watch our customer to testimonials. And if any of our
Listeners have any other questions that they would like answered in regards to shared ownership, you can contact us through live chat on our website, aster.co.uk/sales through our social media channels via email on email@example.com or by phone on 01380 735 480.
Thank you so much for listening, and thank you for your support. This shared ownership thing podcast is brought to you by Aster Sales visit aster.co.uk/sales for more information.
- Episode 5
Cheryl Gibbens (00:07):
Hello, and welcome to episode five of this shared ownership thing podcast. We bring out a new episode every month with different guests to talk about all things shared ownership, sharing our amazing customer stories and debunking common misconceptions of shared ownership.
Cheryl Gibbens (00:22):
For the benefit of any new listeners shared ownership is when you buy a share of a home and you pay rent on the share that you don't yet own. If you're able to do so, you can go on to purchase more shares of the home. This is referred to as stair casing, and, if able to, you can purchase the whole hundred percent of the home. With shared ownership, deposits can be as low as 5% of the share that you purchase, and this makes it a more affordable option for many people. I'm Cheryl, I'm the marketing officer at Aster sales, and today I'm joined by Aster sales, resale and staircasing manager, Anna Dillon. Before we recorded this episode, we asked our followers to submit their questions about resales, selling homes and buying more shares. If you don't already follow us on Instagram search @salesaster for the opportunity to be part of future podcasts and have your voice heard, we also regularly share home interior inspo and hints and tips on the shared ownership journey. Before we get started, though, let's get to know Anna a little bit better.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:30):
This is a quick-fire question round where you have to answer with the first thing that comes into your head. Let's get to know the real Anna Dillon. Are you ready?
Anna Dillon (01:41):
Hello! Yes, I'm ready.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:45):
Anna Dillon (01:53):
Cheryl Gibbens (01:54):
What's your favourite sweet?
Anna Dillon (01:56):
Oh, um, the fizzy strawberry laces.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:59):
Anna Dillon (02:09):
This is really hard. I also came to quite a quick answer and that is cheese.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:18):
Anna Dillon (02:20):
Just cheese, but obviously there's very many different kinds of cheese.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:26):
Anna Dillon (02:27):
So, you know, I could keep it varied, just with different types of cheese.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:32):
One day you could have cheese string, next day you could have babybell.
Anna Dillon (02:36):
Well, yeah. Or maybe a camembert and then, you know, brie and then Stilton then some cheddar,
Cheryl Gibbens (02:44):
But you'd have nothing to dip into your camembert, would you, apart from your finger?
Anna Dillon (02:48):
That's right. I can do that. Or just pour it in my mouth.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:55):
Number three, if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Anna Dillon (03:01):
Um, I think that is also an easy answer and that is the Maldives because it's really nice and it's hot and it's sunny and who doesn't love that?
Cheryl Gibbens (03:15):
Anna Dillon (03:20):
Cheryl Gibbens (03:22):
And the last question, if you could try to break any world record, what would you do it in?
Anna Dillon (03:30):
Um, twerks per minute.
Cheryl Gibbens (03:34):
How many can you do so far?
Anna Dillon (03:36):
Well, I don't know. We could try it out couldn't we? See where I get to and then just give old Guinness world records a call and be like, she's ready.
Cheryl Gibbens (03:47):
She ready to twerk.
Cheryl and Anna (03:48):
Cheryl Gibbens (03:56):
So now we know more about your favorite foods and your record-breaking twerking capabilities. Let's learn a little bit more about your role within Aster sales. How long have you been in your role and what does an average workday look like for you as the resale and staircasing manager?
Anna Dillon (04:16):
So I've been in this role since May, 2018. And, um, I was with Aster before then. A typical working day, um, kind of looks like, so before I start work, I'll get up and take the dogs out for a little walk and then it's back for a coffee. And then onto the laptop, um, initially it will be, um, sort of dealing with any enquiry. So, whether that's from customers, solicitors, mortgage advisors, colleagues, and then various points throughout the day on the phone, agreeing sales, agreeing completions, advising customers of processes for various different things that they'd like to do. And then eventually sign off and probably go to the gym.
Cheryl Gibbens (05:20):
And then eat some cheese.
Anna Dillon (05:21):
Oh, and then yeah, eat some cheddar.
Cheryl Gibbens (05:23):
and then do some twerking.
Anna Dillon (05:30):
Finish off with some twerking, yeah.
Cheryl Gibbens (05:31):
Cheryl Gibbens (05:46):
Now let's get down to business. We had loads of great questions submitted for yourself by our lovely Instagram followers.
Anna Dillon (05:54):
Cheryl Gibbens (05:55):
Let's kick it off with number one. What costs are involved when buying more shares on a shared ownership home?
Anna Dillon (06:03):
So, there's a few things to consider... So initially there is an admin fee that's payable to Aster, but before we get to that stage, we'd take you through the process from the very beginning. So normally we'd say to get some mortgage advice first and check that buying more shares is going be possible for you at this time. And that doesn't cost anything usually. So, it's just some free advice from your mortgage lender or advisor. And then if that looks good, um, you'd need to get evaluation completed, which is variable in cost, depending on the surveyor and what they charge. Um, and then Aster's admin fee is 150 pounds plus VAT and then any solicitor's costs and mortgage application costs attributed to it. So a few variables in there.
Cheryl Gibbens (06:56):
So two questions off the back of that. If someone was thinking of buying more shares, is it their specific mortgage lender they need to go to just to discuss their options first, as opposed to just any random mortgage broker or anything?
Anna Dillon (07:16):
Um, they could do either. So, they could either go to the advisor that they use for their initial purchase, if they still have their details, or they could just go to their mortgage lender directly and talk to them on the phone and explain that they've got a current mortgage with them, would they be willing to lend some more money to them for staircasing.
Cheryl Gibbens (07:40):
Okay, perfect. And is there a difference, we get quite a few questions on live chat between, like a RICs surveyor for the valuation or like an estate agent valuation. Is there a difference between the both?
Anna Dillon (07:56):
Cheryl Gibbens (08:32):
That makes sense. Next question. Are you ready?
Anna Dillon (08:37):
Cheryl Gibbens (08:38):
Will I acquire the free hold if I staircase to a hundred percent?
Anna Dillon (08:43):
So this depends on your lease. On most of our shared ownership houses, yes. Um, but it's always best to come to us to ask for us to check and confirm that back to you. And for flats, no because you can't acquire the freehold of a flat within a block, so flats will always remain leasehold again, in most cases you can always buy up to a hundred percent and then just own the property a hundred percent leasehold.
Cheryl Gibbens (09:10):
Anna Dillon (09:19):
So again, this comes down to what's in your lease. So mostly to stipulate what admin fee is payable upon a resale. So this could be, um, usually the, the most common is 1.5% plus the 80 of the agreed sale price for your share. Um, but dependent on the age of the lease and the property, that could be different. So again, always come to us to ask and we can always check that and confirm back to you and that's payable on completion of the sale.
Cheryl Gibbens (09:54):
Anna Dillon (10:03):
Just, I missed something on the last question, which was what other costs are involved. So that would be the RICs valuation fee as well. So you'd have to get evaluation to put your property on the market solicitor's fees, and then obviously our, resale admin fee, and then just move on to the next question you asked about the estate agent.
Anna Dillon (10:24):
So, most leases have a nomination period within them, and the average is eight weeks, but again, it can be different. So, this is the amount of time that Aster will have to advertise the property and try and nominate a suitable purchaser. If whatever reason we can't find a buyer during that nomination period, after that time, you can then advertise with an estate agent of your choice if you wish.
Cheryl Gibbens (10:56):
Okie dokie. Someone has asked what happens to the rent when I staircase?
Anna Dillon (11:03):
So, the rent is reduced accordingly, dependent on how many additional shares you buy. Usually, the minimum is 10%. So, when you enquire about stair casing, we'll give you the figures for how much your rent will decrease by for every 10% that you buy. But obviously once you've decided exactly how much you'd like to purchase, we can work out the exact figure for you.
Cheryl Gibbens (11:33):
Anna Dillon (11:40):
Yes, you can. Um, but again, questions should be raised with the mortgage lender on this as to whether or not they were charged an admin fee for any changes or indeed if they're wanting to lend any additional lending for stair casing purposes. So, in terms of Aster, we wouldn't have any issue with that. Um, it's down to the mortgage lender as to whether or not they can renegotiate a current deal in that time.
Cheryl Gibbens (12:15):
Okie Dokie. Awesome answer. And the final question, can we make a profit on our shared ownership home if we sell it, how does it all work?
Anna Dillon (12:27):
So in relation to sales prices, because you have the independent chartered surveyors report, that will determine what the current market value is of your property and like the open market property prices go up and they can go down too. So, if your property price has increased from the time when you bought the property, then your share will be worked out based on what your valuation is at that time. And the same again, for if you are in this circumstance where you're in an area where the property prices have decreased from when you bought your property, then again, you would have to sell your share based on what the valuation says. So yes, if there is a profit on your share, then it will be your profit to have.
Cheryl Gibbens (13:23):
So it's a very similar process too, if you were to sell on the open market, if prices had gone up and gone down.
Anna Dillon (13:30):
Cheryl Gibbens (13:31):
Anna Dillon (13:38):
Cheryl Gibbens (13:39):
Thank you so much. And thank you for being a guest on the podcast. You've shared some invaluable information which will really help our listeners who are starting their shared ownership journey, and for those customers who are also thinking about buying more shares in their Aster home. If any of our listeners are feeling inspired, we have some customer stories available for you all to see on our website, just visit aster.co.uk/lifestories to watch our customer testimonials. And if any of our listeners have any other questions that they would like answered in regard to shared ownership, you can contact us through live chat on our website, aster.co.uk/sales, through our social media channels, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 01380 735 480.
Cheryl Gibbens (14:35):
Thank you so much for listening and thank you for your support. The shared ownership thing podcast is brought to you by Aster sales visit aster.co.uk/sales for more information.
- Episode 6
Cheryl Gibbens (00:08):
Hello! And welcome to episode six of the This Shared Ownership Thing Podcast. We bring out a new episode every month with different guests to talk about all things, shared ownership, sharing our amazing customer stories and debunking common misconceptions of shared ownership. For the benefit of any new listeners, shared ownership is when you buy a share of a home and you pay rent on the share that you don't yet own, if you're able to do so, you can go on to purchase more shares of the home. This is referred to as staircasing, until, if able to, you can purchase the whole hundred percent of the home. With shared ownership, deposits can be as low as 5% of the share that you purchase, and this makes it a more affordable option for many people.
I'm Cheryl, I'm a marketing officer, at Aster sales, and today I'm joined by Aster home ownership manager. Hannah. Before we get started, though, let's get to know Hannah a little bit better. This is a quick fire question round where you have to answer the first thing that comes into your head. Are you ready?
Cheryl Gibbens (01:06):
<laugh>. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Definitely dogs. Um, and excuse me, if you hear mine in the background, her name's piglet and she's a pug.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:16):
Oh, piglet. <laugh> that's so cute.
Do you prefer coffee or tea? What's your morning go-to cuppa?
Uh, that's easy and coffee. I can't even begin to function until I've had my first coffee of the morning.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:32):
Do you only have one coffee a day?
No. No. Okay. <laugh> I will drink coffee up until about two o'clock and then I stop. But between kind of when I wake up in until that time, it is coffee constantly
Cheryl Gibbens (01:46):
Free refills of coffee.
Cheryl Gibbens (01:49):
What is your favorite food?
Okay. Uh, so that's a hard one. I love food. Um, however, those that know me will probably say anything involving peanut butter.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:03):
Cheryl Gibbens (02:05):
Do you like the Reeses Chocolate?
I do anything. And if I'm having a really bad day, I'm known to get the jar of peanut butter out the cupboard with a spoon and just sit there and eat it out at the jar.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:17):
I love that. Are you a smooth or a crunchy peanut butter?
Cheryl Gibbens (02:24):
Girl. Love that. <laugh>
And, obviously apart from the job that you are in now, what is your absolute dream job?
Okay. So if I could do anything at all, it would be having my own kind of dog daycare center and kind of a rescue center for dogs attached to it. I'm just dog mad.
Cheryl Gibbens (02:47):
I love that. Like I always end up looking on RightMove at houses that have like land where I can have my own little dog farm, which obviously I'd never be able to afford <laugh>.
Well, I'm known um, between my friends of being kind of the dog nanny. So if anyone's going away at the weekend, I have guest dogs come here and I never wanna give them back.
Cheryl Gibbens (03:07):
Oh, I love that. That's so cool. You should have your own little dog home boarding thing
One day, one day.
Cheryl Gibbens (03:23):
Okay, perfect. So let's get into the good stuff. I've got a few questions for Hannah that we are commonly asked by our followers on social media and on our website, live chat. Are you ready for these questions?
Cheryl Gibbens (03:39):
Number one. Can I have a lodger in my shared ownership home?
So a lodger is classed as someone who lives with you in your home. So they will share your living space. So that's like the kitchen or the bathroom or the living area. They should not have exclusive use of your home. So whilst many leases allow you to have a lodger, we do need to check each individual lease. So we're not against it, but we do ask that you come to us for permission so we can check your lease.
Cheryl Gibbens (04:12):
Perfect. Can I rent my shared ownership home out if I temporarily relocate?
So this one's a little bit different. The shared ownership model doesn't really allow for subletting. It's just not allowed under the terms of a shared ownership lease. However, we are aware that in some cases there will be exceptional circumstances. So an example I can give you is that's perhaps someone is in the army and they're being posted to an area that is just not a commutable distance for a temporary amount of time. In that instance, we may allow it. All I can really say is if you have a case like that, then please do contact us at the home ownership team. And we can investigate that further for you.
Cheryl Gibbens (04:57):
Oh, that makes sense. What sort of things do I need permission for in my shared ownership home, such as decorating, landscape and pets?
Yeah. So, all of the above really that you've just mentioned, with a few others. So as a shared owner, you do need to get permission for certain types of alterations or improvements. And this can be things like changing external doors and windows, or if you live in a flat to change your front door, so extensions to your home, sometimes this can include loft conversions or conservatories. However, not all leases or build types allow for that, but we will check your leases individually. This can be for installing a new boiler or putting a new kitchen or bathroom in installing satellite dishes, pets, and some alterations to gardens. But if in doubt, just give us a call at the home ownership team and we'll guide you through the process.
Cheryl Gibbens (05:58):
Okay, perfect. So obviously it's best to ask you guys, but things such as, I don't know, like changing carpet or just painting some walls. Is that also best to come to you guys first or?
No, no. Obviously as a homeowner, we really want people to make their home a home. So if they are anything like me, they will just continuously decorate, so no, absolutely fine. People can decorate and lay new flooring.
Cheryl Gibbens (06:24):
What is the role of a home ownership or housing officer?
Okay. So the role of a home ownership housing officer is to support the homeowner with any queries they may have or any lease queries they may have that could include things like lease extensions or service charge inquiries. There may also be neighborhood issues. Sometimes you may be in dispute with your next door neighbor. There may be a ground maintenance issue. We really want to be there to offer support and guidance.
Cheryl Gibbens (07:01):
Fab will a home ownership or housing officer visit my shared ownership home. You know how, some people in a rental home, they may have like checks or anything. Does this happen on a shared ownership home?
So checks, no, they don't happen. Of course we will come in and visit you if you'd like us to come in and visit you at your home and have a look around and see what you've done. We would love to, but we don't do ‘tenancy checks’ if you like. It's your home, you are a homeowner. However, under the terms of the lease, if we needed to get in as an emergency, for example, if you were in a shared ownership flat and you are on holiday and you had an escape of water, so a water leak into the flat below, that could be classed as an emergency. And we may be able to gain access then, but you are the homeowner and we wouldn't come in unless you wanted us to.
Cheryl Gibbens (07:53):
Great. Do I need to let you know if my partner moves into my shared ownership home?
Yes you do. And just a reminder really that anyone that lives with you at your home, you're responsible for, but you should let us know. And also if you are in receipt of housing benefits or universal credit, then you should also make them aware as that could affect your claim.
Cheryl Gibbens (08:18):
Yeah, that makes sense. What does the building's insurance cover and who pays for this?
Okay. So as a shared owner, you pay through your service charges to Aster for building insurance. And the only time that you will stop paying Aster for building insurance through your service charges is when you become a freeholder. So this is when you own a house as a homeowner, as the free holder has an obligation to make sure that your home is insured for the whole time you are a shared owner or a lease holder. It covers for items such as escape of water and storm damage. We do have a summary of cover, and we're more than happy to send that out to our shared owners. And if you would like to have a copy of that, please do contact us at the home ownership team and, and we'll get a copy email across to you.
Cheryl Gibbens (09:14):
Amazing. And your last question, what are sinking funds?
Okay. So sinking funds, if you like, is an amount of money, which is set aside by the homeowner to cover for any one off works or major works in the future, which is needed on the property. So sinking funds are very common in lease hold properties, especially those that live in flats and the sinking fund will normally form part of the service charge that is payable by the shared owner. It's really a savings account. So that in five years’ time, if we have to do a one off piece of work, for example, we need to do some roof work on a block of shared ownership flats, then we aren't asking the shared owner at the time to pay a huge bill because we've been saving it over an amount of time.
Cheryl Gibbens (10:11):
Perfect. That makes sense.
That is all of your questions done. Thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast, Hannah. You've shared some invaluable information which will really help our listeners who are either starting their shared ownership journey or those who currently live in a shared ownership home now.
Cheryl Gibbens (10:36):
If you are inspired after listening to this podcast, we have some customer stories available for our listeners to see on our website, just visit aster.co.uk/lifestories to watch our customer testimonials. And if any of our listeners have any other questions that they would like answered in regards to shared ownership, you can contact us through live chat on our website, aster.co.uk/sales or through our social media channels, or via email on email@example.com, or by phone on 01380 735480. Thank you for listening and thank you for your support. This shared ownership thing podcast is brought to you by Aster sales, visit aster.co.uk/sales for more information.