Shared Ownership FAQ's

What is shared ownership?

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Let’s face it, getting on the property ladder isn’t getting any easier is it? Saving for a large deposit and even getting accepted for a mortgage that’s enough to buy the home you want could be pie in the sky, right? Enter - shared ownership, the property ladder buying solution. You find a home with a shared ownership purchase option and you buy a share (usually from 40% to 75%) making it affordable. You pay Aster rent on the remaining bit. When you’re able to do so, you can buy more shares (called staircasing) eventually leading to outright home ownership (in most cases, just ask our team first). So, you get the home that you want, for a price you can afford, through a repayment that’s achievable. 

How to qualify for the shared ownership scheme

There’s a few bits and pieces you need to tick to be able to buy a shared ownership home, but not much. These are:

  • You must be 18 or over
  • Your household is bringing in no more than £80,000 income a year (or £90,000 if you’re in London)
  • You don’t own a home already
  • You may be in the process of selling a home, however, to be able to buy a shared ownership home from us, the property sale must have an offer accepted before we will accept your application.
  • You’re able to show you can afford to maintain the costs of buying your own home
  • You’re a British or EU/EEA citizen or have indefinite leave to remain

Why should you buy a shared ownership home?

Shared ownership costs are generally lower than alternative housing options for a number of reasons; it’s great for people who have the goal of buying their own home but do not have the funds to buy on the open market.

Shared ownership offers rent that is less than the rate charged on the open market and most people can start off with a 40% share but in some cases as little as a 10% share, depending on the terms of your lease. This therefore means a low deposit – typically only 5% of the share you are buying and not of the whole property value.

How can you buy a shared ownership home?

The first step in buying your shared ownership home with Aster is to contact us, either by filling in the contact form below or over the phone.

Beginning your journey to shared ownership is not as daunting as you may think, once you know if you meet the criteria you can begin searching for suitable properties. Once you have found a home, you will of course need to ensure you meet  the required criteria and be approved for a mortgage– however Aster can advise on this as you progress.

Read more about the shared ownership home buying process.


What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership is a way of getting onto the property ladder. You buy a share (between 10% and 75% depending on the lease and your affordability) usually with a mortgage and pay rent on the remaining bit. 

What deposit do I need?

You usually only need a 5% deposit based on the percentage share that you buy. So, if you were to buy a 25% share in a £300,000 property (£75,000), your 5% deposit would be just £3,750. Find out what deposit you need to put down for your shared ownership home.

Are there any fees to pay?

Like any other form of home purchase there are a few costs involved, but nothing we can’t walk you through. Find out more about the associated costs of shared ownership here.

Am I buying leasehold or freehold?

Good shout. All homes bought through shared ownership are leasehold. In most cases, once you’ve purchased outright (a 100% share) we can make it freehold for you. However, like on the open market, apartments will always remain leasehold.

Can you make money?

Absolutely. If the value of the property goes up so does the value of your share. But it's important to remember that housing market trends can also mean that the value of your share could go down.

Do you have to buy the 40% share advertised?

No. You can buy between 40% and 75%, (sometimes even as low as 10% depending on the terms of the lease). We usually advertise our developments at a 40% share as a starting point, but the share you buy is based on what you can afford following an affordability assessment.

Can you buy more shares?

Absolutely. It’s called staircasing. You can do this at any time. Speak to a member of our team and we can explain how this works.

Who do I share with?

You don’t share with anyone. You’ve bought it. Shared ownership is just a term to describe the relationship between you and Aster.

What happens when I want to sell?

When you want to sell, your property gets valued and placed on the market with Aster at a rate of 1.5% then after the nomination period set out in your lease, then if your home hasn’t sold, you’re free to go to another agent of your choice and sell it through them. 

What about pets?

In most cases pets are ok. Just ask.

Can I decorate how I want?

It’s your place, you’ve bought it. You can decorate how you want and live as you please.

Is it your home?

It is your home. You’ve bought a share in the property and you’re paying Aster rent on the remainder.

Can I change the name on the title?

You can add or remove someone from your property legally, however you would require legal representation to carry this out. Please contact us regarding the fees payable to do this and for more information.

Can I remortgage?

You can switch mortgage providers or change to a new product with your current provider and may need legal representation to do this. Please contact us regarding the fees payable to do this and for more information

Can I extend the term of my lease?

All shared ownership homes are sold as leasehold, even houses, and you may find that you need to extend the term of your lease. This is because a short lease can affect the value of your home and can make it more difficult to sell or get a mortgage on the home. It can be significantly more expensive to extend a lease once it falls below 80 years so we would recommend you contact at least a few years before that so we can advise further. If you need to extend your shared ownership lease, there will be costs in order to do this. These costs vary from property to property and the term left on the lease, however, our Resale & Staircasing team will be able to advise further on this. More information on shared ownership and lease extensions can also be found hereNote: The information currently provided reflects existing legislation. The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 is now law. Although it's not in effect yet, it will bring changes to the rights of leaseholders. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect: Lease Extensions: Once the Act is enforced, extending your lease could become more affordable, especially for leases under 80 years. Marriage Value Abolition: The Act will abolish marriage value, which could make lease extensions cheaper for some leaseholders. Implementation: The timing and stages for implementing the Act will be decided by the next government over the coming months and years. In the meantime, the current leasehold laws remain unchanged. For personalised advice and guidance, we recommend consulting a legal professional to explore your options. For more details, visit: UK Government News on Leasehold Reforms HomeOwners Alliance Guide on Leasehold Reform

Do I need to pay rent?

Yes, with a shared ownership home, you need to pay rent to Aster based on the part of the property you haven’t purchased. Rents will be reviewed each year in April so your rent may increase. The amount of rent you pay will be based on the share you purchase, if you buy more shares, you’ll pay less rent! If the terms of your lease allows you to go onto purchase 100% of your property, at this point rent would no longer be payable but service charges would remain.

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