Shared ownership home buying process

Have you got questions about the Shared Ownership process? Or are you looking to buy your first Shared Ownership property and don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place!

Buying a Shared Ownership home is an amazing way to get on the property ladder. Compared to the open market, the Shared Ownership scheme allows you more flexibility, as you can put down a smaller deposit. But it comes with unique questions like how do I register for Shared Ownership? And how long will it take?  

At Aster, our sales team will guide and advise you through the entire Shared Ownership home buying process, support you in your purchase, and answer any questions you may have – starting right now!

Step 1: Register your details with us

The first step towards walking through the front door of your wonderful new home is to register your details with us. Once we have your info on file, we will email you property alerts about exciting new properties in your areas of interest as soon as they hit the market. 

There are certain criteria that you need to meet in order to qualify for the Shared Ownership scheme. But don’t worry, they’ll work to your advantage to help you to get the home of your dreams.  These are:

  • The Shared Ownership property you want to buy wouldn’t be your second home (i.e you don’t already own a house and are buying another one)
  • You’re 18 or over
  • You must be able to show you can afford to maintain the costs of owning your own home. You’re a British or EU/EEA citizen or have indefinite leave to remain
  • Your household is bringing in less than £80,000 income a year (or £90,000 if you’re buying in London)
  • You can be in the process of selling your home, but an offer must have been accepted on your property before you are able to reserve a shared ownership home.

Step 2: Get in touch

Once you’ve had a look through Aster’s available properties and found one you like the look of, please get in touch with our sales team.

Step 3: We’ll send you more details

Once you’ve contacted us saying that you’re interested in a Shared Ownership home, our sales team will send you more information to get your buying process kickstarted. This will include everything you need to know about how to apply for Shared Ownership with Aster.

Step 4: Affordability assessment

Whilst investing in a Shared Ownership home is a lot more affordable than buying on the open market, you still need to save for a deposit. But the good news is – the deposit can be as little as 5% of the percentage share of the property you own. Music to any homeowners’ ears, right? For example, if you’re buying a 40% share of a £250,000 house, your deposit could be around the £5,000 mark.

The bigger a deposit you save, the more likely you are to have access to a wider array of mortgage lenders and better interest rates. But don’t fear, there’s always the opportunity to staircase and buy more of your property in the future.

You’ll also need to make sure that you can afford monthly mortgage payments on your share of the home and rent to Aster on the part of the house you don’t own. So, to progress further with the Shared Ownership application process, you’ll need to have an affordability assessment completed with TMP.

Why do I need to do an affordability assessment?

  • An affordability assessment will help you understand how much of your property you’re going to be able to purchase. 
  • It will consider your gross income, bonus and overtime amounts, working tax credits, disability allowance, and guaranteed maintenance. This will make sure that nothing is missed, and that your money goes as far as possible towards securing your dream home, without overstretching your funds. 
  • Your application will not be considered without an affordability assessment, so it’s essential that you organise one.

As part of the assessment, you’ll need to factor in the additional costs of buying a house that you may not have considered at first, like stamp duty, and valuation fees. 

Step 5: Pay your reservation fee

Before you are able to pay your reservation fee you’ll need to undertake a ‘sign off process’.

As part of this you’ll need to provide TMP Mortgages with all the necessary supporting information we need. This will consist of things like:

  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of your savings
  • Proof of your income
  • Bank statements covering the last three months
  • Credit card statements for the last three months
  • Documents showing details of any loan agreements

For more detailed information about what documents you need to provide, contact our sales team.

Once your Sales Negotiator is happy that you’ve supplied all the relevant information and ticked all the appropriate boxes then you’ll be ready to pay your reservation fee!

You’ll need to pay a £250 reservation fee to progress with your Shared Ownership application. This fee will guarantee that your dream property is taken off the market. And don’t worry, it’ll automatically get taken off the monies due on completion day.

Keep in mind – if you change your mind and decide that your chosen property isn’t the one for you, you won’t be able to get a refund. So, make sure to go for the one that your heart is set on.

Whilst we appreciate that securing your new shared ownership home is an exciting time, we would recommend not ending any rental tenancy agreements until we have secured your completion date.

In the current climate within the building and construction industry new build properties are experiencing delays which sometimes can be unforeseen due to things like staff and material shortages. Please speak to your Sales Progression team at Aster before taking these next steps.

Step 6: Apply for a mortgage & find a solicitor

Mortgages can feel like a bit of a minefield at times to get your head around. Thankfully, we work with TMP, our amazing mortgage advisors who are here to help you every step of the way. They can help you get to grips with the different types of mortgages that you can get for your Shared Ownership property

Once you receive your mortgage offer, you need to send it straight to your Sales Negotiator at Aster. And you’re one step closer to getting the keys to your shiny new home!

At the same time as applying for your mortgage you’ll need to appoint a solicitor. They will come to be one of the most important people in the buying process, as they will:

  • Check the lease and speak to your mortgage lender
  • Carry out searches
  • Check all the paperwork

When you’re choosing a solicitor, make sure that they have experience with the Shared Ownership process. A top tip is to contact a few different solicitors and compare what they’re offering you, so you can get the best possible price. 

Once you’ve found a solicitor, we’ll send you the memorandum of sale for your property.

Step 7: Exchange contracts

For the transaction to be legally binding, the next step is to exchange contracts. This means that you’ll have to: 

  • Sign a contract which will spell out your agreement with Aster to buy the property. We’ll also sign a contract, so that we’re legally responsible to fulfil our side of the agreement.
  • Provide your deposit to your solicitor, who will transfer it to our solicitor on exchange.                                         

Worried about saving for your deposit? No need! Check out our top tips to get your funds together in no time.

Step 8: Completion day

Congrats, if you’ve got this far then you’re almost ready to get settled into your new Shared Ownership home!

You’ll receive a completion date once you’ve received your mortgage offer, paid the deposit and exchanged contracts. It usually takes around a week between exchange and completion – a time period that’ll be decided between you and the team at Aster.

On completion day, your solicitors will send your funds over to the seller’s solicitor, usually via a CHAPS payment. This will normally happen around midday, and it can be even earlier or later depending on your individual circumstances. If you’re a first-time buyer, things tend to move a bit quicker on completion day, as there’s no lengthy chain of people to deal with. Once the funds have been transferred, you get to do the exciting bit – pick your keys up and move in. The key collection process will be discussed with you by our team nearer to completion day.

If you want to know more about how to register for Shared Ownership, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.And if the sound of a Shared Ownership property is right up your street, have a look through our developments today. Your dream home is right around the corner!

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