The biggest myths about buying a Shared Ownership property

Want to separate the fact from the fiction? Here are some of the most common myths about Shared Ownership, and why you shouldn’t pay them any mind.

Despite being a hugely popular home-buying option, there are still a lot of misconceptions about Shared Ownership. With myths about who the scheme is available for, and how much it all costs, there’s a lot that could deter the average first-time buyer looking to pursue their dreams of home ownership.

Want to separate the fact from the fiction? Here are some of the most common myths about Shared Ownership, and why you shouldn’t pay them any mind.

Myth 1: Shared Ownership is only for first-time buyers

Okay, so Shared Ownership is primarily directed towards first-time buyers who are struggling to raise the money for a house deposit. But Shared Ownership isn’t just for people starting their housing journey. People who have bought a home before also have the option to buy through the scheme, provided that they are in the process of selling their current home! To qualify for a Shared Ownership home, the main thing is that you meet the eligibility criteria, which includes a maximum household income and the inability to buy a home on the open market!

Myth 2: You have to share your home with strangers

When you hear the words ‘Shared Ownership’ your mind might race to an arrangement where you have to share your home with a complete stranger. Instead, the ‘share’ in Shared Ownership comes from the fact that you own a share of your property, while the rest is owned by your housing association. Though you’ll also need to pay discounted rent on the part you don’t own, you’ll get to enjoy all of the benefits of being a homeowner – from decoration privileges to the thrill of having a place to call home.

Myth 3: Shared Ownership is more expensive than renting

Despite offering a more affordable route to the housing ladder, there is a misconception that Shared Ownership is more expensive than renting. This might be because of some of the added costs of buying a Shared Ownership property, like service charge and monthly rental charges.

However, in many cases Shared Ownership works out cheaper than renting privately! This will ultimately come down to the percentage of the share you buy, as you’ll only need to make mortgage repayments on the share you own. In addition, the rent you pay on your home is 20% less than the average market rate!

Myth 4: Shared Ownership is only available in certain areas

Given that Shared Ownership offers a more affordable alternative to buying on the market, it’s easy to think that you wouldn’t get access to some of the best areas in London. However, the opposite is true! Shared Ownership properties are available across most of the UK, whether you want a family home near the countryside, or an apartment in highly sought-after West London. What’s more, you’ll have a world of different options at your fingertips, from new build homes to resale properties.

Myth 5: You can never fully own a Shared Ownership home

Because it’s called Shared Ownership, there is a misconception that it is impossible to own all of a Shared Ownership property one day. But anyone who does a little more digging into the scheme will know that it is possible to own 100% of your home – through something known as ‘staircasing’. Staircasing is a process where you buy more shares of your property over time, which will increase your mortgage repayments, but reduce the amount of rent you pay! Once you’ve staircased to 100%, you’ll stop paying for rent, and start enjoying the perks of full ownership!

Myth 6: You can’t sell your share of the property

While buying a Shared Ownership home is usually presented as a silky smooth process, selling one is often seen as an impossible task. However, you don’t exactly need to jump through hoops to sell a share of your Shared Ownership home. The only thing that might slow down the process is that you need to find a buyer that passes the eligibility requirements for Shared Ownership, but this shouldn’t take too much of your time. And if you’ve managed to staircase to 100%, you can sell your home normally on the market!

Looking to take advantage of Shared Ownership? With BE WEST, you can take your pick from a variety of high-quality new homes in the buzzing area of West London. Find your dream home today using our property search!