The Shared Ownership Scheme is a variation of a Help to Buy Scheme made by the government, with the purpose of helping people onto the property ladder. It is available to permanent residents of the UK who are either first time buyers in Halifax or former homeowners, perhaps struggling to buy a property.
The criteria for being eligible for Shared Ownership in Halifax is that your household income must be less than £80,000, with your new home almost always being a leasehold property. Leasehold means you will be buying your home for a specific amount of time.
The Shared Ownership Scheme allows people to purchase a home as part mortgage (usually between 25-75% of the property) and also as part rent. The rent (which may include service charges and ground rent) will typically be a lower rent cost than market value, with you paying that to a housing association.
If you have some familiarity with the Shared Ownership Scheme and how it used to work in years gone by, there have been important updates as of April 2021. These changes were introduced as part of the government’s Affordable Homes Programme.
One of the first changes made to this scheme is that whilst the previous minimum property share purchase amount was 25%, in some cases it can now be as low as 10%. Furthermore, you can now buy 1% instalments, as opposed to the former 5-10% share instalments.
Last of all, the fees that you pay when you purchase additional shares is now lower. Instead of you also being responsible for maintenance or repair costs, for the first 10 years of your home ownership, it is actually up to your landlord to cover these.
If you took out a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax before these rule changes came into play, these rules may actually apply to you going forward, though it’s always important to check with your mortgage provider first, as this might not always be the case.
Before you tackle your mortgage process, you’ll first need to make sure that you definitely qualify for a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax. This requires you to get in touch with a local Help to Buy agent in your area, to find out if you meet the criteria.
When you contact this person, they will usually need a selection of information from you, such as how much income you have, what your budget is, where exactly is your preferred area and what your credit history is like. Once your eligibility is confirmed, it’s on to your mortgage application.
A trusted mortgage broker in Halifax is best when applying for a mortgage, as not every mortgage lender out there has products that work alongside the Shared Ownership Scheme. The amount you can borrow will most likely depend on factors such as income and other fees included, such as what the rent will be.
Of course as tends to be the case with any type of mortgage, there are pros and cons to having a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax. To look at it fairly, it’s important to remember, as said above, not every mortgage lender will offer products that work with a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax.
Even with that in mind though, there are still lots of mortgage lenders available, including ones we have on our panel, who offer mortgages to those looking to use Shared Ownership in Halifax. These types of mortgages can offer a sense of long-term stability as you become both owner and occupier.
Having the money for a deposit can sometimes be seen as a concern for home buyers, as saving money can be challenging. Thankfully, Shared Ownerships in Halifax tend to require deposits that are lower than open market purchases, making them much more accessible.
Whilst these are certainly great positives, remember you would be paying 100% of the ground rent and service charges, even if you have the minimum share. You are usually able to do something called “staircasing”, which allows you to buy more shares as time progresses, up until you hit 100%.
When you do this, there will no longer be the need for you to pay rent, though your mortgage, ground rent and service charges will still apply. Once your owned share exceeds 80%, Stamp Duty costs may apply, though this won’t always apply to first time buyer mortgages in Halifax.
Even though Stamp Duty costs can be quite expensive, especially when you are factoring in other elements, your monthly mortgage payments can still be a lot cheaper than outright having a mortgage would be. Sometimes it may even be cheaper than privately renting.
Speaking of privately renting, you will benefit from having a secure time in your home, unlike you would renting private. Providing you can keep up your monthly mortgage payments, you are able to stay for the length of your lease, which is often between 99 and 125 years.
Because your home is also part owned by another party, you will need to make sure you get permission from the appropriate housing provider before you look at making any alterations to your new home. This can remove some of the freedom that owning the home outright would have.
After you have owned your home for a while, you may feel like you would rather not remain there and look to sell your home. With other mortgages, so long as your fixed period has ended, this would be fairly straightforward. With a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax, this is different.
Whether or not you are able to actually sell your home with a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax attached to it, depends on how much of the property shares you own personally. You’ll typically need to own 100% of your home, before you can sell it.
It is important to remember though, that the housing association will in most cases have ‘first refusal’ rights, for the first 21 years following your initial purchase. This means they are, by law, able to make a property purchase offer to you, before you put it on the open market.
If you are not the sole 100% owner of the property, you will need to first look at purchasing your remaining shares, before you look at selling the property.
A Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax is an option that can prove really useful for first time buyers in Halifax who are determined to get onto the property ladder, but only have a small deposit. This mortgage scheme can help you achieve your home owning goals!
That being said, having a Shared Ownership mortgage in Halifax can prove to be quite complex, as you are taking a lot on. This is even more so the case when you look at the costs involved. Make sure you are fully prepared and know the contract terms.
At the end of the day, it’s all about what you would prefer. By booking in for a free mortgage appointment with a trusted and experienced mortgage broker in Halifax, you’ll get to speak with a mortgage advisor in Halifax and prepare for your mortgage future.
Last edited 31/01/2023