If buying your first property on the open market seems unattainable, shared ownership could be the solution to you purchasing your first home.

SO Resi Crane Mead in Ware sits right along the River Lea. Image: Supplied/StuartThomasSO Resi Crane Mead in Ware sits right along the River Lea. Image: Supplied/StuartThomas

When it comes to climbing the property ladder, often the first step is the hardest one to make. It is a struggle to save enough for a deposit and often first home buyers are priced out of their area of choice.

Shared ownership schemes, however, offer an affordable alternative to buying a property on the open market.

Julie Shail, regional head of sales covering Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northampton and Nottingham at SO Resi, explains how shared ownership could be your ticket onto the property ladder’s first rung.

SO Resi Forsters Oak in Stevenage is a 10 minute walk into town and a five minute walk into nature. Image: Supplied/StuartThomasSO Resi Forsters Oak in Stevenage is a 10 minute walk into town and a five minute walk into nature. Image: Supplied/StuartThomas

How does shared ownership work?

You start by buying between 25 to 75 per cent of your home. That means your monthly mortgage and deposit are smaller than they would be if you bought your home outright. You can buy a bigger share of your home in the future, and even own 100 per cent.

Say you start with a 25 per cent share of a property, you would take out a mortgage for your share and make a monthly payment to your housing association on the other 75 per cent. You would also need to pay an service charges and your usual household bills.

You can then buy more shares, eventually owning your home outright and your mortgage and monthly payment are adjusted accordingly.

You can buy or sell shares anytime you want. Shares will always be based on the property value at the time.

What kind of income and deposit do I need?

You can buy a home through shared ownership if your household earns £80,000 a year or less (or £90,000 in London) and are a first-time buyer, or used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now.

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In my region, SO Resi has homes starting at £215,000 for a studio apartment up to £400,000 for a four-bedroom family house. Shares are available from 25 per cent and buyers on incomes as low as £22,000 can afford to buy.

All of our customers speak to one of our expert financial advisors who work out the share that you can afford. They can also help with the mortgage application process and have access to more than 20 shared ownership lenders based upon the deposit you have, which can be as little as five per cent.

What costs are involved?

Initially, you will need funds to cover your mortgage deposit, a reservation fee, solicitor’s fees, and mortgage fees. You will also need to cover your usual moving costs as well.

The great news is that in July the government announced a stamp duty holiday for all homes up to £500,000 until March 31, 2021. So it is a great time to consider buying a home and potential making your savings go further.

What happens when I want to sell?

Your housing association will have a dedicated team to help you sell your home when you decide it is time to move on. The value of your share will be based on the current open market value.

About SO Resi

SO Resi is the shared ownership brand for Metropolitan Thames Valley making home ownership possible for more than 50 years. SO Resi redefines shared ownership by making everything clear and uncomplicated so you understand how it works at every stage, before and after you buy.

SO Resi has one, two and three bedroom homes available in Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage and Ware.

For more information call 0208 607 0550 to speak to Julie or one of the sales team, or visit sharedownership.co.uk