Buying a Shared Ownership Property


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Carry out Mortgage Research with specialist companies that offer funds on shared ownership and other schemes so you can find out how much you can borrow.
Check the local sites that are offering shared ownership.
Ask for details of the different levels of purchase for example, 25%; 50% of the property.
  Find out the cost of the property is and what the rent will be. Check whether the rent will go up annually, what notice you will receive and if there is a limit on the amount it can increase by.
  Compare the cost of the property to other properties for sale locally - is the property priced fairly?
  Fill in and send the application forms to check whether you are eligible to purchase via shared ownership or any other government/private scheme to help First Time Buyers.
  Budget for the move, include the costs of buying AND the ongoing costs of owning a property. This includes your utility, council tax, rent, mortgage, insurance bills etc.
Choose a Legal Company that specialises in shared ownership/first time buyer schemes as the legals will be different and more complex to ordinary conveyancing. 
Either when you have received your application back to ‘go ahead' or while you are waiting for your application, carry out viewings on potential properties.
Check how well the properties have been built. For example, is it noisy between rooms/upstairs when you are downstairs? Who might be next door/upstairs - is it being sold privately or to social tenants?
Find out what the rules are once you own the property, what if your circumstances change and you are not eligible? Will you have to sell and move out? What if you want to buy the property outright? What if you want to sell your percentage of the property? Will you have to sell on the open market or will the company/organisation buy back your share?
What happens when you sell the property if the property's value falls? Rises?
If the property is on a site that hasn't been finished yet, when will it be finished? Can you cope with the noise and building works if you move in before it's finished?
Once you've found a property you like, check that you can still secure the mortgage and make an offer, if accepted you are likely to have to pay a reservation fee.
If you offer is accepted and a reservation made, you still need to progress to exchanging contracts, subject to a snagging survey, before the property is going to be yours.
Prior to exchange, finalise your Mortgage Offer and Insurance.
Manage the purchase of your property. If buying off plan, ensure you are kept up to date with an accurate completion and move in date.
File your paperwork carefully - you'll need the paperwork when you come to sell.
Organise your removals/packaging subject to completion.
Exchange contracts subject to a snagging survey.
Organise an Independent Survey which you will need to pay for and ideally you want a snagging survey if the property is a new build. The average new build property has up to 80 DEFECTS so make sure they are checked and sorted BEFORE you complete on your purchase.
Organise your Change of Address.
Complete your purchase and move in!
Pay any Stamp Duty and check the SDLT forms have been filed.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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