We’ve put together answers to some of most frequently asked questions handled by our sales team.
Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
A: You can buy your home with Shared Ownership if you meet the following:
- You are a British or EU/EEA citizen, have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or if you don't have indefinite leave to remain, you are able to demonstrate that you can raise a mortgage with an acceptable lender
- You are a first-time buyer or newly forming household
- You are aged 18 or over
- You have sufficient savings in addition to your deposit to cover the cost of legal fees and mortgage arrangement
- You do not own another property, either in the UK or overseas (unless a court order forces you to remain on the deeds of a property where your children reside)
If you're already a homeowner and want to buy with Shared Ownership, you'll need to have a buyer for your current property before applying.
How do I buy a Shared Ownership home?
A: Shared Ownership allows you to buy a share in a long lease on a property. You will need to take out a mortgage for the share you are buying, which needs to come from a recognised highstreet lender who offers shared ownership mortgages.
How long does the sales process take?
A: Our sales process usually takes between six and eight weeks to exchange contracts. If your home is built and ready for you to move in it is at this point you will be able to set your completion date on your Cerris Home. However, if it is not ready to move in to, you will exchange with completion on notice and the Cerris Homes sales team will keep you up to date on the progress.
What costs are involved when buying a Cerris Home?
A: For most of us, buying a new home is the most important purchase we will ever make, and also the most expensive. There are several additional costs to consider alongside the purchasing of your Cerris Home:
- Reservation Fee - In order to secure the Cerris Home, you will need to pay a £500 reservation fee. This fee is not a cost, as it will be deducted from the final purchase price. If you are unable to continue with the purchase, we may retain the fee either partly or in full
- Legal Fees - You will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf during the property purchase and pay for their services. Many solicitors will charge a fixed fee plus VAT. In addition to your solicitor's services, there are several steps involved in a purchase which you will need to pay for via your solicitor. These are:
- Search Fee - This is paid to the relevant local authority for the search. The search is carried out by the local authority, who will liaise with your solicitor, and provides specific information about the property you are buying and the immediate surrounding area
- Land Registry Fee - A charge to register the change of ownership to you and the housing provider as shared owners
- Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) - SDLT is payable to the government if the value of the initial share of the property you are buying is over £125,000. You will pay stamp duty only on the amount over the £125,000 threshold. Your solicitor will be able to explain amount you will need to pay and will advise on which payment option is available to you
- Mortgage Arrangement Fee - You can apply for a mortgage directly with a lender or you can choose to obtain a mortgage through a broker. Some brokers charge a fee for arranging your mortgage while others offer their services at no cost. Most mortgage lenders charge a fee for the arrangement of the mortgage, which varies lender to lender
- Deposit - For all Shared Ownership purchases, you will have to pay a deposit. Housing providers will generally require the deposit to be at least five per cent of the purchase price of the property, although this can vary. The deposit is paid to the housing provider when the exchange takes place. You pay the deposit to your solicitor and it will in turn be paid to the housing provider
- Removal costs - You will need to move your belongings into your new Cerris Home. To do this, you can either use a removal firm or hire a van
What documents will I need to provide?
A: Once you've found your Cerris Home and the sales process has begun, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Payslips for the previous three months (or, if you are self-employed, either the last two years of accounts audited by a chartered accountant or HMRC tax assessments for the last two years)
- Bank statements for the previous three months
- A certified copy of your passport
- Proof of residence for all addresses you have lived at over the last three years (this can be in the form of bank statements, council tax documents, or utility bills)
- Proof of savings
- A signed letter confirming any gifted deposits
- A copy of your credit reference report, available through Experian, Equifax or a similar credit reference agency
- Documents for any benefits you receive such as child benefit etc
What is Shared Ownership?
A: Shared Ownership, also known as 'part rent, part buy', is a scheme funded by the government, housing associations and local authorities, which provides a stepping stone to complete home ownership.
When you buy a Shared Ownership property, you make a monthly mortgage payment for the share you own, and a subsidised rent payment on the share which is owned by the housing provider.
The scheme has been designed to enable you to buy a property which you can afford. The combined monthly mortgage and rent payments are often less than if you were to buy a home outright, or not much more if you were renting.
Over time, you can buy a larger share in the property until you own it outright - this process is known as 'staircasing.'
How do I buy more shares of my home?
A: Buying more shares of your home, often known as staircasing, is really easy. Check our guide to buying more shares here, which will tell you all you need to know.
How do I sell my Shared Ownership home?
A: We want to make sure that you are able to sell your Shared Ownership home when you are ready to move on. We'll help you as much as we can, discover more by downloading our useful Guide to Selling your Shared Ownership home here.