Secure Your Property: Unveiling the Possibilities: Shared Ownership and the Freehold Advantage
Shared ownership has emerged as a popular and affordable housing option for many individuals, allowing them to step onto the property ladder with a smaller initial investment. However, one question often arises: Can shared ownership be freehold? In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the concept of freehold shared ownership, exploring its benefits, implications, and potential impact on homeowners. Join us on this enlightening journey as we unravel the unique advantages and considerations associated with freehold shared ownership.
Understanding Shared Ownership
Definition of Shared Ownership
Shared ownership is a housing scheme that provides an opportunity for individuals to purchase a share (usually between 25% and 75%) of a property while paying rent on the remaining share. It is designed to help first-time buyers or those with lower incomes step onto the property ladder. While discussing shared freehold, if you’re also looking to extend your lease or calculate a lease extension, then contact us.
Understanding Shared Ownership
Eligibility and Application:
Prospective buyers must meet certain criteria to be eligible for shared ownership, which may include being a first-time buyer, having a specific income level, or living or working in a specific area. Once eligibility is confirmed, individuals can search for available shared ownership properties.
Choosing a Property:
Buyers can explore a range of shared ownership properties on the market. These properties are usually newly built or resold homes offered by housing associations or developers. The buyer selects a property that suits their needs and is affordable.
Assessing Share and Mortgage:
The buyer determines the share they can afford to purchase, typically between 25% and 75% of the property’s value. This share is based on their financial capabilities and the deposit they can provide. They then seek a mortgage lender who offers shared ownership mortgages to secure the necessary funds for purchasing their share.
Purchase and Fees:
Upon mortgage approval, the buyer purchases their share of the property. They will need to pay a deposit based on the share purchased and cover associated legal fees. The housing association or registered provider retains ownership of the remaining share.
Rent and Service Charges:
As the buyer doesn’t own the entire property, they will pay rent on the share owned by the housing association or registered provider. In addition, there may be service charges for the maintenance and management of the property and shared facilities.
Over time, if their financial situation improves, buyers have the option to increase their share of the property. This process is known as “staircasing.” By purchasing additional shares, they decrease the amount of rent paid to the housing association or registered provider.
Selling the Property:
If the homeowner decides to sell the property, they can do so at any time. They have the choice to sell the entire property or their share only. The housing association or registered provider has the right to find a buyer for the share being sold, ensuring it remains within the shared ownership scheme.
It’s important to note that the specific details and processes may vary depending on the housing association, developer, or regional regulations. Buyers should seek guidance from professionals experienced in shared ownership to navigate the process smoothly.
Advantages of Shared Freehold Ownership
Increased Control and Autonomy:
Shared freehold ownership provides homeowners with a higher degree of control over their property compared to traditional leasehold arrangements. As a co-owner of the freehold, you have a say in decision-making processes related to the management and maintenance of the property. This allows for more autonomy and the ability to actively participate in shaping the future of the property.
Shared Costs and Responsibilities:
With shared ownership, the responsibilities of maintaining and managing the property are shared among the co-owners. This can help reduce individual financial burdens and make it more affordable to undertake repairs, maintenance, and improvements.
Flexibility in Customization:
Shared freehold ownership allows homeowners more flexibility in customising their individual units or communal areas. You have the freedom to make modifications, renovations, or improvements to your own space and collectively decide on enhancements to shared spaces, subject to any necessary permissions or agreements among co-owners.
Long Freehold Ownership Potential:
Just like freehold ownership, shared freehold ownership offers the potential for long-term investment gains. As the property value appreciates over time, you can benefit from the increasing market value of your share in the freehold. This can provide financial stability and a potential profit if you decide to sell your share in the future.
Greater Community Cohesion:
Shared freehold ownership fosters a stronger sense of community among co-owners. As you collectively share responsibilities and decision-making, it often leads to closer relationships and a shared commitment to maintaining and enhancing the property. This can create a sense of belonging and a more enjoyable living environment.
Control over Service Charges:
In many leasehold arrangements, homeowners have limited control over the service charges imposed by the freeholder or management company. In shared freehold ownership, co-owners have a direct say in the management of service charges. This can help ensure transparency, fair distribution of costs, and efficient use of funds for the benefit of all co-owners.
Legacy for Future Generations:
Shared freehold ownership can provide a legacy for future generations. As co-owners, you have the opportunity to pass down the shared freehold to your heirs, providing them with a valuable asset and potential financial stability.
Shared freehold ownership combines the advantages of both shared ownership and freehold ownership, offering greater control, shared responsibilities, potential financial gains, and a stronger sense of community. It can be an appealing option for those seeking a balance between individual ownership and collective decision-making.
In summary, a quality lease extension surveyor can provide valuable guidance, support, and expertise throughout the lease extension process. They can help you get a fair deal, avoid mistakes, and ensure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently. Be sure to choose someone with the necessary experience and expertise to ensure that you get the quality service you need.