Fact vs fake of shared ownership

Whether you’re looking to get your foot on the property ladder or a step up or across it, chances are you have come across the term ‘Shared Ownership’ when searching for that perfect place to call home.

Rumour has it though… Shared Ownership must be a scam – it seems too good to be true! Or perhaps you’ve heard you have to be a first-time buyer, or worse, you can’t have pets?!

These aren't true!

With so much conflicting information out there, we know that finding the right home for you may seem like a never-ending task. That’s why we’ve put together the top ten most common misconceptions surrounding Shared Ownership – debunked!

Shared Ownership is for first time buyers only

FAKE – We only have 3 simple requirements to be eligible for Shared Ownership –

  1. You are over the age of 18
  2. Your household income is less than £80,000
  3. You don’t already own a home at the time of buying your Shared Ownership property

Shared Ownership is only available on new build homes

FAKE – The choice is yours! As well as new build homes, we also have a number of ‘resale’ properties available with Shared Ownership. A resale property just means the home has already been lived in.

You can purchase more shares in your home as and when you can afford to

FACT – The majority of our properties give you the option to staircase and buy more shares. You can choose how many shares you’d like to purchase or purchase the rest of your home outright in one transaction. It’s entirely up to you.

You can make improvements to your home

FACT – You are free to decorate and make your house a home. This includes adding as many hanging pictures and shelves as you like and painting your home to colours of your choice! It’s worth noting, larger renovations will need to be checked with us such as extensions to the home.

It’s a scam!!!

FAKE – Shared Ownership is a government backed scheme helping more people get on to the property ladder. It’s been around since the 1970s and has since been in high demand, helping over 200,000 UK households to buy an affordable home that suits them.

The application for a Shared Ownership home is simple

FACT – Applying for a Shared Ownership home is easy - there are just two steps!

  1. Complete an initial application form with Sovereign
  2. Complete a ten-minute affordability assessment with our financial advisors

For more information visit our ‘How to apply’ page.

No pets are allowed

FAKE – Most pets are welcome in our Shared Ownership houses, but we have stricter guidance on pets in apartments. Our sales consultants will be able to confirm with you whether pets are allowed when you enquire about one of our homes.

All repairs and maintenance in your home will be your responsibility

FACT – This is correct. Just like on the open market, you would be responsible for repairs and maintenance, though it is always worth checking the warranty.

For new build Shared Ownership homes, Sovereign offer a 1-year defects period which protects you from having to fix any defects yourself in that specific time frame. In the first 12 months living in your new home, our developers are responsible for repairs. More information on living in a new build home can be found here.

The deposit required for a Shared Ownership home will be too expensive

FAKE – Here’s the best part. As you are only buying part of your home you will have a smaller deposit (as little at 5%) which also means lower monthly payments.

Read how our Sovereign shared owner Cara got on the property ladder at 25 with just a £5,000 deposit here.

Paying both rent and a mortgage is more expensive than doing just one or the other

FAKE – Shared Ownership is all about affordable housing, meaning monthly payments are more than often less expensive than renting privately, or being on the open market.

For tips from real Sovereign shared owners on what it costs to own your own home, and how to manage your finances with Shared Ownership, read one of our Money Diaries articles:

Want to know more about Shared Ownership with Sovereign?

Hear from our existing shared owners on our case studies page, or for more detailed information on how Shared Ownership works click here.

Whichever house scheme you decide to choose, we wish you all the best in your search!