Below we've answered some of your most Frequently Asked Questions. If your question isn't answered below, our team are on hand to help, contact us and we'll talk you through it.
We partner with you to share the cost of buying your own home – you pay for the part you can afford and we’ll pay for the part that’s left. It’s an opportunity to buy the home that’s right for you without needing the large deposit or the mortgage that goes with it.
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You buy a share in your home that’s right for you. That could be from 25% up to 75% initially. You’ll pay a reduced rent to us on the share we own and a monthly service charge.
As your finances allow, you can buy further shares in your home as and when you choose, meaning you’ll own more and pay less rent.
Typically, you’ll only need a deposit that is 5% of the value of your share, rather than of the total property value, meaning you could get moving sooner than you thought.
- As long as you are over 18
- Your household income is less than £80,000
- And you don’t already own a home at the time of buying your shared ownership property
… then shared ownership could be right for you
Some properties may be bound by local connection restrictions in order to make them affordable for local customers. We'll let you know if there are any restrictions in place when you are searching for a property.
Help to Buy is a Government backed scheme, and local agents ensure that affordable homes are available for those that need it in their area. This means they will need to check that you pass a few criteria to make sure that shared ownership is the right option for you. You can register with Help to Buy here.
A deposit for a shared ownership home can start from just 5% of the share value you’re looking to buy. So for example:
If you’re looking to buy a home that has a 40% share value of £80,000, then your deposit could be as little as £4,000 - meaning you may be able to get on the property ladder sooner than first thought!
You can speak to our panel of financial advisors for more information around affordability.
You’ll want to make your new home just right for you – and that might mean redecorating and carrying out home improvements.
For lighter improvements such as painting, decorating and hanging shelves, you're free to be as creative as you like.
For any major works such as a new kitchen or bathroom, or even an extension, you'll need written approval from us, and in some cases also from your mortgage lender - you may also need planning permission and building regulations approvals!
Once you’ve settled in to your new home and you’ve made it your own, you may want to consider buying more shares – we call this staircasing, and we’re with you every step of the way.
The more shares in your home that you own, the less rent you pay. Almost all of our homes can be purchased outright, meaning that you could own 100% of your home. You’ll be able to find out whether this is possible for your home by speaking to our dedicated sales team.
Buying more shares in your home has a number of benefits:
- Buying more shares in your home means you reduce the amount of rent you pay to Sovereign
- When you decide to sell your home, the greater percentage you own, the more profit you will make if the value of your home has increased
- If you own 100% of your property, in most cases you can sell your property on the open market using an estate agent of your choice
- If you buy the remaining shares in your home and own 100% of your property, in most cases you can sell your home to anyone interested in buying it and are not restricted to those applying for affordable homes -this will need to be confirmed by us
Once you have moved in you will be responsible for paying the monthly rent, insurance, service charges, repairs, council tax, utility bills, and your mortgage if you have one, so it's best to take all this into account when making your decision.
Your shared ownership home is just that – jointly owned between you and us, so when you’re ready to sell and move on, we’re here to help.
As part of your lease, we have eight weeks to help sell your share to someone looking for home like yours with shared ownership.
During these eight weeks, we’ll advertise your home on our website and the Help to Buy website to help find you a buyer. If after this time we haven’t found a buyer for your share, we’ll still market your home – but you’ll also be able to market your share, either yourself or through an estate agent of your choice.
Check out the information on our selling your home page for more information.Selling your home