The Realities Of Shared Ownership

The Realities Of Shared Ownership

I’ve talked about my shared ownership property a few times before including this post on what the heck it is which you can read here. I’ve been in my property for coming up 6 years now which is quite a long time considering the fact that I’m only 28. Despite a few snagging issues which still haven’t been sorted out I am so happy with the fact that I chose to go into a shared ownership property as it allowed me to get on the property ladder at a time when I wouldn’t have had another choice.

I made a decision to live at home during university so that I could be as debt free as possible and it also allowed to work virtually full time while I was studying in order to say money ready for graduation. After graduating I rented for a year just to see what it was like, how I worked being independent and working out things like council tax and bills before going full blown adult and getting a mortgage.

Now 6 years later I’m in a position where me and Luke have been together long enough to know we want to commit and buy a house together so I’m going to be looking to sell first thing in the new year. The idea of starting the next chapter of my life both excites and scares me but I know it’s going to be quite a tough process. Here are some of the realities of going into a shared ownership property:

Make sure you have a good relationship with your housing association

This is so important as if there’s a problem with the building this is where you’ll have to go. I bought my property brand new so there was a period of around 12-24 months for defects and during this time I had an issue with my intercom phone and eventually after they didn’t sort it I gave up and it still doesn’t work properly. I wish I hadn’t done this and kept a good relationship with them as now I wouldn’t even know who to contact if I didn’t have an issue. When you pay a monthly maintenance fee you want to make sure any issues are directed to the right people.

Your service charge will go up most years

Following on from the mention above you will be paying a monthly service fee and this covers things like buildings insurance (as you will only be responsible for contents insurance if you buy it), maintenance for communal areas like the car park, lifts, gardens etc and then security and other things which affect the building as a whole. Every single year my service charge has increased, although sometimes by just £10 or so but this all adds up. Each year you will get an overview of what the money has been used on and future projections but expect it.

money image

It can be tough to get through to the right contact

Depending on what your issue is don’t expect to get through to the right person at the housing association first time, and if you do congrats. Generally you’ll have basic email and phone contacts but any time I have needed to contact someone I’ve been forwarded from pillar to post a little bit. When it comes to selling this is one of the things I am dreading the most.

Selling isn’t a quick process

A lot of the other people who moved in when I did have since moved out and I know from all of them that selling isn’t a quick process. Everyone I know whose sold has had a buyer within the first month but not moved out for 7-9 months after putting it up for sale. In all of these situations there was no chain with the person moving in and in a lot of them no chain with the people moving out as a lot were moving back home/ abroad etc.

It is a great way to get your first property

It might seem like there are quite a few negatives but the positives do outweigh them as for most of us buying a house is a tough process and shared ownership is the middle ground to allow you to get on the property ladder without the need for a ridiculous deposit. This is especially true if you’re buying it solo like I did, there’s no way I could have got a mortgage for anywhere outright in my area even a one bed crummy flat so this gave me an option.

Have you ever considered shared ownership?

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The Realities Of Shared Ownership

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13 Comments

  1. October 10, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I’ve always wanted to better understand shared ownership more. Is there anything you’ve regretted during your experience?

    • Rhian Westbury
      Author
      October 11, 2018 / 6:14 pm

      I think the only thing I’ve regretted is not standing my ground when things we have been paying for in our service charge haven’t been met x

  2. October 10, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    I know someone who has just purchased their first house via shared ownership. Early days but I know there’s different views on doing so but it does make it easier for those to get on the property ladder.

  3. October 11, 2018 / 9:04 am

    This will be our option when we decide to go back on the property ladder. Its such a great way for first time buyers to take that leap from rental into owning 🙂

    • Rhian Westbury
      Author
      October 11, 2018 / 6:13 pm

      I totally agree, it’s the only way I could afford to do it when I did x

  4. October 11, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    It’s good that there’s an alternative other than renting or buying. I’ve got to admit I knew very little about shared ownership before reading this!

  5. October 11, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    Great advice for someone who is in this situation or wants to be x

  6. October 12, 2018 / 7:02 am

    I never really understood shared ownership and always found it more expensive than renting however some friends have got on the property ladder by doing it, so it is well worth it

  7. October 12, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    I had no idea shared ownership was a thing? Who are you sharing ownership with? How do you even start doing that? At nearly 42 I still rent and I’d love to own my own home.

  8. October 12, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    It’s so great that you managed to get on the property ladder so early on. I’m so jealous of people who have managed to do this! These are seriously helpful tips, I can’t wait to one day own my own home.

  9. October 13, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    I don’t really know much about shared ownership, it’s not something I’ve considered so this is really interesting!

  10. October 16, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    I think shared ownership is a really attractive option for a lot of people these days. Getting on the property ladder is so hard. Good luck for your new home!

  11. October 17, 2018 / 6:57 am

    I have a friend who’s just gotten a property via shared ownership and so far so good but personally, I want to own outright so saving up like mad

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