Guide to shared ownership header

Guide to Shared Ownership

Looking for shared ownership homes in Dorset and Somerset? Here’s our handy guide containing everything you need to know.

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership is another way to buy your own home. You buy a percentage and pay rent on the rest.

Buying a percentage means a smaller deposit and smaller mortgage.

It’s a faster first step on the ladder for lots of people. Usually you can carry on buying shares until you own 100%.

Who can buy with shared ownership?

Shared ownership is an option for lots of people:

First-time buyers. You can get on the ladder with a smaller deposit.

Separated couples. It’s an easier way to buy with your individual share of assets.

Retirees. You can free up equity without losing the security of owning a home.

Generally speaking:

  • Your household income needs to be under £80K (under £90K in London).
  • You can’t own another property.
  • You must be able to afford the regular mortgage, rent and service payments and need a good credit history.
  • You should have 5-10% of the share of home you are buying.

Why consider shared ownership?

With house prices are rising and wage increases lagging behind, shared ownership is a great option for anyone without a large deposit.

An attainable option

If buying on the open market feels impossible and you’ve had enough of private renting, shared ownership provides another avenue for buying your own home.

A smaller deposit

Because you’re only buying a share of the property, the deposit is naturally a lot smaller.

An investment

It’s a way of putting your money into property, even if you can’t afford to buy on the open market. It’s yours, you can decorate it and sell when you want.

Frequently asked questions

The most common questions about shared ownership answered.


Housing association
Housing associations (like Magna) are not-for-profit companies set up to provide affordable homes. They offer shared ownership properties, to help those who can’t buy a home on the open market.

The lease is the contract for the share you’ve bought. It states your share of your home, what you’ll be paying and what your responsibilities are.

This means increasing the size of your share. You might start off with 25%, but gradually buy more shares to own 50% or even 100%.

The sum of money you need to put down in order to secure your property and essentially the first instalment towards buying it.

A share is the percentage of a property you decide to buy. A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy a property. It’s a fixed amount and has to be paid back over a certain amount of years.

Mortgage valuation
It’s a report by the mortgagee (the bank or building society that’s lending you the money) which values your property and decides how much you can borrow to buy it.

Service charge
Service charge is the contribution you will need to pay to the housing association for the things like communal maintenance and repairs in an apartment block.

Estate charge
Estate charge is the extra money you might need to pay for the upkeep of your apartment’s grounds.

Who’s shared ownership for?

Shared ownership is relevant for lots of people, at all different stages of life.

First-time buyers

Shared ownership is a great option if you’re a first-time buyer. The smaller deposit makes it easier to get on the ladder and shared ownership properties are being built all around the country.

Recently separated

If you’ve recently separated from a partner, a smaller deposit makes it easier to buy somewhere new with your share of any joint assets.

Over 55

If you’re retired and looking to downsize, but don’t want to reinvest as much of your savings into another property, shared ownership is worth thinking about. The smaller mortgage and deposit frees up money for other things without giving up the security of ownership.

How does it compare?

Shared ownership Private renting
InvestmentYou’re a homeowner, so every month’s mortgage is an investment in your future.You won’t see a return on anything you spend while renting.
StabilityYou can stay in your home for as long as you like.You could be asked to leave at any time.
DecoratingYou’re free to decorate or change things.You’ll usually have to leave the place exactly as you found it and will get fined otherwise.
Monthly FeesYou pay a monthly mortgage, rent and (if you’re in a flat) service charge.You pay a monthly rent and service charge if you’re in an apartment block. Your landlord’s free to increase the rent however and whenever they see fit.

Shared OwnershipBuying on the open market
DepositDeposits are much smaller, as low as £5,000.You’ve got to put down a full deposit for the whole property (usually quite a big one).
SellingYou can sell whenever you want. Just contact your Magna. We’ll guide you through the process.You can sell your property to anyone you want and value it yourself or appoint an estate agent.
LocationThere are shared ownership properties in lots of areas that might be too expensive to consider on the open market.You’re free to find a property anywhere but are limited to areas within your budget.

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