How to buy more shares in my home
Staircasing - buying more shares in your home
Thinking of buying more shares in your home? If you live in a shared ownership property you may want to buy more shares when you can afford it. This is sometimes called ‘staircasing’. Your lease will tell you how and when you may buy more shares.
When can I buy more shares?
You can do it gradually over time, to eventually own 100% of your home.
Some of our leases have restrictions on buying more shares. For example if you live in a flat you cannot buy more shares within a year of buying your first shares in your home. On some estates, in rural areas, you cannot buy all the shares in your home. If you want to buy more shares, it is up to you to make sure you can afford it. We would always recommend you get independent financial advice. When you apply to us to increase your ownership, your rent account must be up to date and must remain so throughout the process.
What shares can I buy?
You may increase your ownership in separate stages or in stage 1 to 100% (depending on any restrictions in your lease). The minimum shares you can purchase is typically 10% of the unsold equity. You can normally buy shares in your home a maximum of three times. However, your lease should provide more details.
As you buy more shares, your rent will reduce, but your service charge will stay the same. If you decide to buy all the shares in your home, and the property is a freehold house, your solicitor will arrange for the freehold title to transfer to your name. This means that the property will be in your name only. You will then be responsible for arranging building insurance and unless there is a rent charge for maintaining the estate your home is on, your relationship with us will end. NB. Some properties may require a separate fee for the Freehold Title to be transferred.
If you live in a flat and buy all the shares in your home, you will still have to pay service charges. If everyone living in a development of flats owns all the shares in their home, we would encourage the owners to transfer the freehold to all the owners as a group if this is practical.
Some properties may have a cap on the amount of shares you can buy.
How do you know how much each share is worth?
The cost of additional shares is calculated by the market value of your home when you decide to start staircasing. As you buy more shares, your rent will reduce, but your service charge will stay the same.
What costs will I have to pay?
Under the lease, if you want to buy more shares you will be responsible for:
- the cost of having your property valued,
- your own solicitor’s fees,
- our solicitor’s fees,
- stamp duty (if this applies) if you are buying all the shares in your home, and
- Land Registry fees if there is a transfer to register.
If you are planning to extend your mortgage so that you can buy more shares, you may want to talk to your lender first, before you commit to any other costs.