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The government's shared ownership scheme is a combination of both buying and renting a property. It is aimed at first-time buyers who can't afford a mortgage and deposit for 100% of their home. The idea is that you own a share of your property and rent the rest at a reduced rate.

Shared ownership properties are mainly newly built homes but there are some properties available that are being resold by housing associations.

You buy between 25% and 75% of your home with the option to purchase a bigger share at a later date. You will need to take out a shared ownership mortgage to pay for your share of the property or fund it through savings.

In England, you can buy a home through the shared ownership scheme if your household earns less than £80,000. You can use the scheme if you are a first time buyer, if you used to own a home but now can't afford one or if you are an existing shared ownership owner looking to move.

In London however, the scheme is run slightly different and is mostly run by London housing associations. It largely works the same as the rest of England, but there is a minimum yearly income requirement of £19,000 and a maximum of £71,000 or £85,000 depending on your property type and size. See this article in Time Out for further details about shared ownership in London.

The shared ownership scheme also differ slightly in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland so we suggest you seek guidance from a help to buy agent in your area for details about your specific country. Click here to find an agent in your area.

  • Firstly, speak to a help to buy agent in your area to see whether the scheme is available to you.

  • Look into whether you can get a mortgage as you will need to apply for a shared ownership mortgage to pay for your share of the loan. Speak with our mortgage advisers for guidance and advice about which lenders are usually willing to lend to shared ownership buyers.

  • Do your sums! You will need to be able to pay for a mortgage deposit, mortgage fees, stamp duty, insurance and ongoing maintenance costs of your property as well as rent for the portion of the property you do not own.

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