Low Cost Home Ownership

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1 Housing Services Low Cost Home Ownership Shared Ownership, Homebuy and Resales Telephone number:

2 Contents Low Cost Home Ownership... 3 Keyworkers... 3 Shared Ownership... 3 New Build Shared Ownership... 3 Resales... 3 Homebuy... 4 How much does shared Ownership and Homebuy Cost... 4 Future Options... 6 Applying for Low Cost Home Ownership... 7 The Shared Ownership Procedure... 9

3 Low Cost Home Ownership If you would like to own your own home but cannot quite afford it, shared ownership or Homebuy may be of interest to you. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council have produced this leaflet to tell you more about shared ownership and Homebuy. It will advise you on what shared ownership and Homebuy are; how they work; and approximately how much they will cost you. If you have any further questions when you have read this leaflet, please telephone the Housing Services on and make an appointment to see a Housing Officer. Keyworkers If you are a keyworker in the public sector you may also qualify for help in buying a home. For more information please contact Housing Services on the above number. Shared Ownership Shared Ownership is a form of low-cost home ownership designed to help people who cannot afford to buy a home outright. With shared ownership you buy a share of a property, usually with a mortgage, and pay rent to a Housing Association on the share that you don't own. The scheme is sometimes know as 'part-rent, part-buy'. The aim of shared ownership is that by gradually buying further shares in the property, you will eventually own your home outright. New Build Shared Ownership The Council works in partnership with Housing Associations to build new homes in the Borough. Some of these homes will then be made available for shared ownership. If there are no schemes available at the time when you apply, you may be eligible to join the shared ownership waiting list. Resales The term Resales refers to existing shared ownership property which is being sold by the owner. The Council is unable to predict the availabilities of these properties as it depends on each owner deciding to sell. 3

4 Homebuy Homebuy is a new method of purchasing a home. With Homebuy you buy a 75% share in a property and the Housing Association will then provide 25% of the purchase price. You will then be the owner of the property and there is nothing to pay the Housing Association whilst you are the owner. When you sell the property you pay back 25% of the price you sell it for. Who is eligible? Homebuy will only be available to Local Authority and Housing Association tenants, people with disabilities, and people who are considered to be a very high priority on the Housing Needs Register. Applicants must be nominated by their Local Authority and must not have received Housing Benefit in the last 12 months. Applicants will also need to eligible to register on the Council s Housing Needs Register. If you are not registered please contact Housing Services on for the relevant forms The type of property you can buy The type of property you can choose under Homebuy must meet the following criteria: The property must be in England The size of the property must be suitable for your family s needs The sale price must be within the value limits for the area The property must be in good and mortgageable condition and if brand new have a NHBC guarantee Leasehold properties must have a lease of at least 55 years The property must be residential only. How much does shared Ownership and Homebuy Cost Initial Costs There are expenses involved if you enter into a shared ownership purchase. You will need to think carefully about these costs before you can decide whether or not to proceed. The costs quoted beside each item are to give you as an approximate guide only. As you will see, you need a minimum of 1,000 in savings to buy a home. 4

5 Valuation Report Your mortgage lender will usually arrange for the property to be valued before they will agree to lend you the money. If you are not taking out a mortgage you will still need a valuation report on whatever property you are buying. This will cost approximately Survey/House Buyers Report If you are not buying a brand new property you will need to have a survey carried out on the property to check that it is structurally sound. This will cost approximately 400. If you are buying a brand new house, it must be covered by a ten year NHBC guarantee but a full survey is not required. Legal Fees You will need to engage a solicitor to handle the legal side of your shared ownership/homebuy transaction as you would for any property purchase. The purchase will proceed more quickly if your solicitor is already familiar with the shared ownership/homebuy scheme. Legal fees will be approximately 500. It is worth 'shopping around' as charges will vary considerably between solicitors. Deposit A deposit will usually be required when you take out a mortgage. You may be able to obtain a mortgage for 100% of the purchase price of your share in the property. However, you should consult an independent financial advisor before committing yourself to any mortgage. Stamp Duty If you purchase a property which exceeds 120,000 in value, you will have to pay stamp duty. Your solicitor will be able to advise you further on this. Service Connection Charges Running Costs You will be fully responsible for any charges made for connecting services such as gas, electricity, water, telephone etc. Mortgage Re-Payments If you take out a mortgage to buy your share of your new home, your monthly mortgage re-payments will probably be your biggest expense. The amount of your re-payments will depend upon the amount of the loan and the interest rate. You may be able to get a mortgage with a fixed interest rate for a set period of time. Your financial advisor will be able to advise you further on the type of mortgage most appropriate for you. Rent (Shared Ownership Only) Rent is payable on a monthly basis to the Housing Association on the share of the property that you do not own. The rent that you pay will be lower than an equivalent market rent but it is reviewed annually. 5

6 The rent that you pay will include a service charge to the Housing Association. A premium for buildings insurance may also be included. If you buy a further share in your home, your rent will reduce accordingly. When you have purchased the whole of the property, you do not pay any rent. Repairs/Insurance/Service Charges i) Houses - You will be responsible for all repairs and all internal/external decoration. The Housing Association may insure the structure of your house and this charge is passed on to you. You are responsible for insuring the contents of your home. ii) Flats - You will be personally responsible for all internal decorating, in your flat. The insurance and structure of the whole building is the responsibility of the free-holder (the owner of the whole block of flats). You will have to pay a service charge to the free-holder to cover the cost of insuring the building and any external repairs or decorating. You are responsible for insuring the contents of your flat. Council Tax You will have to pay Council Tax to your Local Authority. The value band into which your property falls is based on the full market value of your home. It is this banding that determines the amount of Council Tax that you are legally obliged to pay. The fact that you only own a proportion of the property will not make any difference to your Council Tax bills. Heating and Lighting Bills and Water Rates etc You are responsible for paying all of your own bills on the property. Service Connection Charges You will be fully responsible for any charges made for connecting services such as gas, electricity, water, telephone etc. Future Options Shared Ownership Once you have entered into shared ownership with a Housing Association, you will have to wait until the end of a qualifying period (usually a year) before you can change the ownership arrangements. At any time after this, there are three options open to you. Do Nothing You can continue the same arrangement of part renting and part buying. This can continue indefinitely. 6

7 Buy Further Shares If you want to buy further shares in the property you must approach your housing association. The property will be valued and any further shares that you purchase will be at the market value at that time. As you buy further shares, your rent will reduce until you own the property outright and do not pay any rent at all. Sell If you want to sell your share in the property, you must inform the housing association in writing. The housing association may be able to find a buyer for you so that someone else can benefit from shared ownership. The price for which you sell your share would be the market value at that time. If the value of your home has increased you will be entitled to the profit in proportion to the percentage of the property that you own (i.e. if you own a 50% share, you will receive 50% of any profit). Likewise, any fall in the value will be borne proportionately by you. The Housing Association will be able to advise you further on the details of the procedure for selling the property. Homebuy Do nothing There is no time limit in which you should repay the 25% subsidy. You can remain in the property with a 75% investment for as long as you wish. Repaying the Housing Association Loan You are entitled to buy back the Housing Association share in your home. The Housing Association will arrange a valuation by an independent surveyor and the price for buying back the 25% share will be based on this valuation. Selling your home You are free to sell your home at any time but if you do, you must first repay the 25% subsidy following a set procedure. The amount you repay will depend on the state of the housing market in your area at the time you want to sell. This means that you may repay more or less than the amount originally borrowed. If you have to repay more than you borrowed from the Housing Association the effect will be similar to a loan under which you pay credit charges based on the rate at which your home has increased in value. Applying for Low Cost Home Ownership Who can apply? Both Shared Ownership and Homebuy are intended to assist household in housing need who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy a suitable property on the open market without the assistance of shared ownership or Homebuy. Applicants must be nominated to the Housing Association by their Local Authority. 7

8 How to apply Complete and return the joint Housing Needs Register and Low Cost Home Ownership form with the required documentation, which is available from Housing Services. Applicants will need to be eligible to register on the Councils Housing Needs Register. The application will then be assessed and you will be told if you are eligible or not. What happens next? If you are eligible, what happens next will depend on your priority and the availability of Homebuy funding or new build Shared Ownership schemes. If there is Homebuy funding or a new build Shared Ownership scheme available and you are high priority you may be nominated to the appropriate Housing Association. The Association will then contact you directly. The Housing Association will have the final say on whether or not your application is successful. If the Council is not able to nominate you at the present time, your application details will be added to the register. You will then be sent details of any new schemes that become available in the Borough. It is important to keep Housing Services informed of any changes in your circumstances, which may increase your priority. 8

9 The Shared Ownership Procedure Application to Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Allocation of Priority HIGH PRIORITY Funding/ Scheme Available Nominated to a Housing Association Housing Association decides whether to proceed NO FUNDING/ SCHEME AVAILABLE LOWER PRIORITY Details added to Low Cost Home Ownership Register Sent details about availability of new Shared Ownership Schemes 9

10 If you would like a copy of this document in large print, on tape or in Braille, please contact Housing Services on Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey KT18 5BY tel web last updated 6 January 06 - Housing - Low Cost Home Ownership Ref: 740

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