Own more of your home with staircasing
So, you've bought your new place with Abri - congratulations. After a while, you might be wondering what's next in your Shared Ownership journey. One of the many benefits of buying a home this way is that you can buy more shares over time. This is called staircasing.
Need a quick recap of Shared Ownership and what it means for you? Watch our short video:
How does staircasing work?
For example, let's say you purchased a 40% share in your new home when you completed your move. If you choose to buy another 20%, you would own 60% - you may be able to buy even more at once. In some cases, you could eventually own 100% of your home - then you wouldn't pay any rent, just the mortgage.
How often can I staircase?
The rate at which you can buy shares in your home will be outlined in your lease. Some properties will have different terms when it comes to staircasing, so it's important to understand these first.
For homes funded by the Shared Ownership programme 2016 to 2021, you can buy shares of 5% or more at any time.
For homes funded by the Shared Ownership programme 2021 to 2026, you:
- can buy shares of 5% or more at any time
- can buy a 1% share each year for the first 15 years
- can't buy shares of 2%, 3% or 4%.
What are the costs involved with staircasing?
Before buying more shares in your home, it's important to understand all of the costs that are involved. There are a number of fees to consider, for example:
- Valuation fee - you'll need to get a valuation from a RICS or FRICS qualified surveyor to find out how much your home is currently worth - it may have even gone up in value since you bought it!
- Admin fees - there is a fee to process your staircasing application at different stages.
- Legal fees - these fees will vary according to the solicitor and independent mortgage advisor (IMA) you choose. We also have a list of recommended IMAs if you need it.
- Mortgage fees - when staircasing, you might need to extend your current mortgage or remortgage your home. The costs will vary according to your chosen mortgage provider and the value of your home.
- Stamp duty - the amount you'll have to pay in stamp duty fees will depend on whether you chose to pay it in a one-off payment when you bought your home, or whether you agreed to pay it in stages. If you decided to pay in stages, you'll only need to pay stamp duty on the transaction that took you over 80% ownership, and any time that you'd staircased after that. If you made a one-off payment, you won't have to pay at the time of staircasing.
Wondering if you can afford to staircase? Click here to use Share to Buy's handy staircasing calculator.
Can I sell my Shared Ownership home without staircasing to 100%?
You're able to sell your Shared Ownership home at any time, whether you've staircased to 100% or haven't staircased at all. If you do decide to sell, you'll need to let us know first. As part of your lease, we will market your home for you for up to eight weeks. After this period, you're free to market your property on the open market. For more details about selling your Shared Ownership home, read our Seller's Guide.
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Need more information about Shared Ownership and staircasing? Download our simple guide.