The Journey to Shared Ownership

Am I eligible?

You’re likely to qualify for Shared Ownership if you meet the following criteria:

  • The total household income is less than £80,000 per year
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You must be either a first-time buyer or unable to buy a suitable property on the open market
  • You do not own a home OR if you do own a home (either outright or through shared ownership) you must have sold this property before purchasing a shared ownership property.
  • Your income is sufficient to sustain the mortgage, rent and service charge
  • You have savings to cover the deposit and legal fees

We’ll confirm if you are eligible for the property you’re interested in by carrying out a quick and easy initial assessment. This will make sure your property is affordable both now and in the future.

How does it work?

Shared Ownership is an affordable way to buy your own home, without the need for sizeable deposits and large mortgage payments.

The scheme helps you sit comfortably on the property ladder reducing the amount of savings you need for a mortgage deposit. It allows you to gradually buy more shares until you fully own the home, if and when your financial situation allows. 

If you choose to buy through Shared Ownership the share you own will depend on your individual circumstances. Typically this is between 25% and 75% of the value of the property.

When you buy your property with Shared Ownership you enter a long leasehold, giving you have the same rights as an owner-occupier and not a tenant. This means you will be responsible for the costs of your property such as repairs. You will be responsible for these costs no matter what percentage of the home you buy.

Once you have bought your home, your ongoing costs will include:

  • Your monthly mortgage repayment (if applicable)
  • Monthly rent and service charge to Gentoo Group
  • General repairs and maintenance costs
  • Household costs such as council tax, water rates, energy bills and home insurance

To give you piece of mind, all of our new homes come with a 10 year NHBC warranty which covers you for any major structural defects. You will also be able to claim up to £500 each year for the first 10 years for any defects related to your home that affects things such as plumbing and electrics that have not been caused by general wear and tear. 

Can I own my home outright?

Yes – Please contact us if you are ready to buy more shares in your home. This process is known as staircasing which helps you get to the top of the property ladder gradually. The more you own the less rent you will pay back to Gentoo. If you buy 100% of the shares this is known as “final staircasing” which means you will no longer need to pay rent. 

Can I sell my home?

Yes -If you're looking to move home you can do this at any time in the following ways:

  • by selling the share you own to someone else who meets the Shared Ownership criteria.
  • by purchasing the remaining share and selling the property.

The buying process

The buying process
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To start the process, we’ll need you to complete a simple, 10-minute, online application through our HomeMatch system and then register with your local Help to Buy agent, who will ensure you meet the qualifying criteria.

Once we’ve received confirmation that you can proceed, one of our team will complete an initial affordability assessment with you.

This checks the purchase will be sustainable for you in the long term and gives us a better understanding of your current circumstances. After this, you’ll receive a call from our team to agree on a recommended share value.

Once we’ve agreed on a share value with you, an in-depth assessment will be carried out on our behalf by an independent financial advisor. They will look at your income and outgoings and review your lending options to ensure you won’t overstretch yourself financially.

You can speak to your own advisor, or we’d be happy to recommend one for you. You’ll need to provide them with evidence of your income, proof of your deposit and a credit report.

After this assessment, you will be able to reserve your home! To do this, we will need evidence of a mortgage decision in principle which you’ll receive from your bank or mortgage lender.

You’ll now be able to arrange a viewing for one of our properties where we can help you choose your perfect home.

These viewings may be offered as virtual or in-person, depending on your preferred development and whether you reserve off-plan or not.

During the viewing, we’ll talk you through the unique features of our new homes and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions.

Once you’ve identified your perfect home, you’ll need to secure this with a £500 reservation deposit.

This non-refundable payment can be made to our team via credit or debit card and is typically taken over the phone or Gentoo’s website. We’ll ask you to confirm the acceptance of your reservation via Homematch and this deposit will be deducted from the monies taken from you upon completion of your home purchase.

Once this payment is complete, the home is fully reserved for you and it’s time to start the legal side of the process.

To buy your new home you’ll need an experienced solicitor to carry out the necessary legal work, also known as conveyancing.

If you need help finding a solicitor, we’d be happy to recommend some local law firms but we’ll ask you to confirm your solicitor’s details with your reservation acceptance.

You’ll need to cover the cost of the legal work associated with buying your home which is usually between £1,000 - £1,500. Your chosen mortgage lender will also require a valuation survey of the property. The fee for this will depend on your lender and the agreed purchase price, your mortgage advisor will happily confirm these for you.

Once we’ve received your completed reservation document, we will issue a Memorandum of Sale to you and the solicitors.

This is a summary of your purchase and will include the name/s of all buyers, together with property details, agreed purchase price and vendor and solicitor details. All parties should communicate directly with each other to handle the purchase of your new home and our sales team will keep in touch with you to help your sale run smoothly.

We will give you a date when we expect to exchange contracts, typically this is between four and six weeks after the solicitor’s instruction.

During this time, your solicitor will be carrying out local searches and legal enquiries on your behalf. Once all enquiries are complete and your mortgage is approved, your solicitor will ask you to sign contracts. At this point, you’ll need to pay your deposit.

After this is paid, you can exchange contracts and a date will be confirmed for you to legally complete on your new home!

Once you’ve exchanged contracts and before your sale completes, you’ll be given a home demonstration with our team. This is so you’re familiar with your new home before you move in.

This may be offered as a virtual appointment or in-person with a member of staff.

On the agreed completion date, your mortgage lender will release funds to your solicitor who will, in turn, send the monies to Gentoo. This includes your deposit payment and an apportionment of rent and service charge paid one month in advance.

As soon as we receive the cleared funds the legal process is complete, and you’ll officially own your share of the home.

On completion day we’ll be delighted to help you move into your new home. You’ll receive the keys, an HNBC handbook and useful instructions for your central heating and appliances.

We’ll ask you to sign handover paperwork confirming you have received all the keys and documentation you need, and we will take final meter readings so you’re only paying bills from the moment the property becomes yours. You’ll then be responsible for contacting the council and utility providers to register accounts in your name.

Register your interest

Interested in shared ownership?