Our mission at Plumlife is to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder – nothing brings us greater joy than when we’re able to help people achieve their dream of home ownership.

The combination of house prices, limited availability and levels of deposit needed is making home ownership almost impossible for many first-time buyers; however government-backed schemes such as shared ownership are helping many first time buyers get onto the property ladder.

At Plumlife, we seek to offer shared ownership in lots of different locations to reach different groups of first time buyers.

Our experience in the North West region is indicating that the average first-time buyer earns £20-25,000 per year and this is why shared ownership is so important. With shared ownership, home ownership becomes achievable and often more affordable than privately renting a home, which can cost more than a mortgage on a monthly basis.

It is a fantastic route to home ownership and a much smaller deposit is needed, based on the percentage share you buy and not the full market price. With other products, average deposits are around £30,000 while with shared ownership, they can be as low as £3,500. Buyers don’t need to be reliant on relatives or long term saving plans to access shared ownership.

There are so many benefits to the scheme, but here are the top three reasons why we’re such big fans of shared ownership:

Eligibility

You can buy a home through shared ownership if your household income earns less than £80,000 per year. Applicants should be first time buyers, although other circumstances may be considered such as if you are hoping to step back onto the property ladder after a relationship breakdown. For some developments applicants may also need to prove a local connection to the area.

Affordability

Saving up for a deposit is often one of the biggest barriers for a first-time buyer. One of the best things about shared ownership is the significant reduction in the amount you need to save since you only need a deposit on the share that you buy. Typically, buyers purchase between 25% and 75% of the home which means that both the deposit and the initial mortgage will be smaller. A modest rent is payable on the share which is not purchased.

For example, if you’re looking to purchase a property priced at £180,000 at 35%, the value of your share will be £63,000. If a 5% deposit was required, you would need to put down a deposit of £3,150. The rent payable on the remaining 65% would be £268.13pcm. Other monthly costs to consider include: buildings insurance, management fee and estate charge (if applicable) – these costs can vary by provider and location.

Staircasing

Working towards 100% ownership is usually a possibility, and for many, is the end goal. You will usually be able to buy additional shares in your home through shared ownership. This is known as ‘staircasing’ and, in many cases, will enable you to own your home outright one day. Buying additional shares is optional depending on your situation. This can be done at any time after you purchase your home.

You’ll need to work alongside your housing association and solicitor just as you would have to purchase your first shares. As you staircase, the amount of rent you pay will decline accordingly.

You can visit our Plumlife’s Website, which features lots of useful information and handy guides about shared ownership. You can also search through their quality new developments in your local area.

When you’re ready to start your new home journey, Plumlife’s friendly sales team will be on hand to guide you every step of the way.