How do I consider whether buying a home is right for me?
There are many things that you will have to find out. Among them are:
- Talk to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) about the financial commitment, especially your mortgage status and the costs of purchase. See www.searchifa.co.uk to find an IFA.
- It is never wise to borrow more than you can afford or underestimate the cost of maintenance and household insurance. Save as much money as you can first.
- Find a Solicitor who will undertake the legal process (known as conveyancing) and answer your questions.
- Lending was very restricted during 2008/09. Mortgages continue to be only available to applicants who can put down large deposits. The larger the amount you can put as a deposit, the lower the mortgage interest rate you will be offered. By 2011, the major lenders have begun to ease their criteria for approving a mortgage. But this remains a specialist area for Shared Ownership or Shared Equity schemes. It is essential to get advice from an IFA.
What help is there from Housing Associations and Developers if I cannot afford the full price?
Various schemes have been introduced during the last 10 years. There are 2 main types, but please note that from time to time schemes arise with different conditions.
- Shared Ownership: also known as part-buy part-rent. You buy as much as you can afford, usually 30% - 60% of the full price. You can buy extra amounts when your income or savings allow, but you don't have to. The Housing Association charges the rent you pay on the share you don't own. This is usually about 2% per annum on the rest of the value. Though it is called rent, you are fully responsible for your home, including repairs and maintenance.
- Shared Equity:you buy a higher amount of equity, usually 70% or 75%. You don't pay a rent, but at a future date, a Legal Charge is payable. This is calculated around 2% per annum on the rest of the value. The period before the Legal Charge is paid can vary, but is often 5 years.
Where can I find out about homes that are available for these schemes?
As well as looking at the preferred partner Housing Associations (see Housing Associations), you should contact Catalyst Housing Group. In April 2009, Catalyst were appointed the Zone Agent for Surrey, in effect a central source of information for all these schemes.
Their website www.chg.org.uk contains useful information about how to get started making enquiries.
Also look at www.catalysthomebuy.co.uk. This site has been updated during 2011 to give you details of schemes, and a property search facility, both for New Build and Resale Properties. You can also do a Self Assessment to find out if you are eligible and what you can afford.
What is happening during 2011 in Runnymede to assist potential home owners?
Franklands Drive Addlestone
This is a development of 350 new homes during the next 3 years. About 100 of these homes are expected to be sold on Shared Ownership or Shared Equity Leases.
Paragon Housing Group are the Developer Housing Association. They represent 2 Associations – Accent Peerless Housing Group and Elmbridge Housing Trust – who will each own half the properties.
Construction of homes in the first Phase (total 94 homes) began just before Christmas 2010. The first handovers are expected during Autumn 2011.
The 94 homes include 37 for sale. They will be sold on Shared Ownership Leases. The Table below gives values as they are in June 2011. Final amounts will be confirmed with approved applicants. Buyers will have to pay a minimum 40% equity, and rent on the rest of the equity.
Franklands Drive Addlestone Phase 1 homes for Shared Ownership sale October 2011 – February 2012
|Property Type ||Number of Homes ||Value as at June 2011 ||40% Minimum Equity ||Net Rent (2.5%) |
| || || || || |
|1 bedroom flats ||3 ||£165,000 ||£66,000 ||£202.25 pcm |
| || || || || |
|2 bedroom flat ||22 ||£215,000 ||£86,000 ||£268.75 pcm |
| || || || || |
|2 bedroom houses ||12 ||£238,500 ||£95,400 ||£298.13 pcm |
| || || || || |
|Total ||37 || || || |
To find out more, including how to register, please get in touch with Mike Rotter, Housing Enabling Officer at the Civic Centre, phone 01932 425830 (email: Mike.Rotter@runnymede.gov.uk).
We are working closely with Paragon Housing Group. They will update progress on their website, see http://www.paragonchg.co.uk/find-a-home/homes-to-buy/franklands-drive/.
Runnymede Equity Loan Scheme
We regret that we have been unable to agree to introduce this Scheme. It was under negotiation with Catalyst Housing Group during 2010. It would have enabled a small number of properties to be bought by first-time buyers, using funds put in by Runnymede and Catalyst to secure a loan.
We will consider this type of scheme further as and when the Council's financial position allows.
(updated June 2011)