Can i sell my Shared Ownership property and buy another

Yes, you can sell your shared ownership property and buy another property in the UK, whether it is another shared ownership property or a full ownership property. However, there are specific steps and considerations involved in the process. Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate selling your shared ownership property and buying another:

1. Understanding Shared Ownership

1.1 What is Shared Ownership?

Shared ownership is a scheme designed to help people get onto the property ladder. It involves purchasing a share of a property (typically between 25% and 75%) and paying rent on the remaining share, which is owned by a housing association or a similar organization.

1.2 Key Features

  • Staircasing: The process of buying additional shares in your property, eventually leading to full ownership.
  • Leasehold: Most shared ownership properties are leasehold, meaning you own the lease for a fixed term but not the land.

2. Selling Your Shared Ownership Property

2.1 Notifying the Housing Association

Before you can sell your shared ownership property, you need to inform the housing association or organization that owns the remaining share. They often have the right to find a buyer for your share within a specified period, usually 8-12 weeks.

2.2 Valuation

A valuation by a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) accredited surveyor is required to determine the current market value of your share. This is necessary to ensure the sale price reflects the property’s current market value.

2.3 Marketing the Property

  • Housing Association: If the housing association cannot find a buyer within the specified period, you can then market the property yourself.
  • Estate Agents: You can also engage an estate agent to help you find a buyer.

2.4 Selling Costs

  • Valuation Fees: You are responsible for paying the valuation fees.
  • Estate Agent Fees: If you use an estate agent, you will need to cover their fees.
  • Legal Fees: You will need a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the sale.

2.5 Assigning the Lease

Once you find a buyer, the lease needs to be assigned to them. This involves legal paperwork and transferring the existing lease to the new owner.

3. Buying Another Property

3.1 Assessing Your Finances

Before buying another property, assess your financial situation:

  • Sale Proceeds: Determine how much you will make from the sale of your shared ownership property.
  • Mortgage: Consider how much you can borrow based on your income and credit history.
  • Deposit: Ensure you have enough for a deposit, typically 5-20% of the property’s value.

3.2 Choosing a Property

Decide whether you want to buy:

  • Another Shared Ownership Property: This may involve the same process as before, including purchasing a share and paying rent on the remaining share.
  • Full Ownership Property: This involves purchasing the entire property outright.

3.3 Applying for a Mortgage

  • Shared Ownership Mortgage: If buying another shared ownership property, ensure your mortgage lender is willing to finance shared ownership.
  • Standard Mortgage: If buying a full ownership property, apply for a standard mortgage.

3.4 Legal Process

Engage a solicitor to handle the conveyancing process for your new property purchase. This involves:

  • Title Deeds: Ensuring the property’s title is clear and can be legally transferred.
  • Contracts: Drafting and reviewing contracts for the sale and purchase.

3.5 Completing the Purchase

Once all legal and financial aspects are sorted, you can complete the purchase and move into your new property.

4. Considerations and Tips

4.1 Timing

Try to align the sale of your current property with the purchase of your new property to avoid interim housing costs and inconvenience.

4.2 Financial Planning

Ensure you budget for all associated costs, including:

  • Valuation and Survey Fees: For both selling your current property and buying a new one.
  • Legal Fees: For the sale and purchase.
  • Moving Costs: Hiring movers and any related expenses.

4.3 Housing Market

Consider the current housing market conditions. Selling in a seller’s market (high demand, low supply) might be advantageous, while buying in a buyer’s market (low demand, high supply) can help you get better deals.

4.4 Shared Ownership Schemes

If opting for another shared ownership property, investigate different schemes and housing associations to find the best fit for your needs.

4.5 Government Help

Look into government schemes such as Help to Buy or Shared Ownership Reloaded, which might offer assistance or more favorable terms for purchasing a new property.

5. Steps in Selling and Buying Timeline

  1. Inform Housing Association: Notify them of your intent to sell.
  2. Valuation: Arrange for a property valuation.
  3. Housing Association’s Buyer Period: Allow time for the housing association to find a buyer.
  4. Marketing: If necessary, market the property yourself.
  5. Offer Accepted: Once an offer is accepted, start the legal process.
  6. Simultaneous Sale and Purchase: Work with your solicitor to manage the sale and purchase concurrently.
  7. Mortgage Approval: Secure mortgage approval for your new property.
  8. Completion: Finalize both the sale and purchase transactions.

By following these steps and considerations, you can effectively manage the process of selling your shared ownership property and purchasing a new one. Proper planning, financial assessment, and professional advice are key to ensuring a smooth transition from one property to another.

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