Own more with staircasing

01 March 23

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Congratulations on buying your shared ownership home with So Living. You might be wondering what the next step is in your shared ownership journey, one of the benefits of buying a home in this way is you can buy shares over time – this is staircasing.

How does staircasing work?

For example, if you purchased a 35% share in your home when you completed and decided to purchase a further 20%, you would own 55% of the home – you may be able to buy more than this at once depending on your lease. You may be able to eventually own 100% of your home, in this case you wouldn’t pay any rent to Plymouth Community Homes, just the mortgage.

What costs are involved with staircasing?

There are several fees to be aware of when buying more shares in your home, its important to understand all the costs before starting the process, these include:

• Admin fees – There is a fee involved to process the staircasing application.
• Legal fees – The fees will vary according to which solicitor and mortgage advisor that you choose, we have a list of recommended mortgage advisors if you need it.
• Valuation fee – You will need to get a valuation of your property from either a RICS or FRICS qualified surveyor to find out its value.
• Stamp duty – the amount of stamp duty fee that you will have to pay will depend on whether you chose to pay the whole amount when you bought your home or whether you agreed to pay the amount in stages. If you chose to pay all the stamp duty for the whole value of the property, then there are no further payments to be made, regardless of how many times you staircase. If you opted to pay stamp duty on the original share purchased, then there is nothing to pay until your ownership reaches 80 – at which point the value of each interim staircasing is accumulated to calculate the amount of stamp duty payable.
• Mortgage fees – When choosing to staircase you may need to either extend your current mortgage or reportage your home. The costs involved with this will vary depending on the mortgage provider and the value of the home.

How often can I staircase?

It will be outlined in your lease how often you can buy shares in your home; it is worth checking within your lease to also see if there are any restrictions set out by the local authorities planning conditions, known as a section 106.Our team would have advised you about any restrictions on staircasing when you first purchased your home, for most homes however, there will be no restrictions allowing you to staircase to own 100% of your home.

How do I sell my shared ownership home?

Whether you’ve staircased to 100% or haven’t staircased at all, you can sell your shared ownership home at any time. You will need to contact us first as outlined in your lease; we will then market your home for you up to eight weeks – after this time has elapsed you will be able to list your property on the open market.


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