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Buying a home


Part Buy – Part Rent

Shared Ownership means people have the opportunity to buy a share of a home and pay rent on the remaining share.

The share that you buy can be financed through a mortgage or using any savings you have. You would then pay rent on the share you don’t purchase.

Because you are not buying 100% of your home you will also have less deposit to pay.

What can I Afford?

The share you purchase will be calculated on what you can afford. This will be based on your households income and savings. Most shared ownership properties developed by Cornwall Council will have a minimum first share purchase of 40%.

Buying more shares in your home

You may want to buy more shares in your home. This is known as “staircasing”. Most shared owners will be able to buy 100% of their home to become the outright owner. However some properties in rural areas may be limited to a maximum share of 80% ownership.

The restriction in rural areas is to ensure that affordable housing will always be available for local buyers in the future.

You can apply to purchase additional shares at any time, and the more shares you own, the less rent you will have to pay. However, you choose when, or if, you want to buy more shares.

Please write to us if you want to increase the share in your home. Further information about staircasing can be found in your shared ownership guide.

Shared Ownership guide - How does it work?

Purchasing a home

Below is an overview of the steps you will need to take in finding your shared ownership home.

Stage 1 – Property Search

All shared ownership properties available from Cornwall Council are listed with Help to Buy South. (They are a Government appointed Agent). Properties will also be advertised with a local Estate Agent, through Rightmove or Zoopla. The estate agent will provide information about the properties and viewing opportunities. However, in order to be considered for a property you will need to register with Help to Buy South (HtBS)

Stage 2 – Register with HtBSW

You will need to register your interest with the Help to Buy South (HtBS). You will be asked to complete their application form and provide details of any local connections you have with the area you want to move to. You will also be able to see what shared ownership properties are available.

Stage 3 – Affordability and Eligibility checks

We will:

  • Assess your application against Cornwall Council’s affordable home Ownership policy;
  • Carry out an affordability assessment based on your household income;
  • Assess your application against the eligibility criteria for the homes you are interested in;

What if there are no properties available at the time you contact HtBSW? If you register with them they will advise you when any suitable properties become available.

You can look at the Money Advice Service website to work out what mortgage you can afford.

Stage 4 – Arranging a Mortgage

The Money Advice Service has some useful advice on choosing a mortgage.

Stage 5 – Conveyancing

You will need to appoint a solicitor to oversee your shared ownership purchase. The Help to Buy South site provides details of approved solicitors.

Stage 6 – Exchange of Contract

Your solicitor will complete your conveyancing. Once completed, your Mortgage confirmation and ‘Exchange of Contracts’ will follow. Your solicitor will already have told you of the deposit required at exchange.

Stage 7 – Completion

When your sale has been completed, you will then receive the keys to your new home.