When the time is right, you may decide to buy a bigger stake in your Shared ownership home. This is called ‘staircasing and it enables you to buy a larger share in your home or buy it outright, as your budget allows
How much can I buy at a time?
Your lease contains information about the staircasing provisions including the minimum amount you can buy at each step and the maximum number of steps you can take to reach 100% ownership.
Some older leases say that you must buy a minimum of 25%, reaching 100% in no more than three steps. The newer leases (mostly after July 2004) say that steps of 10% are permissible with an unlimited number of steps permitted. It is important to check your lease for the exact provisions for you, but if you are in doubt please contact your Leasehold Management Officer who can advise you.
Steps to Staircasing
Some leases require you to have owned your shared ownership home for more than 12 months but the newer leases allow you to apply to staircase at any time after completion of the initial purchase. Please check your lease to see what the position is for you, or contact your Leasehold Management Officer for advice.
The costs of Staircasing
As well as the purchase of the extra equity in your home you will be liable to pay:-
- The valuer’s fee
- Your solicitor’s costs
- Hexagon’s administration fee
- Any valuation fee or administration fee charged by your mortgage provider.
Valuing your home
The first step is to let us know in writing (signed by both parties if two names are on the lease) that you wish to staircase, and the additional share you wish to purchase (you may not be sure until you receive the valuation of the property, exactly how much extra you will be able to buy, so this can be changed or confirmed after you have received the valuation).
We will ask you to pay for the valuation of your home and we will then instruct an independent qualified Valuer who will contact you direct to make an appointment to inspect your home. The Valuer will ignore, for valuation purposes, any structural improvements you have made to the property. He / she will value these separately and deduct them form the total market value so that you do not pay twice for these improvements.
Once we receive the valuation report we will forward it to you within 7 days and you then have three months in which to complete the staircasing from the date of the valuation. If you have not completed, but still wish to go ahead after three months, a further valuation will be needed, for which there will be a charge.
We will ask you to confirm the percentage you wish to buy (staircase) and give us the name of your solicitor.
Arrange a mortgage
You will need to find out from your mortgage provider if they will increase your mortgage and by how much. Remember that you will pay less rent if you buy a larger share, or no rent at all if you buy your home outright. The Service Charge will remain the same.
Appoint a solicitor
It is important that you have a solicitor to act for you. This should preferably be someone who has experience of shared ownership.
Getting the process started
If you need advice on the staircasing process get in touch with Hexagon. We can tell you more about buying further shares in your home. You can contact your leasehold Management Officer by email or telephone us 020 8778 6699
If you know that you want to go ahead with the valuation let us know in writing or contact us for the form to complete.
Please note this leaflet is meant as general information and guidance only. You should always check your lease and/or seek legal advice if you are considering buying extra shares in your home.