Ask the Expert: staircasing

If you bought your home under the Shared Ownership scheme, over time you can buy more shares in your home, usually until you own 100%. This is called Staircasing. 

I’m Tessa Aldridge and I am the Resales and Legal Manager at Notting Hill Genesis.

Is staircasing for me?
Staircasing is for anyone looking to increase their investment in their home. By purchasing more shares you will reduce your monthly rent payments and see more of a return when you sell.  If you staircase to 100%, you will own your home outright and have the option to sublet or sell it on the open market.

How much will it cost me?
You’ll buy the shares in your home based on the current market value. If you have carried out authorised improvements on your home, the value these have added will be deducted from the amount you pay for the additional shares. The minimum share you can buy is 10%, upwards in increments of 5% for example: 10%, 15%, 20% and so on.

You’ll need to pay for an independent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) valuation, your solicitors fees and any fees from your lender if you are borrowing more money to make the purchase. Depending on how much you buy, stamp duty may also be payable.

How long will it take?
The average time to complete a Staircasing transaction is around 12 weeks from instruction. This is because most people need to borrow money from their lender, however, it will be quicker if you are using savings (cash) to buy more shares.

How do I go about it?
Before you do anything else we recommend you speak to a financial advisor to see how much money you’ll be able to borrow and that this commitment will be sustainable for you.

Once you’ve worked out what size share you can afford to buy, you should get a valuation of your home carried out by an independent RICS accredited surveyor and attach this along with a copy of your lease to our instruction form which can be found here.

Who can I talk to?
If you have any other queries about buying more shares you can call our resale and legal team on 0203 815 0060.

If you would like to speak to a financial advisor to see if buying more shares could be an option for you, details of our panel of independent financial advisors can also be found here.