Shared Ownership Staircasing Mortgages
If you have a shared ownership property you may be able to buy extra shares in the property, often in 10% tranches, either by with cash, or more likely by taking out an additional mortgage. As you increase the share of the property that you own, your rental payments will decrease. Buying additional shares is sometimes known as 'staircasing'.
If you choose to do so, you can continue to buy equity shares until you own your home outright. Some people recommend that you buy further shares in the property as soon as you can comfortably afford to do so by taking out an additional mortgage to take advantage of any increase in value. However in weak or falling property market you may well be better of delaying until the housing market at least stabilises. You should also consider the resale issue. If you have house where you only own a relatively small percentage of the property ( say 50% or less) then this is likely to make the property very affordable and saleable to a first time buyer.
If you decide to buy a further share, financed say by an additional mortgage, you should first tell the housing association in writing. Details of the procedure for this should be contained in your lease. The association will get the property valued and let you know the cost of the further share. You will then probablly need to take shared ownership mortgage advice.
Not all schemes allow you to buy further shares, and there may be restrictions on resale, especially in rural areas. You will have to pay the valuer's fee yourself and should be given three months to arrange a mortgage and complete the purchase of the further share.