What Is Staircasing?
Shared Ownership is a great way of getting a first foot on the property ladder, but as your finances change, you might want to move towards owning a bigger share of your home or even buying it outright. Taking these financial steps is called Staircasing.
Think of it as taking steps up towards full home ownership if you wish. Let’s say you bought your Shared Ownership home with a 50% share and currently pay rent on the rest. You can buy extra chunks of shares as little as 5% (in some cases just 1%) to as much as 100% of your home to increase the size of the share you own and shrinking the size of the share you pay rent on, even not paying rent anymore if you buy 100% of your home.
As Easy As Pie
We’re on your side and want to do all we can to make your dreams of owning a bigger share of your home a reality. The process is simple and there are points along the way when you can check that you’re making the right decision for you and for your money.
The key to buying more shares
The key to successfully Shared Ownership Staircasing is making the right decisions about how much to buy at the right time. We need to start by finding how much your home is worth now, so we’ll organise a valuation. The only valuations we can use are by members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and we'll arrange this for you.
The fee for this valuation is £300 and we will send you a payment link to pay online in your Gecko online account.
Buying more shares
Staircasing is your path to gradually increasing your share in your home.
It's a journey that can lead you to owning 100% of your beloved space. You can staircase up to three times, purchasing a minimum additional share, typically 10%.
At Gecko, we support you every step of the way, helping you achieve your homeownership goals. Your home, your future – we make it possible.
Some of our homes are in Designated Protected Areas (DPAs) and this may mean you can only Staircase up to a maximum share value - usually around 80%
Our step by step guide
Are you ready to take the next step in your homeownership journey? Staircasing is the way forward, allowing you to gradually increase your share in your home or even buy it outright. Let's break it down step by step:
Step 1 – Get in touch with Gecko
We're here to support you every step of the way. Fill in the form on our website, and we'll kickstart the process. You can buy additional chunks of as little as 10% in your home usually and are able to staircase three times. Remember, there are fees each time you buy extra shares, so consider buying bigger chunks less frequently.
Step 2 – Determine how much you can buy
Understanding the right amount to buy at the right time is crucial. We'll arrange a valuation to find out your home's current worth. Only valuations by Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members are accepted. Share the valuation with us through your homeowner portal.
Step 3 – Your “Buy More Shares” Report
With the valuation in hand, we'll provide you with a report detailing the cost of different-sized shares in your home. This report equips you to decide how much to buy and how to budget. As you own more of your home, your monthly rent decreases, so consider that when making your decision.
Step 4 – Solicitor Involvement
It's time to involve the legal teams. Share your solicitor's details, pay our admin fee of £180, and let the legal process commence. Our solicitors will handle the paperwork to transfer the additional shares to your ownership.
Step 5 – Closing the Deal
When the paperwork is ready, it will include contracts for your review and signature. Take your time to assess your financial commitment. Once you're confident, sign the contracts, and we'll congratulate you on your purchase.
Should you wish to buy more shares in the future, we'll be right here to assist you again. Your dream home journey continues with Gecko by your side.
Some of the costs:
When you decide to take that next step in your homeownership journey and staircase, there are some important things to keep in mind.
The value of your shares will depend on the value of your home, but there are some other costs too.
Valuation Costs: Each time you staircase, your property will need to be valued. You'll be responsible for covering the expenses associated with this valuation. The fee is £300 for a RICS valuation.
Admin Fee: There's also an administration fee to pay to us. The fee is £180 each time you staircase.
Legal Costs: You'll be responsible for your legal expenses throughout the staircasing process such as paying for a solicitor.
Mortgage Lender Fees: Depending on your situation, there might be fees payable to your mortgage lender.
Stamp Duty Considerations: It's important to be aware that additional Stamp Duty costs may come into play when you decide to staircase.
Remember, at Gecko, we're here to guide you through every step, ensuring a smooth journey toward owning more of your dream home.
Currently own with us?
If you have a Shared Ownership home with Gecko, we’ll do everything we can to support you in Staircasing towards full ownership if that's your aim.
Whether you can buy more shares or not depends on your financial circumstances. Your “buy more shares” report will tell you how much it will cost to buy more of your home.
Here's a breakdown:
Wondering how your monthly payments will evolve during the Staircasing journey?
When you reach 100% ownership, you'll bid farewell to rent payments. You'll only be responsible for your mortgage on the property if you have one.
In most cases if you own a house and staircase to 100% ownership then the freehold will be transferred to you. With apartments, the leasehold usually remains in place.
If you go for interim Staircasing and still own less than 100%, your rent will decrease, but this is dependent on the property valuation. For instance, if you staircase from 25% ownership to 50%, your rent will reduce while your monthly mortgage payment may increase. Keep in mind that even if you achieve 100% ownership and the freehold, you may still be liable for service charges.
Ready to begin?
Applying for Staircasing is a breeze. Simply log in to your online account and complete the Staircasing application.
Your journey to increased homeownership starts with a few clicks.
How can we help?
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