Any homeowner who has been through the process of buying Shared Ownership would have seen multiple messages about ‘take your first-steps’ and ‘climb the property ladder’ before buying a home. But once you step onto the ladder, how do you climb further? Is the next step necessarily private sale, especially if you already feel settled in your area? Some consider private sale, while others consider something called staircasing. But what is staircasing and what are the tangible benefits? 30 year old, fed-up renter Mohammed Nabil explains why he chose it.
Next steps: Why leave an area you’re already settled in?
Shared Ownership was crucial to allowing Mohammed to get on the property ladder in London without having to move away from friends and family. But recognising the investment potential of the home he bought in Wapping, naturally Mohammed didn’t want to leave. Mohammed says, “Having lived in Wapping for so many years, I’ve seen the area develop and recognise the investment potential, which is one of the main reasons I decided to staircase. Last year, I bought another 20% share, so I now own 60% of the property."
Is the staircasing process like the Shared Ownership process?
The short answer is yes, as you would need to apply for another mortgage to purchase a bigger share from the housing association. But being aux-feat with the Shared Ownership process certainly helps, as well as having already chosen the home and the area to live. Mohammed says, “Notting Hill Sales made the process straightforward, helping me to find surveyors and get the apartment re-valued. The whole process took around three months, and not having to move during it was nice!”
Future steps after buying a new home
Building equity can be one of the main incentives to buying with Shared Ownership if you are not ready for private sale. Mohammed says: “I’ve been in my apartment for almost four years, and I hope to live here for a little while yet; I have a fixed rate mortgage for five years since my second purchase, after which I will consider my options, as my partner and I would like to settle down. Shared Ownership has been a great way onto the ladder, and staircasing means I will see even more equity if the property value has increased when I decide to move on, which will help me to move up the ladder elsewhere.”
Homes at the Royal Docks
Homes at Quatro, where Mohammed bought his apartment, are now all sold. But if you look further down the River Thames toward the Royal Docks, you will find a host of other Shared Ownership homes. And if the area achieves the investment potential of its neighbour Wapping, homeowners are well-positioned to enjoy the benefits presented by staircasing.
*Image credit to Claudia Schillinger via Flickr Creative Commons