The benefits of using a legal advisor who specialises in low cost home ownership

You’ve found a home to buy; you’ve been accepted by a Housing Association and met their affordability criteria.  The next step is to instruct a solicitor to deal with the legal side of your purchase and it really is a good idea to use a solicitor who is experienced in how Affordable Housing, such as the Part Rent Part Buy/Shared Ownership and Equity Purchase schemes work.

Your solicitor will need to be familiar with the two main types of affordable purchases.  If you are buying a Shared Ownership property, the Housing Association will grant you a lease of a share of between 25% and 75% of the Property.  If it is an Equity Loan property, the Housing Association or developer will take a second charge over your property – that’s the equity loan.

A solicitor experienced in these schemes will be familiar with the form of lease used for these kind of purchases and will be able to advise you on the requirements for resale and how you would buy additional shares in the property, which will help you prepare for the future.  They will also ensure that the lease will be acceptable to your lender.

The procedures for Equity Loan purchases can also be more complicated than a standard purchase. There are a number of different schemes, including ones backed by the government and those offered by private developers. The specialist solicitor will guide you through the requirements.

A solicitor who is experienced with these types of purchase will also know what the Housing Association expects to see in your mortgage offer.  It is advisable to use a financial advisor who is experienced in this field but your solicitor should also be able to spot immediately if the offer is not in the correct form, to minimise delays.

To ensure that your purchase runs smoothly and that you can collect the keys to your new home without delay, your best option is to instruct a specialist solicitor.

Mary Ridgeon