Ready to buy more shares in your home?

When you first enquired about buying your Stonewater home, you may have heard our sales team mention the term “staircasing.”

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Staircasing is the process which allows you to buy a greater proportion of your home as and when you find you’re in a financial position to do so.

Some homeowners may never increase the proportion of shares they own in a property, but if you do and you manage to staircase to 100%, then you will no longer need to pay rent to Stonewater.

You should note that in some circumstances, service charges or ground rent may still be payable, even once you own the property outright depending on your lease agreement. Our sales team will be able to advise you of this, before you make any decisions so don’t worry if you’re not sure.

Can I staircase?

If your circumstances have changed and you’re interested in staircasing, then contact our sales team and let them know that this is something you would like to do, so that they can get the ball rolling.

The Stonewater Homes team will provide you with confirmation that you can staircase, including any minimum share or maximum share you can buy. Some leases state that you can’t increase the number of shares you own for a certain time period. So, it is always best to check this document first. Some properties also have restrictions on staircasing meaning you will not be able to staircase to full ownership, but you will have been made aware of this before buying the property.

Affordability

To make sure buying more shares is affordable for you we recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making your decision. As well as the cost of a mortgage, there could be other costs involved in the process of buying further shares, including:

  • Valuation fees
  • Your solicitor fees
  • Mortgage arrangement or independent financial advisor fees
  • Outstanding arrears of service charge and rent
  • Stamp duty (where applicable)
  • Stonewater Homes administration fee

Think long term

When increasing your shares, always think long term. You can either buy more shares in increments, or you can buy the remaining share of your property in one transaction.

There are sometimes restrictions on the number of times you can staircase, which will be written into your lease. Often you can only staircase three times. It may also be better to staircase in fewer larger steps to avoid paying administration and solicitor costs more than once.

Who do you need to notify?

When staircasing, there are a couple of people you’ll need to contact in preparation. This includes:

• Your mortgage lender
As you’ll be increasing your mortgage, you’ll need to contact your lender and get what’s known as a ‘further advance.’

• A solicitor
Like buying your home, you will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf in connection with your staircasing transaction.

Getting started

Once you’ve confirmed everything you’ll need and are ready to get started, instruct a RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) qualified surveyor to value your home. Make sure that you make them aware of any improvements you have made to the home so that Stonewater Homes are able to take these into account in your offer.

Once you’ve received your valuation report you need to submit it to Stonewater Homes with your application form and administration fee, for approval.

Confirming your increase

Stonewater Homes will write to you to confirm an offer stating how much you would need to pay to acquire the additional shares in your home. Once you accept the offer notice, our Stonewater sales team will instruct our solicitors to proceed to sell the further shares to you.

To ensure the process is as efficient as possible, our solicitors will liaise directly with your solicitor and notify you on completion.

Once everything is finalised, your rental amount (if any) will be adjusted in line with your new agreement.

Ready to staircase?

If you have any questions about staircasing or are ready to go ahead with the process, then contact the Stonewater Homes team on 02380 658858.