Thinking of getting on the property ladder with Shared Ownership?
16th February 2021

While committing money to anything subject to the vagaries of market forces comes with financial risk, “backing” bricks and mortar has long been considered a sure bet.

Promising an odds-on chance of a double pay out – namely having a place to call home and a near-guarantee of a return on investment – taking a punt on property is as close to gambling sensibly as you can get.

In some parts of the country, however, it is a wager only available to high rollers.

There remains a discernible North-South divide when it comes to valuations and even within specific towns and cities property prices are seemingly fortune to a postcode lottery. 

For those would-be buyers “lucky” enough to be based in areas deemed desirable by overseas investors or sought-after by second homeowners, tabling a deposit big enough to secure a sale on the open market is beyond the reach of most.

In such hotspots, it is no surprise that Shared Ownership is increasingly emerging as a clear favourite among those looking to take a first step onto the property ladder.

The scheme, a middle ground between renting and buying outright that offers the opportunity to purchase a share – usually between 25 and 75 percent – in a new-build or resale property, significantly lowers the stake money needed to enter the game.

Open to first-time buyers and those who do not currently own a home, Shared Ownership is certainly a sensible each-way bet given the smaller deposit required and that monthly costs are generally reduced by virtue of only paying a mortgage on the share owned and a below-market-value rent on the remainder. 

The option to buy more shares through a process known as staircasing also affords those using the scheme control over their domestic destiny, ensuring they have the opportunity to ultimately benefit from the same dividends enjoyed by those purchasing a property conventionally. 

Although its pros are plentiful, Shared Ownership also has its share of cons to be mindful of and appointing a law firm savvy to the product and with a proven track record of conveyancing is key to avoiding aspiring homeowners from falling at the first hurdle. 

Property specialist PLS Solicitors has such a pedigree and is adept at bringing clarity to the terms of leases, such as advising on permissible structural alterations, and carrying customers safely and swiftly to the finish line.

Instructing the innovative law firm also guarantees a smooth ride throughout as its team are focused on saddling the stresses associated with a house move.

Indeed, the company can spring into action while the competition remains under starter’s orders. Negating the need to hunt down a property specialist on the highstreet or search for legal representation online, PLS has partnered with an array of homebuilders to provide owners-in-waiting with a quote at the point of sale.  

With the click of a button and courtesy of PLS’ easy-to-use app, customers can access and sign forms and submit proof of identification via their phones within minutes of picking a plot and before even leaving a development’s marketing suite. 

The company’s embrace of robotic process automation means previously time-intensive searches and Land Registry checks can begin almost immediately and its askPLS tool enables case progress and mortgage status to be tracked using an Amazon Alexa smart device. 

Although PLS’ exploitation of technology has enhanced the efficiency, visibility and security of its conveyancing services, the company has not turned its back on traditional practices. Its experts are ever-ready to provide a reassuring voice of support if required, with all customers given a dedicated team leader with whom to discuss any legal jargon, concerns or issues.

Allowing PLS to take the reins on a Shared Ownership purchase stacks the odds of a trouble-free transaction firmly in a prospective buyer’s favour and is an insurance policy against any future headaches. In brief, why back a long shot when it comes to the legal aspects of your move when there is a thoroughbred in the race? 


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