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Why I Wanted To Sell So Soon
At the beginning of 2021, after only living there for 14 months. We decided it was time to get the ball rolling with selling my shared ownership property, and look into buying our first home together.
In 2019 I purchased my home on my own, and bought a 25% share of the house. Later down the line, my partner moved in and it no longer made sense for us to stay there. Mostly because we were paying high rent and only a small amount towards the mortgage. When really, we could have been putting all our money into a full mortgage together.
Stair-casing was an option, but it’s expensive to do, and to be honest it wasn’t something I ever envisioned doing at that property.
Difficulties With Selling
We had a few difficulties along the way. However, I’m not sure if selling during the coronavirus pandemic made things worse. Or, if this is just part and parcel of selling a shared ownership house.
First of all, to buy a shared ownership property you have to meet a certain criteria. The housing association has to check the buyer qualifies before they can proceed any further with the house purchase. Somehow though, they missed important information, resulting in us losing 3 of our buyers and sending us right back to square one.
Losing our buyers then caused a bit of a headache with the RICS house valuation. Simply because the valuation was only valid for 3 months. After that, we’d need another one done, which meant meant forking out more money. Thankfully, the company that we used kindly agreed to do a free desktop valuation extension after the initial 3 months was up, which gave us a bit more time to sort the house sale. Our buyers solicitor kept moving our exchange date, so we actually ended up extending it twice.
One of the main difficulties with selling though, had to be dealing with the housing association. They were always a nightmare to get hold of, our solicitor had the same trouble with them too. They never kept us in the loop with what was going on, and it was just one extra person to have to constantly chase.
Hidden Costs & Fees
I’m not sure if this is the case with all shared ownership schemes. But we weren’t allowed a free house valuation carried out by the estate agent. We had to pay to have a RICS valuation carried out, which, for the value of my property was around £200. I then had to provide the valuation to the housing association, and because the value of my home had gone up over the time I had been living there, they then chucked my monthly rent payment up too.
We also had to pay the housing association different amounts along the way to answer questions that my solicitor required. One of them alone cost £96! Thankfully I never binned the mountain of paperwork from when I purchased the house, so nearly all of the questions I could answer myself. There was just a few things that they had to answer which, unfortunately, we had to pay for.
As we chose to leave early, I had to pay an early exit fee on my mortgage. Luckily my mortgage was reasonably small, so this wasn’t enough to make us want to wait. The fee was going to cost far less than what we would have paid in rent during the final year, if we chose to stay put. So, to us it made sense to pay the exit fee and get going.
You then obviously have to pay for your estate agent and solicitor like you would with a normal house sale.
Another thing to note is we couldn’t accept any offers. Even during the covid craziness, when the housing market boomed with the stamp duty relief scheme. We couldn’t accept a penny over what it was valued at. Even though all the houses around us were selling for 10-20k over the asking price.
How long It Took To Sell
Due to the hiccups we had along the way. It actually took us the best part of 9 months to complete the sale of my shared ownership property. But, we got there in the end, and now we are 3 months away from our new house being built. So, get ready for lots of new home content!
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