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To buy a house in France is a work of love.
What is the joint property system in London like?
It had been taken for granted that my rents and invoices for a London flat-sharing community would take up about half of my month's salary. That' s until last summers, when my friend Jonny and I purchased 40% of a two-bedroom apartment in Clapton, Hackney, for 146,000 through the Share to Buy program, with a down payment of just over 5% of the total value.
So we had some cash for a down payment and began to look for a place. However, we soon found out that what we had would lead us to nothing on the free markets in all the areas we wanted to be in. Everyone seemed to be discussing the "emerging sector" at the moment, so it seemed like a good trade-off.
Walthamstow's real estate boom ed already, and at that point we would have needed at least a 20% down payment (£50,000) to be taken seriously for a single bedroom apartment at around £250,000. Many of the apartments we were informed about were caught by builders who blow the buyer out of the picture with 100% capital offered during the offer phase - or just look at the line later.
The only other options we had were to go back for another year with our desperate operative, or even worst, move back into a flat share to cut our expenses and try to cut back. We spoke one evening in the bar with a boyfriend who had purchased a co-ownership a few years ago.
Sounds too good to be a fact - a plan that allows you to buy part of a home in an area where you can't otherwise buy a one-room apartment. We' d been told about the Help to Buy program that was great to help first-time shoppers scratch more of a deposit, but with bigger credit limits after the 2008 financial turmoil it wouldn't have been helpful for we.
It was unlikely, even taking into consideration our two salary levels, that we were sufficiently authorized by a mortgage for a single bedroom. On the other side, co-ownership allows those who can't quite buy a mortgage on 100% of a house to buy shares between 25% and 75% of the value of a house and pays the rental for the rest and a handling fee.
Later you can buy more of the real estate - what is known as "staircase". "But over the years, as real estate values have risen further, the open markets have opened up to a broader and more varied public that is not able to buy directly on the open one. This Share to Buy website was designed to fix our life for the next seven month.
First thing we found was that, just like on the open air markets, there were new buildings for rent, as well as used houses known in the condominium industry as "resales". As I walked through the show apartment, I was dizzy with agitation that such a beautiful house was within our grasp.
In the case of co-ownership, the condominium company - to which you are paying the rental and ancillary costs - determines who is entitled to purchase a piece of real estate. In order to buy a home in London, the minimum house purchase for Londoners must be £90,000 and £80,000 elsewhere.
Lower thresholds depend on the value of the real estate and the amount of the portion you buy. We couldn't afford the apartment in London Fields. It' particularly pronounced in districts like Hackney, where the median first purchaser ownership is £415,000, according to Savills' land registry analyses.
"Just as with homeowning on the open markets, the need for co-ownership stays consistently high and supplies are lagging," Qureshi said to me. The program, as you can see, opens up a whole swimming pot of opportunities for those who otherwise could not buy their own houses, and they all share the same ultimate aim.
Our own personal experiences show that the companies dealing with Hackney real estate prefer to work with kids - and justifiably so - and turn to individuals such as educators and nursing staff. Each Hackney feature that appeared on the site has been viewed or attempted to be viewed by us. Buying 40% of a £380,000 for £146,000.
Out of the portion we bought, we had a 15% stake, which means we secured an 85% mortgage, which in reality is a relatively small mortgage for London. No matter how much you are sheltered by the co-ownership markets - there are no bidder battles or glances because you can only make one bid for the bid asking prices - it is a vendor markets in another way.
By the time they finally found a place to buy, the value of the apartment we bought had risen by 20,000 and they wanted us to make additional payments in proportion to our part. Like in the open markets, there was nothing to prevent us from doing so, and they were probably just too conscious of how long it would have taken for us to meet the requirements and get another Hackney home.
You know, we know guys who have traded for co-ownership in half the times, but we both agreed that every single months it was rewarding to wait for something new. We now have less expenses than when we let, we have more room and we are now on the London real estate manager. However, many of the individuals with whom we still speak today, especially those who are in the new demo situation of prospective purchasers - millennia - are not yet aware of the advantages of the system, which is still relatively unclear.
They don't have to be in a pair to buy under joint possession - it could just as well be done between two buddies, and it's not entirely limited to first-timers. When you have a real estate and you are about to sell it - e.g. because you are reducing the size or going through a separation - you can also get qualified for the program.
More information about who is entitled to buy real estate under Share to Buy can be found on the website.