Derwent Living’s guide to Easy Living

AS HOUSE prices continue to outstrip salary increases, and getting on the
property ladder gets ever more difficult, tens of thousands of people are
switching on to part-buy, part-rent as a way of owning their own home.

Getting on the property ladder is now a huge problem for many people. The
Government has called for more affordable homes in the wake of new
research by the National Housing Federation, which revealed that average
house prices will break the £300,000 barrier by 2012.

The NHF report said that the country needs to build 70,000 new social homes
a year if it is to keep up with the demand for social housing over the next few

Derwent Living, which is selling affordable homes in Ashbourne, is one of
many housing providers looking to redress the balance. Its part-buy, part-rent
initiatives are increasingly popular because of the constant upward drift of
property prices. House prices have outstripped salary increases and therefore
part-buy, part-rent schemes and the Government’s Homebuy initiatives are
crucial to help provide for those who are just setting out in life.

As part of a development by Radleigh Homes, Church View in Ashbourne is
situated on the former Nestle factory site in the town centre. Here Derwent
Living has 33 properties available – 26 two-bedroom apartments for
affordable rent and seven three-bedroom houses available to part-buy, part-
rent through its Easy Living brand. Properties are available now.

Derwent Living has affordable properties all over the Midlands but sells its
part-buy, part-rent properties under its Easy Living brand.

To help buyers understand it, the organisation has created a ten-point plan
which explains the ins and outs of Easy Living and part-buy, part-rent – or
shared ownership.

“It seems that despite there being a huge demand for part-buy, part-rent,
many people still don’t know what it is,” says Derwent Living’s commercial
director Steve McDonough

“This is a shame because this is a real option for people who are struggling to
get on the property ladder.
“People shy away from part-buy, part-rent for a few reasons – including that
they think they have to share with someone they don’t know, and also
because they don’t know that there are various options.

“Home-buyers also worry that they will end up paying more, when in actual
fact, the mortgage price and rental is cheaper than buying outright. It is
estimated to be around 25% - 30% cheaper to buy a property on a part-buy,
part-rent basis.”

“The sad fact is that house prices are outstripping salaries, and this means
that people who want to get on the property ladder simply can’t,” says Mr

“First time buyers are becoming more financially strapped as they struggle to
get on the ladder. The multiples by which first time buyers are borrowing
money to buy their homes has reached its highest.

“Derwent Living knows that part-buy, part-rent is the scheme which will take
buyers into the future.”

   1. What is part-buy, part-rent? If you are unable to buy a property
      outright on the open market, then part-buy, part-rent is the ideal
      solution for you. The scheme enables purchasers to buy a home in
      stages. Purchasers can buy an initial share, usually 50%, of the value
      of the property and pay a subsidised rent on the remaining value of the
      property. Shared ownership properties can be provided by housing
      associations, housing trusts and local authorities.

   2. Where do I start? When you see a property you like, you must meet
      with the housing provider and make sure you meet the eligibility criteria
      to make a purchase.

   3. How do I decide what share I want to buy? The purchase price is
      based on an independent valuation from a qualified valuer. If you
      decide you want to proceed you will need to agree the size of the share
      you wish to purchase. Once this is all agreed, you then have to arrange
      a mortgage. The housing provider will tell you how much rent you will
      need to pay on the remaining share.

   4. Do I have to share with anyone else? You do get a whole property
      and you don’t share with anyone else you don’t know. However, it
      would be possible for a group of friends to buy together. Four
      individuals can become joint owners, but each applicant must meet the
      eligibility criteria.

   5. Is the property actually mine? Although you don’t own the property
      outright, you will have all the rights and responsibilities of a full home
   6. But can I just own 50%? The scheme allows you to progress to
      outright ownership. As your financial circumstances improve, you can
      buy more shares up to a maximum of 100%. Sometimes this is referred
      to as “staircasing.” Alternatively, you can stay with your 50% for as long
      as you like.

   7. How much does it cost? As with any house purchase, you will be
      responsible for paying your own legal fees, including local search and
      Land Registry fees. The provider’s solicitor will also charge a fee. You
      will need to pay fees for survey/mortgage valuation to your bank or
      building society.

   8. Will I have to pay stamp duty? Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable
      according to revenue law. Please consult your solicitor for specific
      advice on your property.

   9. What costs do I incur once I move in? The running costs will be your
      mortgage payment, the rent, the service charge, house contents
      insurance, council tax and normal bills like gas, electricity and water.
      Rent is reviewed every year and will fall in line with the Rental Price
      You will need to pay for repairs and maintenance to the property not
      covered by the NHBC (National House-Building Council).

   10. What happens if I decide to sell? Selling your equity in a shared
       ownership property is simple. You simply sell at the percentage you
       own, depending on the valuation. For instance, if you own 50% of a
       £100,000 house, you can sell your share for £50,000. However, if you
       own 100% of the property you can sell the house without restrictions in

   11. Finding a buyer for a part-buy, part-rent property

       Most estate agents are familiar with shared ownership, and will charge
       a small commission fee for their services. Alternatively your local
       housing association may have details of people interested in buying a
       shared ownership property.


For more information, call Ellie Sturt at Derwent Living on 01332 346477,
or Katherine Simon at Cartwright Communications on 0115 824 0029

Derwent Living is a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable living to suit
a range of lifestyles. Formed in 1964, Derwent Living works with customers to
build thriving communities where people want to live. Derwent Living
manages close to 10,000 properties in the Midlands, South Yorkshire and the
South East. Derwent Living’s property portfolio includes:
Affordable housing
homes to rent for people on lower incomes

Student living
large-scale student accommodation in Nottingham, Sheffield, Coventry,
Derby, Leicester, Loughborough and Birmingham

Easy Living homes to rent or buy
apartments for rent in or close to the city
apartments and houses for outright sale or for sale through our part-buy, part-
rent scheme

Retirement living
homes to rent and to buy for the over 55s

Specialist housing
including accommodation for NHS staff and special need schemes for frail
elderly people, Asian elders and vulnerable women with children

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