Understanding Full Ownership

Full ownership, the traditional and most straightforward property ownership model, refers to owning 100% of a property. This offers the owner complete control and exclusive rights over the dwelling, providing a sense of security and stability that has long appealed to homeowners.


The Advantages of Full Ownership

  • Complete control: Full owners can decide renovations, decorations, and property usage without external approvals.
  • Potential for full equity growth: As the property value appreciates, the owner benefits from the entire increase in equity.
  • Flexibility in selling: Owners are free to sell the property at any time without restrictions, allowing them to realise the full market value.


The Disadvantages of Full Ownership

  • Higher upfront costs: Full ownership generally requires a larger deposit and mortgage than other ownership models, potentially posing a financial challenge for some buyers.
  • Full responsibility: The owner bears all costs associated with maintenance, repairs, and property taxes, which can be a significant financial burden.
  • Market volatility risk: In a declining market, the owner absorbs the full financial impact of any depreciation in the property’s value.


Top Tips for Property Buyers

  • Financial planning: Before committing to full ownership, ensure you can comfortably afford the deposit, mortgage payments, and ongoing property costs.
  • Mortgage research: Thoroughly investigate different mortgage options and interest rates to find the most suitable deal for your circumstances.

Understanding Shared Ownership

Shared ownership, also known as ‘part-buy, part-rent’, enables buyers to purchase a share of a property, typically between 25% and 75%, while paying subsidised rent on the remaining portion to a housing association. This scheme is designed to make homeownership more accessible, especially for first-time buyers and those with lower incomes.

Eligibility varies depending on the specific scheme and location, but generally, applicants need to meet specific income thresholds and be unable to afford a suitable property on the open market. Several government-backed schemes exist, such as Help to Buy: Shared Ownership, which offers additional support and incentives.


The Advantages of Shared Ownership

  • Lower upfront costs: A smaller deposit and mortgage are required compared to full ownership, making it easier to get onto the property ladder.
  • Staircasing opportunity: Over time, owners can gradually increase their ownership share, potentially reaching full ownership.
  • Wider property access: Shared ownership can open doors to properties that might be financially out of reach under full ownership.


The Disadvantages of Shared Ownership

  • Ongoing rent payments: In addition to mortgage payments, owners are liable for monthly rent on the unowned share, which can add to the financial burden.
  • Limited control: Decisions regarding the entire property are shared with the housing association, potentially limiting the owner’s autonomy.
  • Selling complexities: Selling a shared ownership property can involve additional steps and approvals, potentially making the process more complicated than selling a fully owned property.


Top Tips for Shared Ownership

  • Research thoroughly: Explore different shared ownership schemes, assess your eligibility, and compare offerings from various housing associations.
  • Financial calculations: Carefully calculate the combined monthly costs of mortgage payments and rent to ensure they align with your budget and financial capabilities.

Financial Considerations

Initial Costs

The initial financial outlay for full ownership is generally higher than for shared ownership. Full ownership typically requires a larger deposit, usually at least 5% of the property value, and upfront fees such as stamp duty, legal, and valuation costs. On the other hand, shared ownership requires a smaller deposit, often as low as 5% of the share being purchased, with reduced fees. Government-backed schemes like Help to Buy: Shared Ownership can further lower the financial barrier for eligible buyers.


Monthly Costs

Full ownership entails mortgage payments, while shared ownership involves mortgage payments on the owned share and rent on the remaining portion. Additionally, both options have recurring costs such as council tax, building insurance, and maintenance. It is crucial to factor in these ongoing expenses to assess affordability accurately.


Long-Term Investment

Full ownership offers the potential for greater equity growth as the owner benefits from the full appreciation of the property value. Shared ownership allows for gradual equity building through staircasing, but the rent on the unowned share can offset some potential gains. Choosing the right option depends on individual financial goals and risk tolerance.

Understanding these financial nuances is crucial in making an informed decision that aligns with your long-term financial strategy and lifestyle preferences.

Lifestyle and Personal Preferences

Control and Flexibility

Full ownership provides complete control over the property, allowing owners to make decisions regarding renovations, decorations, and usage freely. In contrast, shared ownership involves shared decision-making with the housing association, which may impose certain restrictions on modifications and require approvals for major changes. Similarly, selling a shared ownership property might entail more procedures than selling a fully owned property.


Commitment and Responsibility

Full ownership comes with full responsibility for maintenance, repairs, and upkeep of the property, requiring owners to budget for these expenses. Shared ownership typically involves shared responsibility, with the housing association handling major structural repairs and maintenance of communal areas.


Future Plans

Full ownership offers more stability and long-term security, making it suitable for those with settled plans and a desire for a permanent home. Shared ownership, with its flexibility to staircase and transition to full ownership, can be a good stepping stone for those unsure about their long-term plans or anticipate changes in their circumstances, such as family expansion or relocation.

Making the Decision

Personal Assessment

The decision between full and shared ownership is ultimately personal. Reflect on your current financial situation, including income, savings, and expenses. Consider your lifestyle preferences regarding control, responsibility, and flexibility. Outline your long-term goals – do you envision a stable, permanent home or a stepping stone to potentially bigger things?


Professional Advice

Seeking professional advice is crucial to making an informed and sound decision. Consult a financial advisor to assess your affordability and mortgage options. A real estate agent can help you navigate the property market and find suitable properties within your budget and preferences. Additionally, consulting a legal professional ensures you understand the legal intricacies of each ownership model and the terms of any agreement.


Next Steps

Once you have decided, take positive steps to move forward. If you choose full ownership, research mortgage providers, compare interest rates, and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Start searching for properties that align with your budget and preferences. If shared ownership is your path, explore different shared ownership schemes, assess your eligibility, and apply for suitable properties.



In conclusion, full ownership and shared ownership present viable pathways to homeownership in the UK, each with distinct advantages and considerations. Full ownership offers complete control and potential for full equity growth but requires a more significant financial commitment and full responsibility. On the other hand, shared ownership presents a more accessible entry point with lower upfront costs, but it involves ongoing rent payments and shared decision-making.

Choosing the right option depends on your financial situation, lifestyle preferences, and long-term goals. Thoroughly evaluate both options, seek professional advice, and make an informed decision that aligns with your circumstances and aspirations. By doing so, you will start on a property ownership journey that best suits your needs and paves the way for a secure and fulfilling future.