S o youve bought part of a shared-ownership home, and now you can afford more. Its time to get staircasing -- thats the term for buying a bigger percentage. Perhaps youre in a position to commit to a larger share now you earn more money, or your partner has moved in and is sharing the mortgage. Its a great time to start. Prices have gone down, so the valuation of your property will be lower, making it cheaper to buy your added percentage. Mark vaughan, director of sales for Notting Hill Home ownership (NHHo), confirms hes seen applications to staircase rocket: last year he saw 45 people buy a bigger percentage of their home. In the first six months of this year, 71 of his clients staircased. A lot more people are asking about buying a bigger share. It makes sense while valuations are low, he says. About one in two of our buyers will at some point buy more shares, while one in four will buy the property outright eventually. Niki Turner, assistant director at Thames valley Housing, adds: one advantage of staircasing up the hous- ing ladder is that the amount of rent the homeowner pays on the share he or she doesnt own goes down. If you manage to buy 100 per cent of the shares then you will own your home outright in the same way as if you bought the flat through an estate agent on the open market. Its a good way of gradually owning a big chunk of a home -- or perhaps owning it outright eventually -- in a nicer area that you would have otherwise been unable to afford. Housing Association A2 Dominion is selling its Woods House development set around two docks in Chelsea: one- bed flats here have an open-market value of 315,500. If youre buying here and planning to add an extra 10 per cent chunk -- the minimum percentage you can staircase -- it will cost about 31,550 to do so. Genesis Housing is also selling its swanky Wharfside Point North, a modern development with roof ter- race overlooking Canary Wharf in Docklands, where an extra 25 per cent share is 52,500, while 10 per cent would set you back 21,000. over in Battersea, the full-market value of flats at Bridges Wharf over- looking the Thames start at 230,000 for a one-bed. A 25 per cent share, however, can be bought for 57,500 and a 10 per cent share for 23,000. Buying more of your property is rela- tively straightforward. These days you can do this in any shared-ownership development in the capital. First you get your home valued -- your housing association will suggest a surveyor. From this valuation the amount the extra percentage is worth will be cal- culated. If you have carried out any renovation work on your property, it may well be taken into consideration. NHHo, for example, will ask the surveyor to supply two valuations: the value including the improvements, and the value if changes arent car- ried out. NHHo then takes the second, lower, figure as the valuation upon which it calculates the worth of the extra share youre buying. Then, the solicitors do their work, and you do the paperwork with your lender. on also paid 90 a month in rent on the 25 per cent they did not own for eight years. We saved ourselves a lot of money buying the extra quarter share this year, he said. We valued our house a year ago: it was worth 240,000, so it would have cost far more then. earlier this year the valuation -- taking into account the improvements we had done -- was 160,000, so we saved 30,000. It was all very simple. Now we own a two-bed flat in a lovely area. In total it was 104,000, includ- ing legal costs, which is pretty good going. We also paid 8,640 in rent before buying it outright. by jessie hewitson average it takes four weeks, says Mr vaughan. The legals can be done very quickly, and shouldnt cost more than 500 to 600. other costs include your lenders valuation fee, which typically is 400 to 500. your own legal fees may cost up to 1,000, then there is a 250 charge for our solicitors fees, and your mortgage rearrangement fee. Graphic designer Paul Marshall, 42, lives in a two-bed maisonette in Tufnell Park with his partner Colette Appleby, 41, who works in film. They bought 75 per cent of the flat through NHHo in 2000 for 56,000, and in March paid 40,000 for the last 25 per cent. They Staircase to heaven... Moveonupwithabiggerpercentageofyourshared-ownershiphome Fraction of the cost: a 25 per cent share of a flat at Bridges Wharf costs 57,500 40 Friday, 30 October 2009 London Lite Affordableproperty Big saving: Paul Marshall and Colette Appleby bought the last 25 per cent share of their home in Tufnell Park this year while the value was lower index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html