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With a lot of the information available it would be easy to assume that the road to affordable home ownership is just for first time buyers – but you would be wrong. Shared ownership can be available to people of all ages, especially if you’re looking to downsize.

The Older Persons Shared Ownership Scheme (OPSO) is more commonly available on larger, age exclusive developments. If you are aged 55 or over, the OPSO scheme in England could help you buy any home that’s for sale on a shared ownership basis (part-rent/part-buy). You could buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75% of the home’s value) and pay rent on the remaining share.

It works in a very similar way to the general shared ownership scheme, however with OPSP you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you will not have to pay rent on the remaining share. The reason that 75% is the maximum share available to purchase through this scheme to is ensure that the property remains affordable.

You could buy a home through the OPSO scheme if you’re aged 55 or over and meet the following criteria:

  • your household earns £80,000 a year or less outside London, or your household earns £90,000 a year or less in London
  • you are a first-time buyer, you used to own a home but can’t afford to buy one now or are an existing shared owner looking to move.

Similarly to the traditional shared ownership scheme if you purchase less than 75% you will have the opportunity to buy more shares up to the maximum, this is known as ‘staircasing’. Your legal documents will set out the minimum and maximum amount of shares you can buy, this will all be calculated and instructed by a solicitor at the time of purchase.

The Older persons shared ownership is a fantastic opportunity for those aged 55 and older to purchase a suitable property that is affordable and appropriate for their needs.

For more information contact your local help to buy agent.

If you are buying and selling a house and are looking for an experienced, full service conveyancing team to guide you through the process, give our Residential Property team a call on 0161 930 5151, e-mail or obtain a free quote using our conveyancing quote calculator.