How do I go about owning a property later on in life?

Barker Son & Isherwood LLP


Phone 01264 353411


Many mortgage providers shy away from offering mortgages to older people or if they do, they offer short term loans of 5 or 10 years which could make repayments impossible so what can you do if you are looking to purchase a property as the year’s progress?

There is help available for older people under a scheme known as ‘Older People’s Shared Ownership’. This scheme is available for anyone over the age of 55 and it allows you to purchase a home at a lower value than you would pay on the open market.

The scheme is similar to other shared ownership schemes but there are some unique features of the Older People’s Shared Ownership Scheme, known as OPSO.

Under the scheme you can choose to purchase a share of the property from 25% up to 75%, depending on what you can afford and you then pay a subsidised rent to the housing association who owns the remaining share of your home. You can choose to buy a smaller proportion of the property to start and then purchase more in stages as time goes on and if you choose to purchase 75% of the property right from the start, then you are exempt from paying any rent at all on the remaining 25% of the property.

There are eligibility criteria you will need to meet to join the OPSO scheme. They are:

  • You have to be over 55 years old
  • You must have a household income of less than £80,000
  • You cannot purchase a home yourself without help
  • You have to sell any existing property
  • No existing credit issues such as CCJs (county court judgments etc.)

You can see that there are relatively few criteria to meet and you can apply online. Once you have applied, the available properties are shown online and you can contact the Housing Association direct to discuss the purchase.

If you are interested in the OPSO scheme but you have additional care needs, there are some developments that have sheltered shared ownership property, allowing you to live an independent lifestyle with additional support you need. This is called Extra Care and there are additional eligibility requirements for this scheme. You will need to have a minimum number of hours care requirement per week and also have a connection to the local area where the property is located.

If you would like help and support to purchase a shared ownership property under the OPSO scheme, we can help. Please call Julie Docherty on 01264 325835, email:, or contact our experienced conveyancing  team via our  online, no obligation enquiry form and someone will be in touch to discuss your options with you.


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