GETTING ON THE MARKET FOR THE OVER 55s
Q. I am 56 years old, and looking to the future I have decided that I would like to buy a home of my own. I have heard about OPSO (Older Persons Shared Ownership) but I am not sure how it works and if I would qualify. Can you explain more about the scheme please?
Jack Tidworth, Croydon
A. This is a shared ownership product aimed at over 55s who are looking for a retirement home with lower living costs than if they owned a home outright or were paying private rent. Like standard shared ownership, you would buy an initial share that you can afford. However, unlike standard shared ownership you do not pay rent on the remaining share. You can buy initial shares of between 25% and 75%. You can purchase further shares as and when you want to, up to a maximum capped share of 75%, which means you will never own 100% of the property. In the future, when you want to sell, you will sell your share at its value at the time of sale.
Some OPSO developments offer extra care*; this is designed to provide you with the ability to live independently in a self-contained, modern home with access to the care and support service you need.
To be eligible:
- You must be over 55
- You have an annual income of less than £80,000 outside London or £90,000 inside London.
- You are unable to purchase a home on the open market suitable for your needs.
- If you currently own a home, you will need to sell this before buying an OPSO property.
- You must not have any outstanding credit issues such as unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments.
- *For an extra care OPSO property, you must have a minimum number of hours of care requirement per week, along with a local connection to the area where you wish to purchase. The number of hours will vary between developments.
For more information go to ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/opso
Jane Williams, Head of Sales & Marketing, Optivo