Today my wife and I went around all the banks we have accounts with, rounded up every statement for the last three months for every account, and spoke to a mortgage advisor in one of the branches.
The good news is we can borrow the amount we are looking at for the house we have found, however after chatting with the mortgage advisor we came away with a few things to think about over the weekend. We found there are not many houses at all within our budget in our area, and it's not us being picky about it ... Using the website Right Move, filtering out park/mobile homes, shared ownership, new builds, and flats, we're left with about 5 properties all of which are either park homes (which we filtered out ... great work on your filtering Right Move), or auction houses being sold off super cheap because so much work needs doing to them.
Shared ownership properties look to be our best option for buying now, however there are some things we need to consider. We'd be paying the mortgage at a fixed amount per month, however the rent and a service charge would be variable and could be increased at any time. While we'd be paying rent on part of the property, we'd get zero perks of renting. We'd be liable for every cost just as someone owning 100% of the property would. After a few years if we wanted to staircase and buy more of the property, we'd be buying based on the current price. For example, buying 50% of a £300K house, initially we'd purchase £150K of it. Further down the line if we wanted to buy more and the value had increased to £400K, and we wanted to buy another 25%, we'd be looking at another £100K, and the rent would increase in line with the value of the house for the portion of the house they would still own.
Best option is probably to speak to all the parties involved again next week to get some more clarity and review our options.