Buying your own home is a huge financial commitment. It's important that you do your research and fully understand your options before you commit to anything. If you can't afford to pay the full purchase cost of a property you might be able to part buy and part rent the property with the help of Co-ownership Housing Association.
You can start your research by checking out property websites online. This will give you an idea of the properties within your budget that are available in your area. Visit estate agents in the area that you want to live in, but remember that agents are working on the seller’s behalf and are trying to get the highest possible price for the property.
Once you’ve found a property you like you’ll need to make an offer, arrange a mortgage and appoint a solicitor to help you complete the process. There are a lot of hidden costs when you’re buying a house and it can be a long and sometimes frustrating process. You’ll be asked to pay various fees and charges and you need to budget for these.
There are a few different schemes that may be of assistance if you are planning to buy a home in the near future. These include shared ownership schemes, where you part buy and part rent, a rent to buy scheme that will pay you a rebate on some of the rent you’ve paid and government backed savings schemes which will give you a bonus to add to your deposit.
Shared ownership schemes allow someone to own a portion of a property and to rent the remainder from a housing association. For years, Co-Ownership Housing has been the best known scheme for people who want to buy a home but who cannot afford to purchase 100% of the property they’re interested in.
If you are interested in buying a new build home, but don't have enough money saved up for a deposit yet you should look into the Rent to Own scheme for Northern Ireland. It gives potential purchasers a three year tenancy of a new build property and then issues a 20% rent rebate to the tenant if the tenant decides to buy the property at the end of their tenancy.