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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Paying for a home

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.

The bedroom tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit for people who live in a property that is owned by NIHE or a housing association and that is too large for their household. Its proper name is the “social sector size criteria”, but most people call it the “bedroom tax”.

Universal credit is rolling out across Northern Ireland. From 5 December 2018 most new claims for social security assistance will be for Universal Credit. You will only be able to make new claims for older benefits, such as Housing Benefit in limited circumstances. You can make and manage a Universal Credit claim online. The phone number for Universal Credit in Northern Ireland is 0800 012 1331 

The government will start moving existing claimants of certain other benefits on to Universal Credit from 2019 and plans to finish this process by 2022. 

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.

You have to pay rent to your landlord, whether that’s the Housing Executive, a housing association or a private landlord. When you’re offered a property you should be told how much the rent is and how much your rates and service charges are. If you're not given this information, make sure you ask for it before agreeing to take on a 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.

Most people need to apply for a mortgage when they’re buying a home. This is a long term loan from a bank or building society. The loan is secured on your home so if you stop paying the bank can repossess the property. You should speak to an independent financial adviser to find out which type of mortgage is best for you.

It can be difficult to gather up a deposit as well as a month's rent in advance. There are a few places that may agree to provide your landlord with a guarantee or work out a payment plan, allowing you to pay off your deposit in installments.

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