A new campaign to educate homebuyers across Northern Ireland about the process of buying a house has been launched.

Owned and managed by Co-Ownership, Northern Ireland’s main provider of shared ownership, Steps to Buy NI has been launched to address a knowledge gap among first-time buyers and other prospective homeowners about the process of buying a house.

The campaign’s main resource, a free-to-use website, covers a broad range of topics, including a step-by-step guide about deciding your move, options for financing your move, making your move, detailing the ins and outs of the homebuying process, and life after buying a house with information about budgeting, managing finances and more.

Susan Mason, Acting Director, RICS in Northern Ireland, said: “It is extremely important that homebuyers understand what they are getting into and are able to make informed decisions. Whether it’s getting the right survey, having awareness of the mortgage options available, or understanding the ongoing costs of homeownership, it can be a steep learning curve for those buying their first home.  That’s why we think this initiative has the potential to play an important role for many people.”

Kirsty Finney, Regional Executive in Northern Ireland for the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: “Homeownership is a significant life milestone and one that a homebuyer should take time to consider carefully to make an informed decision about, bearing in mind the implications and responsibilities that come attached to the title of ‘homeowner’. Steps to Buy NI is a valued resource that will enable prospective homeowners across Northern Ireland to educate themselves about the process, research their options and understand associated costs and affordability before beginning the process of buying a house. Many estate and lettings agents are now Propertymark Protected to demonstrate transparency and a customer-centric approach to the buying process. This initiative is yet another step in the right direction to maximise the support on offer.”

John French, Chief Executive of The Consumer Council, said: “Owning your first home is an exciting time, and we welcome the Steps to Buy NI campaign to help more consumers become homeowners. However, there are many other associated costs with owning a home, including home energy, utility bills and food and groceries. The Consumer Council will be working with Steps to Buy NI to share our resources to help new homeowners set budgets, manage their spending and compare the cost of energy suppliers.”

As part of the launch campaign, we worked with Professor Paddy Gray, Estate Agent Tiffany Brien and blogger Jill from Home at Rose Cottage to test their knowledge on the Northern Ireland Housing Market.  Click to watch the videos.

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