Originally introduced in 2014 as a response to the low rate of home ownership among Tri-Service members in the UK, the Forces Help to Buy Scheme aimed to address the unique challenges faced by military personnel when it came to accessing affordable housing.
This government initiative was inspired by the success of the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme and sought to provide a pathway to home ownership for service members.
The scheme is available to members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, and Royal Air Force, provided they meet the specific eligibility criteria set by the government.
It takes into account the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Accommodation Strategy, which recognises the importance of ensuring access to quality accommodation for all military personnel.
The Defence Accommodation Strategy acknowledges the positive impact that owning a home can have on individuals with inherently mobile careers. It considers factors such as partner employability, stable education for children, and continuity during the transition from active service to civilian life.
By facilitating home ownership, the scheme aims to support service members in establishing a stable and secure living environment for themselves and their families.
Originally slated to end in 2019, the Forces Help to Buy Scheme has been extended and transformed into an enduring policy.
This means that it will remain available to all service members, both current and future, ensuring that they have the opportunity to benefit from the scheme’s provisions and support in achieving their home ownership goals.
Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) in Essex offers service personnel the opportunity to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary, up to a maximum of £25,000, interest-free. This loan can be used towards purchasing their first home or a new family home, without the requirement of having existing personal savings.
The scheme is currently open to regular personnel who meet specific eligibility criteria, including completing the necessary length of service, not being a reservist or a member of the Military Provost Guard Service, having at least 6 months of service remaining at the time of application, and meeting the appropriate medical categories.
That said, there may be exceptions to these criteria based on unique medical and personal circumstances, which can be further explored through the government guidance website.
One of the key advantages of the FHTB Scheme is that it can be utilised for various costs associated with buying a home, including the deposit, solicitors’ fees, estate agents’ fees, and stamp duty land tax.
Furthermore, the majority of mortgage lenders accept funds from FHTB for the purpose of the deposit. The repayment terms for the FHTB loan are also more flexible, with a repayment period of 10 years.
Overall, Forces Help to Buy in Essex provides a valuable opportunity for service personnel to access financial support and achieve their aspirations of homeownership, even without significant personal savings.
As a highly experienced and respected mortgage broker in Essex, we deeply value and honor our service members nationwide, and we are committed to providing support throughout your home buying journey.
From your initial contact with us until the successful completion of your mortgage and beyond, our dedicated mortgage advisor in Essex will prioritise your needs and work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome that meets your goals.
To explore how we can help you on your home buying journey, we invite you to book a complimentary mortgage appointment. Together, we will assess your requirements and determine how we can best support you in achieving your homeownership dreams.
Note; Forces Help to Buy in Essex is not the same as the standard UK Help to Buy Scheme or Shared Ownership in Essex.
If you are an active service member and homeowner considering utilising Forces Help to Buy for moving home in Essex, and you are aged 55 or above, exploring options such as equity release in Essex or retirement interest-only mortgages (RIO Mortgages) could be beneficial, especially considering the potential benefits of forces pensions in this context.
To understand the features and risks of equity release and lifetime mortgages, ask for a personalised illustration.
A lifetime mortgage may impact the value of your estate and it could affect your entitlement to current and future means-tested benefits. The loan plus accrued interest will be repayable upon death or moving into long-term care.
Date Last Edited: December 6, 2023