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Forces Help to Buy Scheme

Force Help to Buy loan scheme welcomed by local property professionals

Some of the leading estate agents and solicitors in Salisbury and Amesbury have welcomed the Government’s move to help military personnel own their own home through the new Forces Help to Buy scheme.

The cheap home loan initiative launched on April 1st, will initially cover a three-year period and is aimed at addressing the low rate of home ownership in the Armed Forces. The government has set aside over £200 million to fund the proposals.

The new scheme will allow regular service servicemen and women to borrow up to 50 per cent of their salary, interest-free, up to a maximum of £25,000. It is targeted at helping first-time buyers, along with those who need to move home, following a new posting.

Tim BishopTim Bishop, senior partner of Salisbury and Amesbury Solicitors, Bonallack and Bishop, described Forces Help to Buy as “an exciting initiative which will help Armed Forces personnel and their families onto the first rung of the property ladder.”

Tim continued, “Home ownership is a real issue for the army with ownership levels well below those of comparable civilians. What’s more, a recent survey showed that 65 per cent of military personnel who don’t currently own their own home said it was because they could not afford to, and around 20% of those are saving to buy their 1st home. We expect the scheme to result in an increased demand for housing locally – which is also good news for local builders and developers.”

Salisbury based estate agent, James Butcher of H.W.White, commented “Military personnel often suffer real problems when trying to get mortgages and credit due to frequent moves, regular deployments and poor recognition of overseas BFPO addresses by lenders using automated credit scoring systems.”

Forces Help to Buy has been designed to help those serving in the Forces who want to buy their first home and it is available to them whether or not they are married or single. The loans aren’t available to buy a second property.

The loan is repayable through automatic monthly salary deductions over 10-years, while those who leave the military during this period will have to arrange for early repayment.

The new scheme can also be used in addition to the current Government-backed Help to Buy scheme, under which the Government lends up to further 20% of the cost of a new-build home.

Amesbury estate agent, Simon Colligan, added, “There are already a number of large developments locally, including Archers Gate, which are close to Tidworth and Bulford in particular, and which offer a wide range of new homes for people to choose from. With an increasing number of serving personnel being based permanently in the locality, and with the ongoing development of the Super Garrison, the new scheme offers a great chance for hundreds of Forces families to buy their first home and really put down their roots locally. It’s great news for Salisbury and Amesbury.”

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