The Forces Help to Buy scheme (FHTB) was launched on 1st April 2014 for an initial three year pilot and extended until 2018. The scheme was introduced to help the thousands of service men and women buy their own home as an alternative to living in service accommodation.
We are experienced advisors who understand the ties and responsibilities you will have working in the armed forces. We will assist you with a swift service to suit your needs, whether you’re posted out to sea, on operational deployment, or living on a base.
What is the Forces Help to Buy scheme?
FHTB allows you to borrow up to 50% of your salary and any recruitment and retention pay (formerly Specialist Pay) up to a maximum of £25,000. It is an interest free advance of salary and is to be repaid over ten years.
The scheme is available to regular personnel to buy your first home or move to a new location (more than 50 miles from your current property), although there may be some exceptions to this.
Most mainstream mortgage providers accept FHTB, but you should first check with your proposed lender before progressing any formal mortgage application. Approval for FHTB is no guarantee that a mortgage lender will advance you a mortgage.
Am I eligible for Forces Help to Buy?
To be eligible personnel must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be in regular service.
- Those serving in the Naval Service must have been accepted onto trained strength, ie in a complement billet.
- Army and RAF personnel must have completed two years service from the date of enlistment and be on the trained strength i.e. completed Phase 2 training.
- Have at least six months left to serve at the time of application
- In the last twelve months, not have owned a property within 50 miles of the proposed house purchase (although there may be some exceptions to this).
How do I apply for FHTB?
You can apply for the loan online through the Joint Personnel Administration system and can seek advice on your application through your Chain of Command and personnel agency. You will need to complete their application form. If accepted, you can be given a Personal Information Note by the MoD as evidence of your FHTB advance before seeking a mortgage offer. It is important that you check with your mortgage provider that they support the FHTB scheme before you commit to them.
Payment of the FHTB amount is made by BACS direct to your legal representative, who must apply for the funds at least 10 working days before the property completion date.
Can I still apply for service accommodation?
If you buy a property using funds from the FHTB scheme and the property is within 50 miles of your current assignment location then you will not be eligible for either Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or Single Living Accommodation (SLA) during your current assignment. If you already know your next assignment (starting within 6 months) and you choose to buy a home within 50 miles of there, you will also not be eligible for either SFA or SLA there.
You may choose to buy a property more than 50 miles from your current assignment location (or next location, if you already know what it is and it starts within 6 months). In this case your family will have to live in that property in the first instance – you will be eligible to use SLA (or SSSA) but not SFA for that assignment.
After buying your property, if your next assignment is more than 50 miles from your purchased home, your entitlement to SLA and SFA is reinstated.
If any subsequent assignment takes you to within 50 miles of the location of your purchased property your entitlement to SLA and SFA will be relinquished and you will be required to live in your own property.
The FHTB scheme can be used for all fees associated with moving house, including the deposit and other fees such as estate agents, land registration and solicitors.
Not only can we guide you through the process, but you will also benefit from our 5% discount for military personnel. To discuss your options with us, you can contact us on the details.
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