Terry Ormiston, 35, was seventeen years in to twenty-two years’ service with the Royal Marines, when he began to feel the pressure to find his way on to the housing ladder. He soon discovered that with the assistance of the Forces Help to Buy scheme and the government Help to Buy scheme, owning his own home was a within reach.
The Forces HTB scheme enables servicemen and women to borrow up to 50% of their salary interest free, to buy their first home or move to another property on assignment or due to change in family circumstances. The scheme was brought in to address the low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.
On Terry’s salary alone, his budget for a first home would have been £190,000-£200,000, but with the government HTB and with an additional £20,000 borrowed using the Forces HTB, Terry’s budget stretched much further, to approximately £260,000.
Terry visited Pentland Homes’ Scholars Village in Folkestone, Kent, a development of 122 contemporary 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, and found a 2 bedroom ‘Clifton’ home that met his needs perfectly. He was particularly impressed with the quality of Pentland Homes’ construction and finish, and the low maintenance nature of new build homes was a huge draw.
“The Help to Buy scheme allows you to buy property that potentially you wouldn’t be otherwise able to afford,” says Terry. “And I wanted a house that I could literally move in to and not have to worry about finding money to repair and redecorate.”
Terry admits that his outgoings will increase quite significantly once he leaves his current accommodation, but is positive about the fact that each month he will be making an investment in his future.
Terry would recommend both the government Help to Buy scheme and the Forces Help to Buy scheme to others, particularly his colleagues in the military. He found them to both to be extremely low maintenance and stress-free.
“The Forces Help to Buy, once it’s signed off, and the medical officer signs it off, it’s all dealt with by solicitors. The Commanding Officer signs to say I can afford it, and that’s that.
It’s the best way and the cheapest way to borrow the money you need to push you a bit further up the ladder,” says Terry. “It gives you breathing space, for at least five years.”