Forces Help to Buy


According to the website GOV.UK there is a relatively low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.  To help and encourage service men and women to get on the property ladder, move home due to reposting or change their home as family needs demand, the Ministry of Defence have introduced the Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) Scheme.
The new scheme allows members of the armed forces to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary (maximum of £25,000), interest free, as a deposit for their purchase or remortgage.
The pilot scheme, which will run for the next three years, starting today, is not designed to reduce the amount of personnel in service accommodation, this is still an option if you wish, but to aid members of the armed forces in making that leap on to the property market.
Forces Help to Buy, your route to home ownershipChief of Defense Personnel, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory, said:
“Through our work on the new employment model and the armed forces covenant we are continually striving to make improvements to those aspects of life outside of service which we know can be adversely affected by life in service.
“In particular we are keen to address the demand for greater stability, including access to home ownership, and an improved ability to exercise choice in the way our people live their lives.
“And so it is a hugely positive step forward that we are able to introduce the Forces Help To Buy scheme today, a year ahead of our original plan.”

So who is eligible?

  • You must have completed a pre-requisite length of service.
  • You must have more than six months remaining to serve
  • Meet the right medical categories, however, extenuating medical and personal circumstances will be considered.
There are a number of different lenders that will already stated that they will accept the Forces Help To Buy Scheme as a form of deposit without being punitive.  However,as always it is important to find a lender and product that suits your overall needs.  At DALES we will search the market to find the right deal for you. Why not contact us today on 01636 870 069 to discuss how we can help or why not look at our best buy tables Mortgage Best Buys.
Philip Dales Dip PFS Certs CII (MP & ER)
Philip Dales is principal at DALES Independent Financial Advisers, based in Newark and Nottingham. He has been an adviser for over 17 years helping many clients, including those in the forces with all aspects of financial planning, and retirement. For more information on this or any other aspect of financial advice contact t: 01636 870 069.

If you would like more information on this scheme and/or obtaining a mortgage, please contact us by email at or by telephone on 01636 870 069 for more information or have a look at our web site Please note that this article does not represent advice, and the Forces Help To Buy Scheme, may not be suitable for you. P N DALES Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Beware the “free” valuation

We are all taught to be wary of people offering us a free lunch, and why would this not be the case with a mortgage and the valuation.

Currently there are a number of lenders who are trying to tempt us with a “free” valuation service. However, we should be careful, these free valuations are often only for the lender, in most cases you would not even receive a copy of the report.

What this means is that you have no comeback against the valuer or surveyor who did the work.

Traditionally, when you purchased a house the lender would make you obtain a valuation, you could always buy a basic valuation or upgrade to a full homebuyers report or a structural survey. The surveyor would view the property, check for damp, movement and any problems such as wiring issues etc. You could then decided whether you wanted to continue with the sale, may be you could negotiate with the vender, but at least if you did go ahead you knew or had some sense of surety that you knew what was wrong with the house, even if you picked the basic valuation.

If something was found to be wrong with the house that the valuation should have picked up, you would be able to take the surveyor to task.

Not so with a free valuation: the free valuation is not instructed on your behalf, they are instructed on behalf of the lender and as such you would have no come back at all.

All the lenders do offer an enhanced valuation package, that is those that offer a “free” valuation, and therefore it would be wise to select that option. However, these cost about the same as a standard valuation offered by other non free valuation lenders. What this really shows is that the lender who says “free” valuation, is not really offering a cheeper deal, because when you add in the cost of a real survey there is little difference in cost.

Another cheeky thing these same “free” valuation lenders, will do is add a little to their arrangement fees. They can get away with this if the valuation is free, and still appear cheeper than the non free valuation deals, but when you add back in the cost of a real survey you now notice that they are in fact more expensive.

All this said, we live in a world of cheapest is best, and not many people scratch the surface to look a little deeper, so its unlikely that free valuations will disappear and its even more unlikely that people will not be attracted to them.

Philip Dales

Your home may be at risk if you fail to maintain repayments on any debt or mortgage secured against it.
PN Dales is authorized and regulated by the Financial services authority 496107.

For more advice on mortgages or other areas of your financial planing why not have a look at our web site or email

PNDales Ltd
Northgate Business Centre
38 Northgate Newark
Tel: 01636 642 844