With over 18,000 service personnel having benefited from Forces Help to Buy since its launch in 2014, this popular incentive continues to help personnel to purchase their next home. Veteran and first time buyer Nicola Patterson (35) and her husband Andy (40) tapped into the scheme to buy a four-bedroom semi-detached home at The Crescent in Carterton, Oxfordshire for themselves and their children Ellie-Mae (15), Ronnie (11), and Rosina (3).
Nicola, a pharmacy technician, was planning to wait a few years before buying her first home, but changed her mind after attending a transition to civilian life course. “With Andy still signed up for another nine years in the RAF, we hadn’t even considered buying a home until he retired, but when the course instructor told me that we’d be spending nearly a decade living in military housing, when we could have paid off 9 years worth of mortgage, we decided to take the plunge and buy our own place,” she says.
To get onto the property ladder, Nicola and Andy made use of all of the incentives available to them, and combined Help to Buy with Forces Help to Buy to build up their £18,000 deposit. “There’s no way that we would have been able to buy without using the schemes available. We used our savings , for the five per cent deposit, and the Forces Help to Buy payment helped to top up the deposit and pay the legal fees,” Nicola said.
Nicola and Andy also used Annington’s own incentives to provide an extra boost to get onto the property ladder, using the developer’s Service Discount, as well as Annington’s legal and survey fee incentive, saving an additional £1000.
The family reserved their home in February, but were unable to move in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the delay meant that that Nicola and Andy completed and exchanged just two days after the Stamp Duty holiday came into force, saving over £2000. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that we wouldn’t have to pay stamp duty – I used the extra money to pay for brand new blinds” Nicola says.
Nicola and Andy were both based at RAF Brize Norton, and know Carterton well, having previously lived in Ministry of Defence housing in the town. Though rent is subsidised for Service personnel, the benefit of home ownership is more than worth the cost of their monthly mortgage payments.
Nicola adds, “As a military family, being moved around is part and parcel of the job, and the kids have changed schools four times. But now we have somewhere that we can call our own – you can’t put a price on that.”
Nicola continues: “We’d planned to look at another development in Carterton, but when we compared the prices we realised that we would be able to get a much bigger home for our money at The Crescent, where prices for four-bedroom properties are about £100,000 cheaper than elsewhere, which is one of the benefits of the development being on the site of former Ministry of Defence housing.”
“The house itself is just perfect, and already feels so homely. The three storey layout means that there’s lots of room for all of us, and the older kids even have a whole floor and bathroom to themselves! And the garage is an extra bonus,” Nicola says.« Back to testimonials page