Buying a property

There are a number of options to help you buy a property for your own home. From government and Armed Forces affordable housing schemes, to an interest-free advance of salary in the form of the Forces Help to Buy scheme. You can also get valuable housing advice from the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO).

This section explains the home buying process in the UK and how to choose a mortgage, making sure you can afford it.  It also includes information about your buying and moving costs and some useful tips if you're a first-time buyer (or just want some help going through the process again).

did you know?

59% of Royal Navy personnel own their own home, closely followed by the RAF (55%).

The Army trails on 33%, with the Royal Marines (46%) languishing in the middle.

AFCAS Survey 2012

Services help

As a member of the Armed Forces you can get financial help for the deposit in the form of an interest-free advance of salary (up to £25,000) through the Forces Help to Buy scheme.  You also have priority status when applying for a property in the government’s affordable housing schemes.

See also the Guidance Notes for applying for a mortgage, so that you make sure that you're in the best possible position to be accepted for a mortgage. You should not be disadvantaged because of your occupation.

For all housing information and advice take a look at the Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) pages on  The JSHAO publishes a 'Housing matters' magazine with useful tips and information.

Where to buy

Choosing where to buy a property can be a difficult decision for you when you are in the Armed Forces. You need to consider where your career will take you.

Are you planning to rent the property out as you move round, or leave your family there and serve unaccompanied? Do you choose to buy close to extended family or close to employment for your partner? All these factors will affect what, and where you buy.

There is no single right answer, you just need to be aware that your Service career is unlikely to leave you in the same place for long.

The choices you make will lead to costs (and sometimes allowances to cover them) and you need to consider these as part of your planning.

Our HomeFinder tool will show you property costs around the UK and how likely you are to get a mortgage based on your current income and expenditure.

Last reviewed: 30/05/2017