British forces open a new home front

#1
High UK prices are forcing army officers and other public-sector workers to buy across the Channel. Christopher Middleton reports

It was a vision which inspired Major Robert Wagstaff to buy a house in France. And an uncomfortable vision at that. "I'm 34 now, I've got another 20 years in the Army, and I had this picture of myself coming out of the services aged 54, still living in married quarters with my wife and children, and still having nowhere to call our own", he says. "I realised the time had finally come to get on the property ladder."

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#2
Simple. Leave when you are 30, get a decent job in a region of he country where you can afford to buy and jobs-a-good-un. Bemoaning your lot if you are a London based civil servant or an officer who moves around alot is pointless. If you don't like the situation the army puts you in then leave, but for Gods sake don't have some bizzare desire to own a house in the home counties when there is an entire country to choose from.
 
#3
My Sister's just seen this .£4,500 squids to find property says she? I can do that standing on my head. She speaks French like a bloody native, lived there for years and is engaged to some Frog Property Baron (I know the shame , my name is PTP and my sister dates a frenchman :( )

The fact is, there's good money there , and you can still get reasonably priced stuff near Paris.
 
#5
France is the last place I would move. In the next 10 years they are going to have to do the same kind of social and economic re-stucturing as the UK did in the late 70's and early 80's. The knock on effects won't be pleasent for taxable people I think.
 
#6
And I thought the Annington homes sell off would be to enable Army to buy their properties at preferential prices, therefore enabling everyone to have their feet on the property ladder. Didn't realise that they were going to populate army estates with whinging civvies who complain every time you fire up a CR2, or have the audacity to use the 25m range on a sat morning.

Hopefully, the whole "regional goose egg" system proposed under FAS will allow people to put down some roots and purchase property. However, the way we are going with op tours etc, will we ever get a chance to live in them?
 
#7
What is he dripping about? Is he trying to say that a Major and a teacher cannot afford something more than 140,000 pounds (yes I know that he only mentioned his salary-but why not his wifes?) ? Me thinks he should get his fcuking finances sorted before whinging to the papers about the cost of housing!
 
#8
I know this guy. Not a bad lad but obviously didn't do want most of us sensible ruperts have done and bought a small house to rent out 5-10 years ago.

Bless
 
#11
short-fuse said:
I know this guy. Not a bad lad but obviously didn't do want most of us sensible ruperts have done and bought a small house to rent out 5-10 years ago.
Bless
Having just bought our first house, the only reason we didn't buy sooner was that we were not in the country at the time so had no chance to look before the prices shot up! We were very sensible and saved our house deposit. Unfortunately our savings crashed while the house prices rocketed!
Which ever way you look at it, banks will still only offer in the region of £150,000 for a Majors salary. Adding a small second income doesn't increase the mortgage available by much! And in most of the country that does not buy you a house to live in as a family with 2 or 3 children!
And I feel Matelot is quite wrong in his comments regarding wifes income! When you have children and are posted around every 2 years as officers are want to do, it is likely that they felt it irresponsible to include a second income that varies according to when and where the jobs are!
I have no idea if I will be able to get a job at our next posting, add to that cost of child care and there is not much money left left if you can only work part time!
I think the people buying in France made a sensible decision to ensure that they can actually afford to pay the mortgage.
 
#12
the_matelot said:
What is he dripping about? Is he trying to say that a Major and a teacher cannot afford something more than 140,000 pounds (yes I know that he only mentioned his salary-but why not his wifes?) ? Me thinks he should get his fcuking finances sorted before whinging to the papers about the cost of housing!
Looks as if hes got his head up his arrse, Dream on Maj and welcome to the real world. If he were to hang on a bit there'd be plenty of cheap houseing for sale in the countryside, so the Countryside Alliance keep telling us.
 
#13
Scotch Mist,

I was implying that if he set his sights lower and got on the housing ladder now but buy something within his price bracket by the time he retires he could sell that house and buy a slightly larger property using his gratuity or progressively purchased a larger house when his income allowed it.

I can't buy the house I want to now, but I know that I can get there in time with some careful money/property management.
 
#14
Scotch,

Are you trying to say that he's the only one in this position? What about all the people who choose not to uproot their partners/wifes/husbands/goldfish lives everytime they've got to move because they deem that to be irresponsible especially if the partner already has a good career? I choose to live away from where I'm based as it allows me to have long-term stability in my life. My point was he was whinging about the cost of housing and commenting that he couldn't afford it on his wages. How many married couples do you know that apply for a mortgage and choose to leave out one of the incomes? If she was a shopworker, then fair enough but she's a teacher and no doubt earns a good salary. So with their two combined salaries, they can afford more than £140,000. It all depends on what he's looking for but the way he's made out his finances is a tad bit irritating.
 
#15
He has to live in France? With the good weather, good food and wine, lower crime rate, decent public transport, secure nuclear electricity, and damned fine women? The poor bastard!
 
#16
....................is this a cunnig French stunt (given the low mortgage rate) to establish some folk in France who will defend it if invaded?
 
#17
the_matelot said:
Scotch,

Are you trying to say that he's the only one in this position? What about all the people who choose not to uproot their partners/wifes/husbands/goldfish lives everytime they've got to move because they deem that to be irresponsible especially if the partner already has a good career? I choose to live away from where I'm based as it allows me to have long-term stability in my life. My point was he was whinging about the cost of housing and commenting that he couldn't afford it on his wages. How many married couples do you know that apply for a mortgage and choose to leave out one of the incomes? If she was a shopworker, then fair enough but she's a teacher and no doubt earns a good salary. So with their two combined salaries, they can afford more than £140,000. It all depends on what he's looking for but the way he's made out his finances is a tad bit irritating.
I don't know how much you think a teacher earns but it isn't that much (ok a lot more than I can earn for less stress and responsibility but I won't go there!)!
We get down to the same problem faced with many military families....do families stay together and so wives have less job stability and therefore decent wages? Or do you settle the family down in one place and do weekly commuting. Mr S_M and I are arguing about just this problem now! The fact is a basic family home is too expensive for first time buyers. Even on a Majors wage. The only way we could afford it was taking advantage of key worker schemes that I am entitled to through work! Now we have a house that is a LOT smaller than we have been used to but we have joined the real world (for a while). In a few years we might even be able to afford a reasonable family house!
Mr S_M like many military types would like his family to be with him, he doesn't want to live alone in the mess. Yet if we as a family stay put, my career can get back on track, the children can have stable schooling.
We looked at the buy to let plan for housing, as suggested by Short-Fuse, but the cost of properties where we live meant anything we could afford to buy would not be suitable to rent out. That is also the real world.
Someone mentioned that people can buy anywhere in the country. Quite right but it is sensible to buy at least a reasonable distance from either family or where you can keep an eye on your investment.
There is no easy answer to any of these problems. The Major in question buying in France was just finding a reasonable solution to his problem just as Matelot has found his solution already. Navy families have always stayed put while the sailor travels. Army families have traditionally followed tha flag. Unfortunately now, following the flag is a double edged sword! And Short-Fuse was ahead of the game when he decided to invest 5-10 years ago.
 
#18
Scotch_Mist said:
There is no easy answer to any of these problems. The Major in question buying in France was just finding a reasonable solution to his problem just as Matelot has found his solution already. Navy families have always stayed put while the sailor travels. Army families have traditionally followed tha flag. Unfortunately now, following the flag is a double edged sword! And Short-Fuse was ahead of the game when he decided to invest 5-10 years ago.
The MoD still believes that the accompanied service is still the bedrock of most soldiers, but the fact is that this is changing. People can't leave it until their 22/34 yr points before getting a house, so the Army should go back to looking at tour lengths and house purchase assistance. And don't tell me that 8500k (LSAP) is a substantial help.
 
#20
CardinalSin said:
Scotch_Mist said:
There is no easy answer to any of these problems. The Major in question buying in France was just finding a reasonable solution to his problem just as Matelot has found his solution already. Navy families have always stayed put while the sailor travels. Army families have traditionally followed tha flag. Unfortunately now, following the flag is a double edged sword! And Short-Fuse was ahead of the game when he decided to invest 5-10 years ago.
The MoD still believes that the accompanied service is still the bedrock of most soldiers, but the fact is that this is changing. People can't leave it until their 22/34 yr points before getting a house, so the Army should go back to looking at tour lengths and house purchase assistance. And don't tell me that 8500k (LSAP) is a substantial help.


LSAP don't make me laugh the rules for getting it are rubbish, great if you are in either the Navy or RAF, but if you want to buy a property when you are in early years of service the system gives you bugger all help.

The pay office couldn't even be arrsed to send back to my building society confirmation of my earnings, cnuts, i had to go in and ask thewm for it, the bloke on the desk said he hadn't seen it, but then i pointed out that it was in his in- tray and i had phoned up when the Halifax had sent it to make sure he had recieved it ok.
 

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