Sit tight but not too tight. Everyone is shitting themselves at the moment and if you've got some cash boy o'boy are you in a good position. Trouble is getting any money from a bank or building society.
Sod the Chief Clerk, they can't get your pay right so there's no way they'll know anything outside of their admin office and tea room.
Buying a house while in the military is no different than buying as a civvy though I understand first time buyers can get hold of up to Â£8k of their future pension towards their deposit, ask the CC about that. Don't be fobbed off or put off by 'I don't know' and never ask them a question too close to their NAAFI breaks, it'll water down any enthusiasm they might have had to help you and hamper their knowledge retention.
Right now I think an auction would be a good way to get a bargain.
The Â£8000 being talked about is called LSAP. Ask your RAO for the info on it, read it carefully to ensure you understand what is involved. It is usefull but as I said make sure you understand what your getting. Its not quite a free loan but near enough and you wont find a better offer in civvi street. It does effect your tax liability but not significantly.
Potentially this period is great for buyers but may not last beyond six months before recovery. Sooner or later people will start buying as their mums will be kicking them out.
Buy a home you can afford the mortgage on if it should rise by 2% or more than it is now. Pay as much off the house with as large a deposit as possible. Using funds to buy all new stuff for the house is a waste.
You might want to try The One account with RBS, if you can keep a tight grip on your finances. Or it wont work for you as it should. Its awesome if your discaplined with money. Potentialy you can save tens of thousands more by paying off on your mortgage than you could at a building society savers account. Or even many other saving schemes such as ISA's etc.
Failing that, go for a repayment mortgage but in any case use an independant financial advisor before deciding.
I'd disagree with some of the comments about sitting tight although it does depend on your circumstances. I've just bought a house and got a brilliant deal on the price - it's def a buyers market at the moment although there ain't that many good mortgage deals around. I'f you've got a decent deposit ie about 15% and a good credit history then you could be in luck. I would advise you to speak to a mortgage adviser although (from past experience) not one linked to a bank or building society. I used a new squaddie friendly company called armed forces financial services who were on the ball. their website is www.af-financialservices.co.uk
Something I noticed in the paper today, cant remember which one though.
House sales are picking up again.
Prices still dropping fast on certain types. 5 bed det, 9 months ago was Â£280000, can now be bought for Â£110000.
Intrest rates will drop again, soon. Hopefully the banks and building societys will follow suit.
If so mortgages will be easier to get/afford and the old cycle of higher house prices will kick off once again. Some predict prices will rise sharply (be at Jan 08 levels) by summer 09, others more cautious predict not until end 09 or first quarter 10.
Extremely unlikely. The banks need retail deposits and to achieve this the rates they pay to savers need to remain relatively attractive. More importantly LIBOR will remain high until all risk/losses have been completely exposed.
If so mortgages will be easier to get/afford and the old cycle of higher house prices will kick off once again.
No, the days of 'easy to get' mortages, with low deposits, are over for a considerable period of time. People need to get back to reality and accept that house ownership is a privelege and not a right, and that to achieve this they need to save a reasonable deposit (and 10-15% is not a reasonable deposit).
Some predict prices will rise sharply (be at Jan 08 levels) by summer 09, others more cautious predict not until end 09 or first quarter 10.
They do - the same type of dreamer that still insists on putting their property on the market at vastly inflated levels when the reality is that house prices have to drop to an average of around 4x average salary (circa Â£100K) before any increases are likely to happen. As they are still around Â£165K there is a considerable drop still to be realised.
Certainly a good time to buy, either now or within the next 3-4 months. Interest rates will drop again in the next few weeks, Christmas coming up and all that, the Gov needs us to spend money or big companies will see a major hit on their profits over xmas. Whether the banks/BS pass the interest cuts onto the customer is another matter.
If your buying to let then you need sound financial advice from an Independent Financial Adviser. I'm sure the repayment rates are different for BTL than if you are living in the property. A possible way around this is to let it out to someone you know, ie family.
Don't squander any profit you make from the buy to let system, pour it back into your mortgage re-payment and you will drastically reduce the amount and length of time you are paying back.
*disclaimer* I'm no authority on this so take it with a sensible pinch of salt.