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Courage in the face of soaring house prices

Spare a thought this week for the courage and loyalty of Sergeant Gordon Robertson, CGC.

The former paratrooper distinguished himself in one of the most ferocious gun-battles of modern times at the Battle of Majar al Kabir in 2003 for which he was decorated with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. Only 53 individuals have ever been awarded the CGC, which is second in rank of gallantry medals only to the Victoria Cross. He was the first serving member of the Parachute Regiment to receive the award.

You can imagine the stunning courage and dedication it must have taken to win this medal.

Imagine the same dedication which surrounded his decision covered in the press last week to sell his precious medal for an estimated minimum of £100,000 to help his grown-up son buy his first house.

You may view this, quite understandably, as another heroic action from a gallant man.

And there are other ways of saving, and doing so steadily and over time, rather than in one go. These can then link into the Family Building Society’s family-friendly mortgages.

The first is our most popular product – the Offset Mortgage. Offset mortgages differ from traditional mortgages because you can use cash savings to either lower the monthly repayments or the full term of the mortgage. The more cash savings you use to offset the lower the repayments. Simple.

So direct family members can help their youngsters get on the ladder by using cash that has been put away for their own future for a while and until they need it.

We do not know the nature of Robertson junior’s employment status – but the Offset mortgage particularly benefits the self-employed and those who stash money away annually for, say, a tax bill.

We know from talking to many mums, dads and grandparents that the biggest obstacle of all for the younger generation to get on the housing ladder is raising the deposit necessary to access soaring house prices. Getting the minimum deposit of 5% is hard enough; but if you can get to a 25% deposit then the interest payable on the mortgage can fall materially making it more affordable and/or meaning that it can be paid off quicker.

So perhaps an even better option for young Robertson and his parents could be the society’s unique Family Mortgage in which up to four direct relations can assist their youngsters by offering cash or even equity in their own homes to help raise that pesky deposit, whilst still getting that money back in due course provided that the mortgage is paid.

Steve McDowell
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Family Building Society
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Surrey KT17 4NL
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