The deadline to set up your Help to Buy ISA is here – have you got yours?
You have probably seen several adverts encouraging you to sign up for a help to buy ISA before the scheme closes on 30 November 2019, but not many actually explain what a help to buy ISA is, or how you can use them to your advantage.
What is a help to buy ISA?
A help to buy ISA is a separate bank account that you set up specifically for saving money, which can be put towards buying a home.
The reason they are so helpful is that once you have at least £1,600 in your account, the Government will give you an additional 25% at the point of buying your home, up to a maximum of £3,000. This means for every £200 you save, the government will give you an extra £50 on top, for free. Even better, as this is calculated per buyer and not per household, if you’re buying with a partner you can both use your ISAs together and get £6,000!
The government bonus cannot be used towards your deposit, but the additional £6,000 means you’ll need to borrow a smaller amount which can add up to some nice savings over the course of the mortgage.
I have no plans to buy a house
There are no penalties for opening a help to buy ISA and not using it.
It is simply a separate account; you do not get the additional money until you’re buying a house which means there’s nothing to stop you with opening the account just in case. You can take money out whenever you want for whatever reason.
There is nothing wrong with having one and not using it; it’s much better than needing one and not having it.
Am I eligible?
As long as you:
- are over 16 years old
- have a valid National Insurance Number
- are a UK resident
- are a first-time buyer
- do not already have a cash ISA in the same tax year (though if you do, you can close this and move your money and still be eligible)
The additional money can be claimed on buying a house as long as it is in the UK, worth up to £250,000 (or £450,000 in London), it will be your home, and you are getting a mortgage for the remaining purchase price.
If you are already an internet banking customer you can set up your Help to Buy ISA online in minutes with most banks, otherwise make an appointment with your local branch. You can open one with a deposit of £1 at most banks.
Our team of professional residential property solicitors boast significant experience in the local market and we understand the difficulties you are likely to encounter as a first-time buyer. We will take the stress out of the process for you and guide you through the process every step of the way.
For more information for first time buyers, contact Gabrielle Allen on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Gabrielle on 0114 290 6304.
Or, for a free, no obligation conveyancing quote, click here.