Help to Buy ISA’s
The Help to Buy ISA is a scheme offered by the government for first time buyers, whereby you put money into a specific ISA savings account.
When you are ready to purchase a property, the government will top up your savings with a non-repayable bonus. This is a great option for first-time buyers as it is in essence free money that you don’t have to pay back when you sell, contrary to the Help to Buy Equity Loan.
There are restrictions as to whether the transaction qualifies for the government bonus, which includes but are not limited to:
- You must be 16 years of age or over
- You must be a first-time buyer (never have owned a home in the UK or abroad)
- The property must be your main residence
- The purchase price of your property must be £250,000 or less (or in London £450,000)
- You must have a minimum of £1,600 in your ISA account before the government will pay the bonus
- The bonus can only be used towards the final purchase price, not towards your deposit required on the exchange of contracts (usually 10% of the purchase price). If you do not have a full 10% deposit without the bonus we can discuss the options available to you, such as offering a smaller deposit on exchange to the sellers
The maximum bonus you can claim is £3,000, however, if two people are purchasing a property this could mean an additional £6,000.
With the government closing the incentive for new savers from 30 November 2019, if you are interested in opening a Help to Buy ISA you will need to do so before this date. Any account open before this date will be able to make use of the bonus scheme until 1 December 2030.
If you have a Help to Buy ISA the Conveyancing Team at Harold G Walker Solicitors can talk you through the process and will request the bonus on your behalf ready for completion.