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It’s time to take advantage of the government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme

If you are a first-time buyer and want to take advantage of the government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme, you will need to move quickly. The scheme will close to new savers on the 30 November 2019. After that date, you will not be able to open a new Help to Buy ISA.

What is a Help to Buy ISA?

If you are saving to buy your first home, you can save money by using a Help to Buy ISA. The government will provide a bonus of 25% to add to your savings. So for every £100 you save, you will receive a government bonus of £25. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000. Your savings will also gain interest whilst you save. If you are buying a property with your partner, each of you can have a separate Help to Buy ISA and each of you will receive a government bonus.

A number of banks, building societies and credit unions provide Help to Buy ISA Accounts.

Who can apply?

To qualify for a Help to Buy ISA you must:

  • Be 16 or over
  • Have a valid National Insurance number
  • Be a UK resident
  • Be a first-time buyer, and not own a property anywhere in the world
  • Not have another active cash ISA in the same tax year.

Don’t worry if you are not planning to buy a property immediately, you should still consider opening a Help to Buy ISA account. You can continue saving into your account until the 30 November 2029.  After that date, you won’t be able to deposit to the account. However, you have until 1 December 2030 to claim your bonus.

How much can I put in?

You can save up to £200 a month into your Help to Buy ISA, but you can start with a lump sum of up to £1,200.  You need to have saved at least £1,600 into your Help to Buy ISA before you can claim your bonus.

When you complete your purchase your solicitor will apply for your government bonus. When it is received it will be added to the money you are putting towards your first home. The bonus must be added to the funds used to complete the purchase of your property.

What should I do next?

If you think you could benefit from the Help To Buy ISA Scheme speak to your bank, building society or credit union now before the deadline on 30 November 2019.

Contact Thompsons NI’s conveyancing solicitors

For more information about the process of buying a property, or how our conveyancing solicitors can help you, call us today on 0800 138 6880 or click here.