Buying your first home can be a struggle from day one for many people; saving enough for a deposit, as well as all the other associated costs of house-buying, can seem like an uphill battle that is destined never to be won. To help people onto the first rung of the property ladder, the government has introduced a new “Help-to-Buy” ISA for first time purchasers looking to amass a large enough deposit to secure their dream move. We’ve written a quick guide to give you the lowdown on this exciting new scheme.
What are Help-to-Buy ISA’s?
The savings accounts are available to open from banks and building societies. The main attraction of these schemes is that the amount saved will be topped up by the government with a maximum “bonus” of up to 25% (£3,000) when you purchase the house.
Will I qualify?
There are certain qualifying conditions that must be met to be eligible for this scheme: the saver must be a UK resident, over the age of 16 and be buying a house (NOT a buy-to-let property) for the first time.
The value of the house must also not exceed £250,000 or £450,000 if the property is in London.
How much can I contribute to the ISA?
The monthly deposit limit is set at £200 – when the balance reaches £12,000 the extra contribution is eligible from the government. Couples are allowed to save individually, which means there is a possibility of claiming up to £6,000.
To set the ISA on its way savers can pay an initial lump-sum of £1,000 if they wish to do so.
Are there any limitations on the scheme?
The bonus payment must be claimed by 1 December 2030 through the purchase of a house – your solicitor or conveyance will usually apply for the money on your behalf. If the purchase falls through however, you are legally bound to pay the money back.
Another stipulation is that an individual is only allowed to have one Help-to-Buy ISA. Portfolio ISAs allow you to hold multiple products within a cash ISA wrapper. You can still only have one active cash ISA, but it can be made up of one or more standard cash ISA products, including a Help to Buy ISA. With a portfolio ISA, you can save into a cash and a Help to Buy ISA at the same time. The standard allowance limits will still apply.
If you need more information on the help-to-buy scheme, our consultants will be able to guide you through the process. Call 0113 3878240 for a no obligation consultation or visit www.chnfc.co.uk