You may have heard or seen a lot recently about Help to Buy ISA’s, but what actually are they? Do you need one? How do you get one? Keep reading to learn 10 useful facts detailing all you need to know about them.
1. To answer the most important question: A Help to Buy ISA is a type of individual savings account (ISA) that was designed for first time buyers. You can apply for this if you are over the age of 16; it’s ideal for those wanting to save to buy their first house. (Please note: the bonus can’t be used for the initial deposit or any other indirect costs, such as paying for your solicitor or estate agent’s fees.)
2. The reason you may have seen a lot about Help to Buy ISA’s recently is because this scheme is stopping. The deadline to start a Help to Buy ISA is the 30th November 2019, however once you have made one you will be able to keep investing into it. You must claim your bonus by the 1st December 2030. (Although I don’t think this would be an issue for most of us!)
3. So why are Help to Buy ISA’s a good idea? Well the main appeal of them is the fact that the Government will contribute 25% to your savings. The maximum you can get is £3,000 and to get this you would have to save £12,000. The minimum you need to save to get the 25% bonus is £1,600.
Well the main appeal of them is the fact that the Government will contribute 25% to your savings. The maximum you can get is £3,000 and to get this you would have to save £12,000. The minimum you need to save to get the 25% bonus is £1,600.
4. You can save as little as £1 a month to as much as £200 a month; in the first month you can put in an additional £1,000 to kick start your savings. Don’t worry if you don’t have a spare £1,000 lying around though because you can set it up with £1.
5. One key point to bear in mind is you can’t apply if you already own a property anywhere in the world, and it is only eligible for house purchases in the UK.
6. Another useful factor to remember is that the property you buy must be £250,000 or less, however if you live in London it’s up to £450,000.
7. If you and your partner are looking to save for a property you will have to set up an account each, as help to Buy ISA’s can’t be opened jointly. You would both still get your individual bonus (as long as you’re both first time buyers) and it can be used on the same property.
8. One thing that may cross your mind when it comes to setting up a Help to Buy ISA is what if I need the money? You’ll be pleased to know that you can withdraw the money from your Help to Buy ISA if you need it before the purchase of a property (this wouldn’t be eligible for the bonus). Remember that if you were to contribute £200 at the start of the month, and then withdraw part of it, you wouldn’t be able to pay anything else in till the next month.
9. With most providers you can’t apply to another Cash ISA in the same Tax Year (6th April to 5th April) if you have applied for a Help to Buy ISA in the same year. Some companies will let you do this, and if you are looking to do this, you’ll have to check with the company first.
10. Where can I get one and how do I do it?? Most banks offer Help to Buy ISA’s and to find out if your bank offers one just check online. You could also go to a different bank to set one up, it’s completely up to you! It’s super easy to apply and can be done online, at your local branch or over the phone.
As an alternative to Help to Buy ISA’s you could get a LISA which is a Lifetime ISA. There is no rush to get this and it’s similar to a Help to Buy ISA, therefore if you don’t feel quite ready to apply for a Help to Buy ISA, this could work for you in the future. To find out more on LISA’s follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/lifetime-isa Alternatively, stay tuned to our blog and we will cover LISA’s in a separate post.
If you would like further information on this, or on setting up a different type of ISA, feel free to get in touch with us here at Which Way Financial Solutions. Call us on 01664 898 261 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!