As house prices continue to rise, so the dream of owning your own home seems to slip further and further out of your reach. But don’t despair! You can still make that dream become a reality. One of the ways you can do this is by making use of the government’s Help To Buy ISA scheme, which, in my opinion, really is a no brainer.
So, what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that with a Help To Buy ISA, the government GIVES you a whopping 25% BONUS on top of what you save!! Here’s how it works:
- It is open to all first time buyers who are saving for a deposit on their first home.
- You need to be aged 16 and over and resident in the UK.
- You can save up to £1,200 in the first month and up to £200 every month after that. These are the maximum amounts you can save. You can also save a lot less, skip months, etc., it all depends on you.
- You only need to save £1,600 in total in order to qualify for the bonus, i.e. £1,600 is the minimum.
- The maximum you can claim a bonus on is £12,000.
- The government adds a bonus of 25% of whatever you have saved by the time you buy your first house, tax free. This means that if you have saved the minimum of £1,600, they government will add £400 giving you a total of £2,000. And if you have saved the maximum of £12,000, the government will give you £3,000 giving you a total of £15,000.
- Unlike other schemes, this scheme is not limited to new builds.
- If you are buying a home together with a friend, partner, family member, etc. they too would be eligible for a Help To Buy ISA on the same property as long as they are also first time buyers. This means if you both saved the maximum of £12,000, you would each get the £3,000 bonus.
- The scheme is set to continue until 2030 so there is plenty of time to open your Help to Buy ISA and get saving.
- You can use it to buy a property worth up to £250,000 outside of London or a property in London worth up to £450,000.
- When you are close to buying your own home, simply instruct your solicitor or conveyancer to apply for your government bonus on your behalf.
- The one catch is that the bonus can only be used towards the actual deposit on a property, not for any of the other costs associated with buying a home. It’s still worth it though.
- Interest rates on Help To Buy ISA’s are up to 2.27% pa at the time of writing this money tip.
- For more information or to calculate how much you can expect to receive, see the government website here.