Help to Buy ISA
Help to Buy ISAs launch in December 2015, and can offer real help for first time buyers looking to purchase their dream home. Just like a normal cash ISA, you’ll be able to save money tax-free – but, unlike a regular ISA, the government will also give you a bonus on your savings.
What is the Help to Buy ISA?
The Help to Buy ISA is an initiative from the government, which allows first time home buyers to save up money for a deposit on their first home, without paying any tax.
With this ISA, you can save up to £200 every month, and the government will give you a 25% bonus on your savings – so, if you save the maximum amount, you’ll get an extra £50 each time. And what’s more, when you first open the ISA, you can deposit a lump sum of £1,000 – which will also be eligible for the 25% bonus.
The bonus contribution from the government will be capped at £3,000 when you reach £12,000 in savings, giving you a grand total of £15,000. You’ll receive your bonus – through your solicitor - when you’re ready to buy your brand new home – a great way to make your savings go further and help you get on the property ladder.
Can I get this homebuyer’s ISA?
To be eligible for the ISA, you must:
- Be a first time buyer
- Over 16 years old
- Use it to buy a home under £250,000 (£450,000 in London)
Every first time buyer is eligible to open up an ISA, so if you’re buying a home with a partner or friend, you can each open one, meaning you’ll receive double the bonus. And if you’re buying with someone who isn’t a first time buyer, you’ll still be eligible to open the ISA.
There are some restrictions on the ISA, however. For example, unfortunately, you can’t contribute to a Help to Buy ISA if you’ve already opened a new cash ISA this year – so you may have to wait until next year to reap the benefits of the government bonus. Full details and restrictions on the Help to Buy ISA can be found on the government’s Help to Buy ISA page.
You also can’t:
- Use the Help to Buy ISA if you’re planning to rent out the property
- Use it to purchase an overseas property
- Use one if you have inherited property
- Take advantage of the ISA if you’ve previously owned a property