If you’re looking to open a Help to Buy ISA, Enable’s IFAs in Bishop’s Stortford suggest not to wait until right up to the deadline. If you are looking to buy property a Help to Buy ISA is a type of tax-free savings account, but its key benefit is that the government add 25% on top of what you save (up to £3,000) when you buy your first home with the money you’ve saved.
There are a few rules; you have to be 16 or over to be able to open one. You can only use your Help to Buy ISA to buy a home worth a maximum of £250,000, or £450,000 if you are in London. You can’t own or have ever owned an interest in a residential property, either inside or outside the UK, whether it was bought or inherited. You need to have at least £1,600 saved to get the bonus (so you’d get £400 extra). The maximum amount you’ll get the bonus on is £12,000 (so a £3,000 bonus). If you have more than that, you can still use the ISA to save, you just won’t get more than £3,000 on top.
If you are looking to open a Help to Buy ISA and were thinking of doing it with Santander it has been in the news recently that they will only be open until Thursday 28 November which is two days before the official deadline. The official deadline for getting a Help to Buy ISA is 11.59 pm on Saturday 30 November – it’s a Government scheme, so banks can’t open them for customers after this. Once opened, you can keep saving in it until 2029. Barclays, Nationwide and NatWest, who also offer Help to Buy ISAs say they don’t plan to close applications until the official Saturday 30 November deadline.
Enable’s IFAs know that Help to Buy ISAs can be a decent savings account option if you’re a first-time buyer saving for a deposit, as you can get 25% on top of what you save for free, so make sure you don’t miss out.