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First time buyer FAQs

How does the Help to Buy ISA work?

If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the Government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.

What is the maximum Help to Buy ISA purchase price?

The maximum Help to Buy ISA purchase price is £250,000.

How much do I need to save to claim my government bonus?

You need to save at least £1,600 to receive the minimum government bonus of £400. If you close your account without saving that amount you will not receive a bonus. If your Help to Buy: ISA has a balance of £1,600 or more, you can apply for your bonus at any time.

What is the maximum deposit per month for the Help to Buy ISA?

The maximum amount you can save every month is £200. In the first month you can save an additional £1,000.

Can you use the Help to Buy ISA with the Help to Buy Equity Loan?

Yes. You can use your Help to Buy: ISA with other Government schemes, like the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme (subject to meeting the eligibility requirements of the other scheme/s you wish to participate in).

Can I withdraw money from my Help to Buy: ISA?

Yes. You can withdraw money from your Help to Buy: ISA account at any time. But you can’t put all the money you’ve withdrawn straight back into the account – you’re still only able to save up to £200 in every month. For example, if you deposit £200 and then withdraw £50 in the same month, you will have to wait until the next calendar month to make another deposit.

If you plan to withdraw all your money in your Help to Buy: ISA for your home purchase, you will need to let your ISA manager know. Your ISA manager will then close your account and provide you with a closing statement. Don’t just withdraw all of your money as you will not receive the closing statement and you won’t be able to claim your bonus. There are exceptions if you withdraw your money in order to purchase a home and the sale falls through.

Are shared ownership properties eligible for a government bonus?

Yes, if all the other scheme eligibility criteria are met.

Can I use a Help to Buy: ISA bonus to buy land to build my first property on?

Assuming that you meet all the other eligibility criteria, you will be able to use the government bonus towards the purchase of the land for a self-build property which is the only home you will own, be where you intend to live and be purchased with a mortgage. The land must be in the UK, have a price of £250,000 or less (with a higher price limit of £450,000 in London).

Do you have to use an approved Help to Buy broker to apply for a Shared Ownership or Equity Loan mortgage?

No, but due to the complexity of both Shared Ownership and Equity Loan applications we recommend you use a Help to Buy approved broker like IMS.

Can you buy a property through Shared Ownership or Help to Buy with the intentions of letting the property out?

No, you cannot buy a property through Shared Ownership or Help to Buy with the intentions of letting the property out.

Do you have to be a first time buyer to qualify for Help to Buy ISA?

Yes, to qualify for a Help to Buy: ISA you must be a first time buyer over the age of 16.

Is the Help to Buy Equity Loan available on all properties?

Unfortunately the Help to Buy Equity Loan is only available on new build properties.

For full details on Help to Buy Equity Loan click here
For full details on Help to Buy ISA click here
For full details on Help to Buy Shared Ownership click here

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