A Guide to Help to Buy: ISA.

Many hopeful homeowners have opted to open a Help to Buy: ISA. This government scheme aims to financially support first time buyers by topping up their savings. If you’ve got a Help to Buy: ISA, you might have a few questions about how it works and what happens when you want to use it. That’s why our mortgage experts have created this helpful guide to make things a little bit clearer.

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Is Help to Buy: ISA still available?

Unfortunately, this scheme is now closed for new applications. The information provided here is largely intended for those who already have a Help to Buy: ISA with a bank, building society, or credit union. Those who do have an account have until November 2029 to pay money into the ISA, and until November 2030 to apply for the 25% bonus. 

How does a Help to Buy: ISA work?

Using the Help to Buy: ISA scheme is like any kind of saving. You pay up to £200 worth of surplus income you have into the Help to Buy: ISA, up to a limit of £12,000. You can withdraw money at any time, and cash it in if you need the money for something else, though of course this will reduce your closing balance and the bonus you receive.  

When you come to purchase your property, your conveyancer will apply to the government for a 25% top up of these savings up to a maximum of £3,000. You must at least save a minimum of £1,600 yourself to qualify for any bonus. 

Is Help to Buy: ISA only for new builds?

Future homeowners enrolled in this scheme aren’t limited to purchasing new build homes unlike with Help to Buy: Equity Loan. However, there are several restrictions to bear in mind. 

  • The property must be the first home you will own. 
  • You must intend to live in it. 
  • The purchase price cannot exceed £250,000 (or £450,000 in London).
  • The property must be mortgaged. 

Can I use a Help to Buy: ISA with someone else?

Yes, if you are in a couple and are looking to buy your first home together, you can both use the Help to Buy: ISA bonus. That means you could collectively earn an extra £6,000 on your savings. If the other person has already owned a home, you can still utilise your bonus as a first time buyer on your portion of the deposit.  

Using Help to Buy: ISA to by your house.

Once you think you have enough saved to purchase your home, you will need to apply for a mortgage. Working with a trusted mortgage advisor like When the Bank Says No is a great way to make sure you get a deal that suits your circumstances, and improve your chances of approval.  

Mortgage deal in hand, you can make an offer on your property and once accepted instruct your chosen conveyancing solicitor. Along with the conveyancing process itself, they will be responsible for applying for your government bonus. These additional funds can then be combined with the funds used to complete the property transaction. Note, the government bonus cannot be used for any of the following. 

  • The deposit due at exchange of contracts. 
  • Solicitor fees. 
  • Estate agency fees. 
  • Indirect costs of buying a home. 

Finding your Help to Buy: ISA mortgage.

If you’re struggling to find a mortgage to buy your home through Help to Buy, our specialist advisors can help. We’re passionate about supporting first time buyers, and have an excellent track record of finding appropriate mortgage deals for those enrolled in affordable housing schemes. Contact us today to start the process! 

Emma Jones

Emma began her career in Lloyds Banking Group, first in the unsecured loans department at HSBC and later as a mortgage advisor at Lloyds. During 9 years in these roles and a further 2 years at Yorkshire Building Society, Emma was able to observe the impact of the recession, and how the the banks let their customers down by denying loans and mortgages.

Wanting to be a driving force for change, she stepped into a market advice role where she has been able to help clients when others couldn’t. Identifying a gap in the mortgage space, Emma went on to establish When the Bank Says No. As a keen property investor, she has been the focus of features in publications including The Sunday Times and This is Money.

Emma’s greatest joy is overcoming the low expectations of their customers, many of whom have all but given up on getting a mortgage due. Emma and her team’s passion for helping people overcome the challenges they may face when applying for a mortgage have fuelled the success of When the Bank Says No.

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