First Time Buyers - All you need is £1 to get started with a Help to Buy ISA

The Government (and more to the point super saver supremo Martin Lewis) are urging all first time buyers, to open a Help to Buy ISA NOW, even if you’re not thinking of buying your first home yet. Help to Buy ISAs are being dropped from 30th November 2019.

All you need is £1 to get started.

If you are saving, or thinking about saving to buy your first home, get a Help to Buy: ISA  as soon as possible. For every £200 you save you’ll receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000. That’s £3,000 of free money towards your first home!

I have spent hours on the internet searching for helpful tips and information on Help-to-Buy ISAS, and the most helpful site I found was the Government website. There’s a really good Q&A section which covers everything you’ll need to know https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/.

I’ve summarised a few key points from the website here:

How do I open a Help to Buy:ISA?

You can open an account with any bank, building society or credit union that offers a Help to Buy: ISA account.

Do I have to save £200 every month?

No. You don’t have to save money every month. The amount you save into the account every month is up to you – as long as you don’t go over £200.

However, you can’t roll over your allowance, if you don’t save any money during January and February, this doesn’t mean you’re allowed to save £600 during March.

How long will Help to Buy: ISAs be available for?

You’ll be able to open a Help to Buy: ISA until 30 November 2019. After that date they won’t be available to new savers anymore – but if you opened your Help to Buy: ISA before then you can keep saving into your account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions.

Is there a limit on how much I can save in a Help to Buy: ISA?

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

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 But you can’t put all the money you’ve withdrawn straight back into the account – you’re still only able to save up to £200 in every month.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.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you need any further advice we have links with a number of trusted independent financial advisors in the area. For more first time buyer advice see this blog post: https://wishartestateagents.co.uk/blog/first-time-buyer-advice-from-wishart-estate-agents/18670

Mums & Dads reading this, let your kids know. You can’t open an ISA for them, they must do it themselves. £3,000 off their first home might save you a few quid if you’re planning on helping them out!