On the 1st of December 2015, the Help to Buy ISA savings account was launched. Since then, at least 140,000 people have opened one. This is great news for first-time buyers, who can now earn up to 4% tax-free interest on their savings. On top of this, the Government will pay a 25% bonus when you buy your first home; an offer worth considering.

The Help to Buy ISA is simple to open as it’s the same process of opening a normal cash ISA account. Anyone 16 and over can open an account; reasonable enough, and the deal only applies to first-time buyers, which means anyone who hasn’t previously owned a home or owned any land in the UK or abroad. If you are a couple you can both open an account and you will be treated individually, meaning you can save twice as much and double your bonus when buying a house together.

For those of you thinking H2B ISA isn’t worth bothering with as house prices mean that you will simply never get on the housing ladder, perhaps it’s worth a 2nd look. Ok so the maximum bonus is £3,000 if you can manage to save the full £12,000, which may be short of the minimum deposit you will need to buy a property in the South. But the government are working hard behind the scenes to get the first time buyer market moving. As well as Help to Buy 1 and 2, they are planning to launch their “starter homes” scheme which is an initiative that gives first time buyers 20% off new build properties, later in the year.

There is also talk of more of my personal favourite – Shared Ownership schemes! So if you open a H2B ISA now, by the time you are ready to move, who knows a combination of any of the above may mean you are on your way to your first home.

(Parents thinking their kids will never leave home – take note!)

For more information contact us on 01628 507477 to speak to a mortgage advisor.

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