If nothing about Stamp Duty seems to make sense, we’ve explained everything you need to know. Find out what Stamp Duty is, if you’ll have to pay it, and how much you might have to pay.
The Help to Buy ISA has now closed to new applications, but if you already have an account, don’t worry. You can keep saving into it until 30th November 2029, but you must claim your bonus before 1st December 2030.
We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Help to Buy ISA, right here. But if we don’t cover something that’s on your mind, please get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Q. Who can open up a Help to Buy ISA account?
A. As long as you’ve never owned a home before, and you're over the age of 16, you can open a Help to Buy ISA account.
Q. Can I open an account with someone else?
A. In short, no. The scheme is only available to individuals but if you’re buying a house with a partner, and your partner is a first time buyer over the age is 16, they can also open up an account. This means you can each claim the bonus and join this money together to purchase your house.
Q. If I previously had an account that I closed down, can I open a new one?
A. If you closed it down without claiming the bonus then yes, you can open a new one but you’ll have to wait for the following tax year.
Q. How do I open an account up?
A. You can go into any bank or building society who offer the scheme and open it up with them.
Q. Can I use my Help to Buy ISA in conjunction with other schemes?
A. Yes, you can combine this account with other Government schemes as long as you meet the requirements of both schemes.
Q. Am I restricted to buying a certain type of house, i.e. a new build?
A. You aren’t restricted to a certain type of house. As long as you’re buying a house in the UK and the property is £250,000 or less (or £450,000 if you’re buying in London).
Q. How long is the scheme open for?
A. The Help to Buy ISA will be available until 30th November 2019. This means if you opened your account before this date, then you can carry on using it, but you cannot open any new accounts on or after this date.
Q. Is there a maximum amount on how much I can save in my Help to Buy ISA?
A. The maximum amount you can save every month is £200 but in the first month of opening up the account you can save an extra £1,000.
Q. Do I have to make one payment a month into the account?
A. No you can make as many payments in one month as you like, as long as you don’t exceed the £200 maximum amount you can save in one month.
Q. Can I withdraw the money from the account?
A. Yes, you can withdraw the money from your Help to Buy ISA account at any point, however you can’t pay this money back in as one lump sum. As stipulated in the terms and conditions, you can only pay £200 in a month.
Q. How much do I need to save in order to claim the bonus?
A. You need to save at least £1,600 as a minimum to receive the bonus of £400.
Q. When will I get the government bonus?
A. Once you have found your house and the offer has been accepted, the transaction of the bonus can go ahead. The bonus will not go into your bank account, your solicitor will instead apply for it and the money will be used as your deposit and will be sent over to the seller along with any other money you have to use towards your deposit.
Q. What happens if I’ve already drawn out my bonus but the house sale falls through?
A. Your solicitor will be able to give you a document to fill out in order to reopen your Help to Buy ISA. This document is called a Purchase Failure Notification, and if you take this into the bank or building society that you set the account up with, then they can reopen it for you.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances.
The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.