piggyIf you are looking to save for your first home, there is a government scheme currently available to help you save for your deposit and another one has been announced that will come into effect in 2017. Both the schemes are ISA’s and if you are looking to save, we have all the details so that you can decide which is best for you.

The Help to Buy ISA was launched in December 2015, to encourage buyers to save for that all important first deposit. The main benefit of this scheme is the incentive of a 25% bonus from the Government to boost savings.

From April 2017, you will also be able to save into a Lifetime ISA (LISA) that is aimed at helping you save a deposit for your first home and/or to save for retirement; again with a 25% bonus provided by the Government.

Due to the introduction of these schemes, it is the perfect time to start thinking about buying your first home, here is some information to take into account when considering these ISA’s.

Age

Help to Buy ISA: Anyone aged 16 and over can open a Help to Buy ISA, providing they fit the eligibility criteria and will be able to contribute to it until 2029.

Lifetime ISAs are available to anyone between the ages of 18 and 39. Those whose birthday falls on or before 6th April 2017 will miss out.

Contributions

Help to Buy ISA: Following an initial deposit of £1,000, up to £200 a month can be contributed to the Help to Buy ISA, up to a maximum of £12,000.

Lifetime ISA: Up to £4,000 can be saved each year in the LISA, with no monthly cap, until the saver turns 50. Over a lifetime this could result in £128,000 saved.

Government bonus

Help to Buy ISA: The maximum Government bonus available from a Help to Buy ISA is £3,000, providing the account owner has saved the full £12,000 limit.

The Lifetime ISA is rewarded with a maximum bonus of £1,000 per year based on £4,000 being saved and is paid yearly from the age of 18 until the saver turns 50, meaning a maximum of £32,000.

In both cases, the bonus is calculated per person and not per house, so two people buying together can benefit from two Government bonuses.

Length of contribution

Help to Buy ISA: Accounts can be opened until 30th November 2019 and contributed to until 2029, until the balance reaches £12,000 including interest.

Lifetime ISA: Savers can open the account between the ages of 18 and 39, but the bonus will only be paid on contributions until they turn 50.

Withdrawal

Help to Buy ISA: Money can be withdrawn from the HTB ISA at any time, but cannot be replaced in the same month – maximum monthly contributions still apply. There is no fee for withdrawal, but the bonus will be lost on the amount. When using the savings for a home, a solicitor will apply for the bonus on the applicant’s behalf.

Lifetime ISA: An initial 12 month holding period will apply before account holders can withdraw money that includes the Government bonus for a first home or retirement. When using the money for a home purchase, withdrawal must be paid to the conveyancer. Any withdrawals not for either purpose will lose the government bonus, including interest and a 5% charge will apply.

Property value

Help to Buy ISA: Homes can be bought up to the value of £250,000, or £450,000 in London.

Lifetime ISA: Using the Lifetime ISA, homes can be bought up to a maximum of £450,000.

 

For further information on these scheme, please click the links below.

Help to Buy ISA

Lifetime ISA