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Help to Buy ISA closes – What should I do now?
Scheme that helped first time buyers closed
After four years the Help to Buy ISA scheme closed at midnight on 30th November 2019.
The scheme has so far helped first time buyers purchase 256,000.00 homes worth a total of £44bn. All bonuses to date add up to approximately £320m with the average amount handed out being £943.00.
Rest assured that if you have an existing Help to Buy ISA you can continue to save up to £200.00 a month up until the scheme closes in December 2030.
However, if you have unfortunately missed the Help to Buy deadline there are other options available.
1. Lifetime ISA
A lifetime ISA is another Government Scheme whereby you can invest up to £4,000.00 tax free each year up until you reach the age of 50. The Government pays an additional 25% to your savings which can be up to a maximum of £1,000.00 annually.
To qualify you must be 18 or over but under 40.
In comparison with the Help to Buy ISA a Lifetime Isa allows you to save up to £1,600.00 more each year given that the maximum you could invest in a Help to Buy ISA was £2,400.00.
However, you must be wary of the drawbacks to the Lifetime ISA as there are certain circumstances as to when you can withdraw. Such circumstances are:
· when you are buying your first house,
· if you are over the age of 60; or
· if you are terminally ill, with less than 12 months to live.
If you withdraw from your Lifetime ISA and you do not fall under any of the above categories then you will be faced with a 25% charge.
This charge is a means to recover the Government bonus and applies an extra charge to your original savings.
2. Savings account and investments
An alternative to a Lifetime ISA would be to save for a deposit for a property in a normal savings account.
However, interest rates for instant access accounts would have to considered for the best deal.
Lastly, you could consider investing money in stocks and shares but there is of course risk involved given that there is no guarantee when you invest in the stock market and your money could go up as well as down in value.
Please be aware that in relation to any financial products, it is always recommended that you seek independent financial advice to best determine your options.
However, if you require further information in relation to the conveyancing procedure from a fully qualified conveyancer then please contact us now.
Please also contact us if you are in a positon to proceed to purchasing and we shall provide you with clear and transparent information on our costs and a free quote can be obtained by clicking on the following link - FREE QUOTATION FROM ONE OF OUR LOCAL CONVEYANCERS.