The Help to Buy ISA Scheme was designed to help first time buyers fund a deposit to buy their first home.
The buying process can be quite daunting especially for first time buyers not only embarking on a journey to buy your first home but also taking into consideration the Help to Buy Scheme, the timescales involved together with set rules and procedures that Conveyancing Solicitors must follow.
Do You Qualify?
There are qualifying requirements for the Help to Buy ISA Scheme which you must comply with before being able to join, these are:
- You must be a first time buyer and never owned or had an interest in a property before
- You must be aged over 16
- The property must be less than £250,000 (£450,000 in London)
- The property must be used as your primary residence. The government appreciates your circumstances may change in the future and you may need to rent the property, for example if you job changes. You will not receive the bonus element if your initial intention is to rent out the property
- The property must be purchased with a mortgage
How Can I Use the Bonus?
The government bonus is paid once it is certain the transaction will proceed. It is usually claimed after exchange of contracts and before completion.
What Do I Need to Know?
- Your Conveyancing Solicitor has 12 months from the closing of the ISA account to claim the bonus payment on your behalf
- The bonus payment request must be submitted before completion of the property. Your Conveyancing Solicitor will request the payment on your behalf
- It can take up to 5 business days for the bonus application request to be processed and funds transferred
- The bonus will be 25% of the closing balance of your Help to Buy ISA, this includes the amount saved and any interest
- The minimum bonus is £400 up to £3000 depending on the closing balance and interest
What Information Do I Need to Provide?
The house buying process will be followed as any standard house purchase regardless of the Help to Buy element. Speak to your Conveyancing Solicitor at the beginning of the matter and confirm you will be relying on the Help to Buy Scheme. Your Conveyancing Solicitor will discuss the process with you and regularly update you on progress.
Once you are in a position to proceced and your Conveyancing Solicitor has confirmed the property is ‘good and marketable’ you can make a decision to close your Help to Buy ISA.
Your Conveyancing Solicitor will confirm your eligibility and submit the following information in order to release the bonus payment:
- Your Help to Buy ISA closing statement confirming the amount and account number
- First-time buyer declaration which you will need to sign confirming you do not own a property and have never had an interest in a residential property
- Details of the property you are buying
The information will be checked and if everything is in order the funds will be released to your Conveyancing Solicitor’s client bank account in readiness for completion.
Understand the Deadlines
If you intend to save money with a Help to Buy ISA you must open an account before the 30th of November 2019. You can save money in the ISA until the 30th of November 2029. The bonus must be claimed before the 1st of December 2020.
How Do I Choose a Conveyancing Solicitor?
When deciding on a Conveyancing Solicitor there are various matters to consider. When a Help to Buy ISA is involved you must also ensure your Conveyancing Solicitor is registered with the Help to Buy Scheme, this will avoid any unnecessary delays later in the transaction.
Bear in mind there are tight timescales in relation to drawdown of the bonus element, ask your Conveyancing Solicitor if they are registered with the Help to Buy Scheme.
At Simpson Millar we are proud to be registered with the Help to Buy Scheme. We have helped and supported many first time buyers get their government bonus and move into their new home. We would be delighted to act on your behalf to ensure a smooth transition to owning your own home.
Why Choose Simpson Millar?
Our expert team of Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors are on hand to make the purchase process as quick and pain-free as possible. We are Conveyancing experts and will advise you through each stage of the transaction.
We will discuss the process and timescales involved to enable you to make an informed decision of when to close your ISA account. We will support you through the process and confirm when the ISA bonus has been received prior to completion to enable the transaction to proceed.
Our Conveyancing fees are competitive and transparent. We are ’Open Lawyers’ we understand how important it is to budget when considering buying your first home.
Unlike other Conveyancers and Solicitors we do not have a menu of additional fees to add to the headline quoted fee. If, due to unforeseen circumstances additional work is required we will advise you of what is required and any additional fee that may be incurred.
If there is no additional work, the Conveyancing quote you receive is the Conveyancing fee you pay.
Excellent service from beginning to end of setting up the buying of our house. Always responsive, put you at ease and professional. Jamuna from the Kingston brunch was fantastic. She went out of her way to help us, especially when we hit a sag and decided to pull out of an offer. She helped us with our new offer and we exchanged really quickly. Couldn’t recommend them enough! Holly.
Fast, efficient and smooth conveyancing service all the way through. We were kept up to date during the entire process and were able to get answers to questions as we needed them. Mandeep.
Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Kingston-upon-Thames, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Morecambe and Southport.