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Help to buy – what’s in a name?

By Mathew Jackson

Case Handler

Scott Fowler Solicitors

RECENT years have seen various government-backed savings schemes launched which are primarily aimed at helping first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

The most well known savings scheme is the Help to Buy ISA (HTB ISA) which is due to close on 30 November 2019. After this date they will no longer be available to new savers, but existing account holders will have until 1 December 2030 to claim any bonus payments.

This has caused some concern for potential first-time buyers that are not yet in a position to begin saving but aspire to do so in the not-too-distant future. An alternative solution is however already available.

LISAs, an acronym for Lifetime ISAs, was launched in 2017 and can also be used to provide additional funds towards a purchase by way of a government-backed bonus. For whatever reason, the LISA received much less attention when it was launched resulting in the HTB ISA being much more popular. It is, however, a viable alternative which, in some situations, may actually provide a bigger bonus. While both schemes are available, it is important you take financial advice in relation to which account may better serve your needs as both have different requirements and terms.

Whichever scheme you choose, it is important to draw it to your legal representatives’ attention as soon as possible once you have found the perfect first home. For both accounts, the government bonus is arranged by and paid directly to your representative and they will be able to guide you through the process to ensure your purchase proceeds smoothly with the minimum of fuss.

Buying your first home can be stressful but the Residential Conveyancing Team at Scott Fowler Solicitors are very conscious of this. We offer a friendly and approachable service and are happy to discuss any concerns or queries you may have throughout the transaction to ensure your purchase is hassle free. If you are considering making the first step onto the housing ladder contact our Residential Conveyancing Team on 01604 750506.

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