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At Charles French and Co, we realise that buying a house can be stressful for anyone, not least for First Time Buyers and that it is not just about finding that perfect home but, financing it and choosing the best of many schemes that may be available to you.

The latest of these schemes that the government has introduced is the “Help to Buy: ISA” specifically for first time buyers.    The scheme has been available since 1st December 2015 and runs to the 30th November 2019. This ISA is available through a range of banks and building societies.  You can start saving from the age of 16.

To own a property in the UK you must be aged 18 years or over.

The basic criteria to be eligible for this scheme are that you must be:

– a first time buyer, which means that you will not have ever owned a home anywhere in the UK or the world. In applying for the scheme, you will be required to sign a First Time Buyer Declaration.

– a UK resident with a National Insurance Number;

– You must live in the property, there are some exceptions to this;

– it cannot be a second home or a buy to let;

– you must require a mortgage to buy;

– the maximum purchase price is £250,000 with the exception of some London Boroughs where the maximum is £450,000.

There is a limit on the amount you can save. In the first month, it is a maximum of £1,200. Thereafter you can pay a maximum of £200 per month. The government put in a contribution of 25%, so for every £200 you receive a government bonus of £50.00. The maximum you can save is £12,000, which gives a maximum government contribution of £3,000. The bonus is available for home purchases up to £450,000 in London and up to £250,000 outside London.

If there are two of you, who are both first time buyers, then you are both separately entitled to enter into this scheme, therefore you can double up on your savings and the bonus you receive.

Further details can be found at

You can choose whatever mortgage suits you and you should obtain independent financial advice in relation to this.

In dealing with your house purchase and nearing completion, you will need to let your ISA provider know that you wish to close your account and they will provide you with a closing letter.   You will need to pass this closing letter to your solicitor, so that we can apply for the bonus on your behalf.  The most that any solicitors can charge you for the work in connection with your Help to Buy: ISA is £50 plus VAT.

Solicitors are required to be registered on the panel to undertake this work. Charles French & Co are pleased to already be registered conveyancers for the purpose of this scheme.

If you wish to discuss this with a member of our team please contact us!


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