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Help to Buy schemes are an initiative introduced by the government to support first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

There are a number of different schemes and once you find the one to suit your circumstances, our residential conveyancing team have lots of experience dealing with them and making sure you get the most out of your chosen scheme.

Some of the current available schemes are set out below:

Help to Buy: ISA

Although it is no longer possible to open a Help to Buy ISA account, those who have an existing account can still claim the bonus offered to first time buyers. The use of the bonus is limited to properties of up to £250,000.00 (or up to £450,000.00 in London) and must be used towards a property that you intent to live in and not an investment property.

Lifetime ISA

These individual savings accounts have replaced the Help to Buy ISA’s and allow for £4,000.00 to be saved each year up until the age of 50 (so long as you made your first payment before the age of 40). The funds saved can be withdrawn to purchase a first home or be accessed once over the age of 60.

What criteria must you hit to use the Lifetime ISA towards your purchase?

  • The property must be no more than £450,000.00
  • You must have opened the ISA 12 months prior to completion of the purchase.
  • You must be purchasing a mortgage.

It is possible to transfer the funds from an existing Help to Buy ISA into a Lifetime ISA.

Help to Buy: Shared Ownership

This scheme offers you the chance to buy a share of your home, usually between 25% and 75% of its open market value, and pay rent on the remaining share to the housing provider. There may also be the opportunity to increase your equity in the property over time until you own 100% of the equity, however, this is not always a possibility and the shares available to purchase may be capped.

More information about general shared ownership schemes can be found here.


To find out more about how Mincoffs can advise you regarding your Help to Buy scheme, please get in touch with one of our residential conveyancing team by calling 0191 281 6151 to speak to a member of the team.

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