It’s 2019 already! The excitement of Christmas is fading away but the new year brings with it fresh opportunities for those who want to plan for the future and may be considering purchasing their first home. But saving for a deposit can be a lengthy process and us Brit’s could use all the help we can get.

A decade ago, according to Nationwide, it took the average first-time buyer in the UK less than five years to save a 10% deposit of £14,080. Contrast that with today when it takes on average six and a half years to save a 10% deposit of £18,480. But, there is a way to boost your savings for your first home by up to £3,000 with the Government’s Help to Buy ISA.
Do you qualify for the Help to Buy ISA?

Are you a first-time buyer? Will you be purchasing a house under £250,000 or if you live in London £450,000? Are you aged 16 or over? If so then you qualify for the Help to Buy ISA which you can use with any mortgage – you’re not restricted to a Help to Buy mortgage.

The Help to Buy ISA

If you, or anyone you know, are thinking about purchasing your first home at any point in the near future then you can gain a 25% bonus on your savings with the Government’s Help to Buy ISA. In the month that you open the account you can deposit up to £1,200 to which the bonus will be applied and up to £200 for every month after that. Savers can deposit more than £200 a month should they want to, but the 25% bonus will only be applied against the initial limit.

For every £200 you deposit a month into a Help to Buy ISA the government will add a £50 bonus when you purchase your first home. But it gets even better. If you’re saving for your dream first home with a partner you’re both allowed to use a Help to Buy ISA which means combined you could have an extra whopping £6,000!
If you deposit less than £200 that’s okay, you’ll still earn a 25% bonus on what you have deposited, and if you miss a month altogether that’s okay too, you just won’t earn a bonus and you can carry on as normal the following month.

The minimum government bonus you can claim is £400. You’d need to have saved at least £1,600 into your HTB ISA before you’re able to receive the bonus. To receive the maximum bonus of £3,000 you’d need to have put away £12,000 into your ISA.
You will earn interest on the money held in the ISA as well so it’s important you make sure you get the best deal. So, why not join the 196,000 savers who’ve opened an account and claimed an average of £800 in government bonuses?

There’s only 11 months left to open an account as the scheme closes to new applications on 30 November 2019, although you’ll have all the way until 1 December 2030 to claim the bonus, so you could even put a small amount away each month and take a few years to build up your savings and your bonus. It’s a no brainer for first-time buyers!