Several banks and building societies have already committed to offer the Help to Buy ISA
Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander, and Virgin Money will be offering Help to Buy ISAs from 1 December.You will be able to put away up to £200 a month in the Help to Buy ISA that the government will then top up by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000.In the first month you’re also able to put away £1,200 – that’s an extra £1,000 on top of the monthly maximum of £200.

Minimum age is 16 and you need to be a first-time buyer-basically you have never owned or own a residential property- or if you are thinking about buying, it is a good idea to start early.

It can be used for any property costing under £250,000 or £450,000 in London and any mortgage. It can be used for New Build, Shared Ownership and you do not have to apply for a mortgage via a Help to Buy Scheme. Buy to Let properties are not eligible

You can only open one Help to Buy ISA
You are only allowed one Help to Buy ISA from one provider, but you can continue to contribute to it every year.Similar to ISA’s you can transfer between providers to try to obtain a better rate as the market changes and you will retain the Tax Free Status

You can put up to £200 away in your Help to Buy ISA per calendar month
So, if you open your account on the 8 January with £1,200, you then won’t be able to make a second deposit of up to £200 until the 1 February.You can make as many deposits as you want during the month as long as it doesn’t equal more than £200. You can also take money out of your account if you need it, but your monthly allowance for deposits won’t change.

Your bonus has to be put towards your deposit for a home
You can only claim your bonus when you are buying a home – and the money has to go towards the deposit, so you can’t use it to pay your solicitor’s, estate agent’s fees or any other costs associated with buying a home.

The interest you earn on the money in your account will count towards your government bonus
Your government bonus will be calculated based on the amount of money you have in your account when you close it. This includes both the money you have put away, and any interest you have earned on that money. You can have more than £12,000 in your account, but, you won’t receive a government bonus of more than £3,000.

You cannot have a Cash ISA & a Help to Buy ISA
The rules state you cannot open a Cash ISA and a Help to Buy ISA at the same time in the same tax year. You can though open a Help to Buy ISA, even if you have Cash ISA’s from previous years.

Some providers have devised a split product to allow both ISA’s to be held in the same wrapper, Aldermore & Nationwide are two of these and it’s important to remember your ISA allowance will still be £15240.

When you are ready to purchase your first home your solicitor or conveyancer will apply for your bonus
When you find your home, your mortgage provider will ask you to hire a solicitor or conveyancer. They handle all of the legal aspects of buying your home.

When you are close to finishing your home purchase, you will need to ask your bank or building society to close your Help to Buy: ISA. Don’t just withdraw all of your money – let your bank or building society know that you are closing your account and they will give you a closing letter. You will need to take this letter to your solicitor or conveyancer so that they can apply for your government bonus.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will then apply online for your government bonus to be transferred to them at a date of their choice.

You need to apply for your bonus within 12 months of closing your account
You shouldn’t close your Help to Buy: ISA unless you’re in the process of buying a home – but if your home purchase doesn’t go through after your solicitor or conveyancer has received your government bonus, you can re-open a Help to Buy: ISA.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will give you a document (called a purchase failure notification) confirming your home purchase did not complete. If you take this to a bank or building society, they will open an account for you. At this point, you will be able to deposit your money as a lump sum. So, if you closed your Help to Buy: ISA with £12,000 in it, you will be able to re-deposit £12,000.

You can take the money out whenever you want even if you’re not buying a property
If you decide not to buy your first home you won’t lose your the money. You can take money out of a Help to Buy ISA whenever you want, though you will not qualify for the bonus, but will still receive the interest earned tax free