House prices too high in the South East to qualify for Help to Buy bonus
A lot of first time buyers have opened Help to Buy ISA accounts in order to take advantage of the government bonus which boosts your savings by 25%. Simply opening an account and paying into it however does not necessarily mean you qualify for the bonus. In order to qualify you have to live in the UK, be purchasing your first property which you will live in as your home and be buying with a mortgage.
What most buyers don’t seem to realise and what does not seem to be made clear when opening the account is – in order to claim the bonus you must be buying a property for less than £250,000 (or £450,000 in London.)
This limits your choices somewhat in the South East, particularly in Brighton and Hove, with Hove seeing the second highest house price rises in the country according to Zoopla*. Definitely something to bear in mind when looking for properties if you wanted to take advantage of the Help to Buy bonus!
If you do qualify, your solicitor will need to claim the bonus for you as part of the conveyancing process. It is always best to make your solicitor aware early on that you are looking to claim the bonus and they can make sure you qualify.
Please be aware that a solicitor is only allowed to charge a maximum of £50 +VAT for claiming the bonus so if you are quoted more than this you should refer them to the scheme rules. Some of the firms in our partner network are on the panel of approved solicitors for the scheme and will help claim your bonus for you as part of the conveyancing process.
For more information, check out the Help to Buy website.