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Have You Considered A Lifetime ISA?

A Lifetime ISA is a scheme which assists you to buy your first home, providing all the following apply:

  • You are a first-time buyer,
  • The property is £450,000 or less,
  • You purchase the property at least 12 months after you open the Lifetime ISA,
  • You use a conveyancer or solicitor to act for you in the purchase – the ISA provider will pay the funds directly to them,
  • You are buying with a mortgage.

A Help to Buy ISA differs to the Lifetime ISA for the following reasons:

  • You can use a Lifetime ISA to buy a property worth £450,000 or less anywhere in the country, whereas a Help To Buy ISA can be used to purchase a property worth £250,000 or less outside of London, or a property worth £450,000 or less inside London.
  • You can only use your Lifetime ISA once you have accumulated £1600 within it.
  • A Help to Buy ISA cannot be used as a deposit.
  • Your Lifetime ISA must have been open for at least 12 months before you purchase the property.

You cannot use a Help to Buy ISA and a Lifetime ISA together.

The Conveyancing Process

You must notify the Lifetime ISA provider that you wish to close the account. A conveyancer will then make a declaration on your behalf to the Lifetime ISA provider to confirm that you are a first-time buyer to obtain funds.

In relation to requesting the Lifetime ISA funds, the following has been quoted by Skipton Building Society:

“Once we receive the appropriate paperwork from your conveyancer and you’ve confirmed the request to us, we’ll pay the amount requested to the conveyancer within 30 days without applying the government withdrawal charge”.

We would recommend you check with your Lifetime ISA Provider in relation to the length of time it would take them to release the funds, as this could delay completion. We would recommend you speak to your conveyancer in relation to these funds being released, as this will have to correlate with the completion date of your purchase.

If you have any further questions or would like to get the purchase process started with us, please call 01603 620508 to speak with a member of the team.

This article was produced on the 23rd April 2018 by our Residential Property team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.