/Martin Lewis issues last minute £1 warning to thousands of first time buyers – Mirror Online

Martin Lewis issues last minute £1 warning to thousands of first time buyers – Mirror Online


Consumer expert Martin Lewis made his way back on our television screens on Monday night with the return of his ITV Money Show.

The MoneySavingExpert founder issued a warning to first time buyers (and anyone over 16) with the clock ticking to unlock a Government bonus for those hoping to get on the ladder.

“This is an urgent warning for savers and time buyers – miss this and you could be missing out on thousands of pounds worth of free cash,” he explained on the Martin Lewis Money show.

“The Help to Buy ISA was launched four years ago to help first time buyers hoping to buy a property. It’s been a hot topic on our roadshow ever since,” he said.

One woman then revealed she’s on her way to buying her first home, after getting a huge boost on her £10,000 in savings since opening an account with her partner in 2015.

But there are two accounts you need to know about Lewis explained.

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Martin Lewis opened up about losing his mother

“Two years ago the Lifetime ISA launched – intended to replace the Help to Buy ISA. There are pros and cons of both.

“But time is at the essence and the clock is ticking on one,” he explained at a roadshow in Somerset.

“The big perk of the Help to Buy ISA is that the Government will give you 25% on top for a mortgage deposit if you’re going to buy a house in the near future. This is the most important thing you need to know. On the 30th November, the Help to Buy ISA closes to new applicants. You will no longer be able to get one.”

One mum said she’s desperate to help her 19-year-old daughter on the money roadshow.



It can give you the boost you need to get on the ladder – worth up to £3,000

“My daughter has £15,000, she’s doing amazing in savings, but we want to put it in the right place. She wants to buy a house one day, but she’s still studying right now,” she said.

Martin suggested opening a Help to Buy ISA before Saturday to maximise her options.

“There’s an imminent change coming up. Open an account and the Government will put 25% on top as a bonus – £1,000 equals £250 in savings,” he said.

“On November 30, the Help to Buy ISA closes to people who haven’t got one. If your daughter opens one before then, the facility will remain open for the next decade.

“The best bit is if you don’t buy a house, you don’t lose anything.

“You only need £1”

One customer then asked: “if my son changes his mind, will he get his money back?”

“Yes – he won’t lose a thing,” Lewis added.

But what is a first time buyer?

It’s for first time buyers only. If you’ve owned or part-owned a property anywhere in the world before, you won’t qualify.

The minimum age is 16 for a Help to Buy ISA account – or 18 for the Lifetime ISA.

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LISA OR Help to Buy?

Help to buy is good for those hoping to buy a home worth £250,000 (or £450,000 in London). You can buy within three months of opening one, and there are no penalties. But, your solicitor will have to apply for the bonus at completion – you won’t ever see the cash in your account.

The Lifetime ISA, ,meanwhile, is for those aged 18 or older, but you can save more (and gain more). The second biggest perk is that you actually see the money, it’s paid into your account directly. Here’s our guide on Help to Buy vs Lifetime ISA.

Best Help to Buy ISA accounts right now

  1. Barclays Bank: 2.58%, instant access, interest paid monthly

  2. Natwest Bank: 2.5%, instant access, interest paid monthly

  3. Nationwide Bank: 2.5%, instant access, interest paid monthly

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