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29 October 2019, 14:52
The deadline to open a Help to buy ISA is looming
Martin Lewis has urged prospective first-time buyers to open a help-to-buy ISA as soon as possible - as the deadline to do so is nearly here.
The money-saving expert has warned that anyone hoping to do so will need to before 30 November, after which the help-to-buy (H2B) will be replaced by a Lifetime ISA (LISA).
You can open the ISA for as little as £1, and the government-led scheme gives young people a 25 per cent bonus to help them buy their first home.
Martin Lewis said of H2Bs and LISAs: "If you think you'll need these [the Government top-up] but aren't sure, just open them. You need £1 in a Help To Buy Isa by November 30 or you lose the opportunity."
The H2B ISA was set up to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.
When prospective buyers set up the ISA, the government will match any contributions made by 25 per cent (up to £12,000).
You can start at ISA with a minimum of a £1,000 contribution - although if you don't have that amount before the 30 November deadline you can set one up for £1 and add the rest of the money at a later date.
If you do want to start a H2B ISA, you can save up to £1,200 in the first month and £200 each following months - so it's best to wait until you do have the maximum amount to open one.
A LISA can also be started with £1, so you can start a H2B and LISA for just £2 if you aren't sure which is best for your before the deadline.
The LISA, which is open to people between the ages of 18-39, allows you to save up to £4,000 per tax year.
They will enable you to buy a property with a maximum value of £450,000, while H2Bs are lower at £250,000.