Any time from 12 months after opening and paying some money into a Lifetime ISA, you can use your savings, and bonuses paid, for a first time house purchase. Alternatively, you can save towards your retirement, withdrawing your funds and the bonuses on or after your 60th birthday.
Funds can also be withdrawn at any time in the unfortunate event of either terminal illness or death (subject to receipt of documentary evidence). You can withdraw the money (for any other reason) at any time before you turn 60, but you may have to pay a 25% withdrawal charge on the amount you take out.
You’ve paid in £4,000 and receive a £1,000 bonus. If you then chose to withdraw £5,000 from your account, a 25% withdrawal charge of £1,250 would be applied and the amount you would get back would be £3,750.
Is my house purchase an authorised withdrawal?
Here are some useful tips:
- Lifetime ISA investors can buy a house jointly with any other purchasers. If you are using funds from a Lifetime ISA you have to be a first time buyer, however the other purchaser does not.
- The purchase has to be of a legal interest in land. For example: the purchase of property such as houseboats would not qualify.
- You cannot purchase a buy to let property as you would purchase a house that you will be living in. If you are working abroad there are some exceptions. For example: you can purchase a house and let it out to somebody else on the basis that when you return home you will move into the property.
- On completion of the purchase you must immediately occupy the property as your only or main residence.
- If the house isn’t yet built (you have purchased a plot of land where a developer is building new homes) you must intend to occupy the property as soon as it becomes suitable for use.
- If you are a UK Crown employee serving overseas, or you are their spouse or civil partner, you can purchase a house as a ‘buy to let’ providing that you intend to occupy the property as your only or main residence upon your return.