If house price mania had a World Cup, Britain would lift the trophy. House prices have steadily been on the up for the last couple of years, adding more pressure to anyone trying to buy. Yet buyers need to pause and ask what, when and whether to buy.
A mortgage is most people's biggest single outlay, and small differences in how much you borrow can have a massive effect.
If you’re a first-time buyer aged 18 to 39, you could get up to £32,000 from the Government by opening a new Lifetime ISA, which launched in April 2017.
You can save up to £4,000 a year into the LISA either as a lump sum or by putting in cash when you can. Then the state will add a 25% bonus on top if you use it towards your first home (or retirement). So if you save the full £4,000 you'll have £5,000. And that's before interest or growth.
The maximum that the Government will contribute is £32,000, meaning you'd have a total of £160,000 including the bonus to put towards your first home. Though bear in mind it would take 32 years to reach this level.
You need to have had the LISA open for at least 12 months to get the bonus cash for your first home. If you need to buy within a year of opening one, or you’re over 40, then use a Help to Buy ISA instead.
For full details, and a comparison of the LISA and Help to Buy ISA, see our Lifetime ISA guide.