How To Buy A House in Scotland

HomeReal Estate

  • Author Janice Fegusson
  • Published December 11, 2019
  • Word count 771


Buying a home, whether it is your first time or your 10th time should be exciting. One way to remove some of the stress of buying a property is to be organised and understand the process you need to follow.

  1. Work out your budget.

  2. Arrange a mortgage if required.

  3. Choose a solicitor.

  4. Find your perfect home.

  5. Buy a property and complete the transaction.


There are always some amazing properties for sale in Scotland and it is easy to get drawn into looking at homes that are outwith our budget. If you are serious about buying a property the best place to start is to work out your maximum budget before looking.

Total your savings to the mortgage value you will be allowed to borrow based on your salary and commitments. Before speaking with a mortgage adviser there are online tools that will give you an estimation of the amount you can borrow. From this total amount you will need to save some for fees and expenses:

  • Solicitors fees for conveyancing; in other words completing the purchase legally.

  • Tax - If the property you buy is over £145,000 you will be liable to pay Land & Buildings Transaction Tax.

  • There may be fees for setting up your mortgage.

  • Your mortgage lender may require a survey in addition to the Home Report that the seller provides.

At this stage, it is also wise to consider ongoing costs once you buy a property. If you buy an older property you may need to keep some of your savings for decoration, modernisation and repairs. Do you need to pay for a furniture removal van?

If this is your first home, not only will you have a mortgage to pay and mortgage payment protection insurance, but also home insurance, council tax and utility bills. You may also needs funds for buying furniture for your new home.


Unless you are in the fortunate position to be a cash buyer, you will need to arrange a mortgage to buy a home.

If you have a mortgage agreed in principle at this stage then you will be in a much better position to buy a home if you need to act quickly.

Also, before agreeing to a mortgage, your lender will have checked your income and outgoings to ensure that it is affordable and that you will be able to pay it. To find the best mortgage for your circumstances you should speak to an independent mortgage adviser, your Bank or have a look online. An independent mortgage adviser will look at deals offered by many lenders before helping you choose the best one.


A solicitor is required to complete the transaction of buying a property legally. You need to choose a solicitor that offers conveyancing services. In many cases, your local estate agency office will have a solicitor that works with them, or they can recommend a good local solicitor.

Before selecting a solicitor request quotes for their services. Some may offer a fixed fee deal. Also choose someone that you like and would feel comfortable asking lots of questions about the process.

Getting a recommendation from friends or family is worthwhile or look for reviews on the internet.


The fun bit for most people!

Once you know your budget you can start looking and viewing properties that take your interest. In some parts of Scotland, you will need to book an appointment via the estate agent to view the property. In Edinburgh, most sellers have an open viewing usually on a Sunday and Thursday. If you are new to the area speak to your solicitor, estate agents or colleagues to find out where best to live.

It may be easier to find the perfect home if you make a list of everything you would like and need in a home eg new property with little maintenance or old property with character and DIY opportunities. How many bedrooms do you need? Is a garden a necessity? Would you like a garage? Flat or house?


Conveyancing is the process of moving the legal ownership of property from one person to another.

Your solicitor will:

  • Submit a note of interest on any property you are interested in buying.

  • Submit bids on properties you wish to buy.

  • Negotiate with the seller’s solicitor.

  • If successful will check the contract and handle the transfer of the payment and the title of the property.

Good Luck

At Fergusson Law in Edinburgh, we wish you the very best luck with buying your new home.

Fergusson Law is a firm of private client and property solicitors in Edinburgh. They offer their conveyancing services for a fixed fee.

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