Buying in Scotland
Most of us don’t regularly buy a new home, so it’s no wonder the home-buying process can seem a little confusing at times. However, it’s not as complicated as it can seem. We’ve laid out the steps below to help.
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1. Get your finances in order
- Firstly, you need to check how much you can borrow, how much your deposit will be, and get a mortgage agreed in principle.
- Don’t worry, this doesn’t tie you to anything. You can always choose a different provide later.
2. Find a solicitor
- You will need a solicitor to take care of all the legal aspects of the home-buying process.
- Remember to shop around for the best rate and make sure the one you choose specialises in Scottish conveyance (preparing the property transfer documents).
- Traditionally, in Scotland, you need to find a solicitor right at the beginning of the home-buying process, as they will make offers on your behalf.
- One of our sales advisers can put you in touch with a local solicitor if you need any help with this.
3. Find your new home
- Now you know what kind of price range you can afford, you can start the exciting bit.
4. Get the home report and survey
- In Scotland, you will receive a Home Report from the seller. This consists of three documents:
- The Single Survey – an assessment of the condition of the home and a valuation
- The Energy Report – an assessment of the energy efficiency of the home and its environmental impact
- The Property Questionnaire – extra useful information such as Council Tax banding
- Your mortgage lender will probably ask for a separate survey to be commissioned and submitted too.
5. Reserve your property
- In the traditional home-buying process, this stage is similar to the ‘make an offer’ stage.
- Once your home is reserved, no-one else will be able to reserve it.
6. Arrange your mortgage
7. Complete the contracts
- This is when your solicitor steps in to officially transfer the property from the seller to you – known as ‘conveyancing’.
- Amongst other things, this involves making sure you’ll have complete ownership of the property and that there aren’t any local plans afoot that may affect the value of the property.
8. Complete settlement and disposition
- The final part of the conveyance step is the exchange of contracts.
- This is when you pay your deposit and means both you and the seller are committed to the deal.
9. Move in
- The best bit! Before you move in we’ll invite you to your New Home Tour and Demonstration.
- We’ll demonstrate your new home to you, ensuring that when you move in you know where everything is and how it works.
- Then the keys are yours and you can move in!
When buying a house in Scotland, you need to be aware of the differences in the Scottish legal system of conveyancing compared to the rest of the UK and the use of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) instead of stamp duty.
The deposit required for buying a house in Scotland can vary depending on the lender and your personal circumstances, but generally it's at least 5% of the property price.
Fees when buying a house in Scotland can include the LBTT, solicitor fees, surveyor fees, and mortgage arrangement fees.