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Updated by HomeReportCompany on Oct 10, 2017
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Essential Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Scotland

Buying your first home is one of the most exciting but also stressful things that you will ever do. Here are some essential tips to help you on your way.

1

Do Your Sums

Do Your Sums

As a first time buyer, it is essential to know that you can actually afford to buy your own property. Make a detailed list of all your incomings and outgoings so that you know exactly how much you can afford to spend each month on a mortgage.

2

Get a Mortgage 'in principle'

Get a Mortgage 'in principle'

Before making an offer on a property you need a mortgage lender to confirm that it is prepared to lend you money. This will be based on an initial assessment of your circumstances, which includes your income, outgoings, and your credit score among other things.

3

Find a Solicitor

Find a Solicitor

A solicitor is needed before you can make an offer on a property. They are also responsible for negotiating and ensuring the contract is correct as well as organising the transfer of the Title and monies. You can ask friends and family for recommendations or you can look on the Law Society of Scotland website.

Read the Home Report Carefully

Before putting a property up for sale, sellers have to contact a Home Report Company to arrange a Home Report to show to buyers interested in your property. A Home Report includes:

  1. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - this reveals how energy efficient the property is.
  2. Single Survey – an assessment by a qualified surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which describes the condition of the property, where repairs are needed and a valuation of the property. A mortgage valuation might also be included.
  3. Property Questionnaire – sellers must provide accurate information about the property including its Council Tax band, alterations, any history of flooding etc.

It is very important that you read the Home Report carefully. It gives an outline of where repairs are needed and a good idea of of the monthly running costs of the property.

5

Understand Mortgage Valuations

Understand Mortgage Valuations

Once you have a mortgage 'in principle', your lender will also want a 'mortgage valuation' to make sure that the the property you’re buying is worth the price you’re paying. If it is included as part of the Home Report they may be happy to use that one. However sometimes mortgage lenders prefer to arrange an independent valuation. If that is the case, a 'mortgage valuation' can typically cost between £150-£1,500 depending on the value of your property.

6

Calculate how much Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) you will have to pay

Calculate how much Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) you will have to pay

This tax is paid to the Scottish Government on properties costing more than £145,000. Use this calculator to work out how much this will cost you.