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Warners Guide to Help You Buy Your First Home in Scotland

Trying to buy your first home in Scotland can seem like a daunting process at the best of times. By breaking things down into simple steps, being well-prepared and leaning on the help of relevant experts, it’s possible to secure your first home with the minimum of stress. 

Here is Warners’ step-by-step guide to helping you make owning your dream home a reality.


Work out your budget

The first step to buying a property in Scotland is to plan out your budgets to make sure that any offers that you ultimately submit are affordable to you. At this stage it is well worth speaking to a mortgage broker who, as well as helping you to get an Agreement in Principle and find the cheapest available mortgage rate, will be able to assist you with financial planning.

Bear in mind that, in addition to your deposit and monthly repayments, you will need to consider a number of factors including:

  • Land & Buildings Transaction Tax
  • Solicitor fees & outlays
  • Mortgage arrangement fees
  • Furniture or decorating costs
  • Moving fees
  • Ongoing monthly bills including utilities, Council Tax, and buildings & contents insurance 

It’s also important to remember that your lender will only lend up to the Home Report valuation of a property, so if you offer more than the Home Report valuation for a property, you will need to have that amount available in addition to your deposit.


Appoint a solicitor

In Scotland you will need to have a solicitor in place to note interest and submit offers on your behalf, as well as to ultimately do the legal work (known as conveyancing) once you have an offer accepted. Thankfully, unlike many other areas of legal work, most solicitor firms will not charge you by the hour. You will be given a purchasing quote up front for fees and outlays and this will not change unless there is something specific about your purchase that requires either a significant amount of extra legal work, or additional outlay to be incurred on your behalf. Your solicitor also shouldn’t charge you for submitting offers or noting interest and you will only be due to pay anything once you have an offer accepted. 

At Warners, we have dedicated purchase negotiators who are here to assist and advise you on any properties that are of interest, including giving you guidance on local market conditions and the best strategy to help you secure your new home for the best possible price.


Search for your new home

You’ve sorted out your finances and appointed a solicitor so now it’s time for your property search to start in earnest. A good starting point is to sign up for property alerts so that you are notified as soon as any properties that match your criteria hit the market. Signing up for alerts at is also a great idea. They market the vast majority of the properties for sales in Edinburgh and the Lothians and, because the site is tailored to the Scottish market, allow you to access copies of the Home Report quickly and easily. 

You should also keep an eye on Rightmove and Zoopla just to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything that’s coming onto the market.


Viewing properties

Now it’s time for the fun part! Getting out and viewing properties that you’re interested in buying. You can read some of Warners’ top tips here to help ensure that you get the most out of the viewings that you attend.


Noting Interest & Submitting Offers

Once you find a property that you’re seriously considering, get in touch with your solicitor to discuss how to progress your interest. They’ll be able to discuss your options and the best strategy for you in terms of whether you wish to note interest or proceed with an offer for the property. They should also be able to advise you on market conditions and recent comparable sales to help you secure your new home for the best possible price.


Once your offer is accepted

Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted and you’ve almost completed the journey to buying your first home in Scotland. Your solicitor will be able to progress the legal work for you and keep you updated as this proceeds. You will also want to ensure that your mortgage application is submitted as quickly as possible. One of the advantages of using a mortgage broker is that a good broker will do most of the heavy lifting here for you, leaving you to focus on….


Getting ready for moving day

While the legal work is ongoing you can begin preparations in earnest as you gear up to moving day. This will include packing, booking a removal firm (or helpful friends and family!), and buying any furniture that you may need in your new home. You’ll also need to let people know that you’re moving, and ESPC has a handy checklist to make sure you don’t overlook anyone on this front.


If you’re thinking of buying a property, get in touch with Warners today on 0131 662 4747 or by email at and we will be delighted to help you make the dream of buying your first home in Scotland a reality.

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