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Buying a house in Scotland

Buying A House In Scotland

Buying property in Scotland has a process that is unique to itself. Knowing the jargon and the step-by-step process makes it easier to understand the property market and make a smoother transition into your new home.

Introduction

Contrary to the economic downturn, the property market all over the world has seen an interesting surge. With so many working from home or relocating due to lockdown, countries are seeing rising inquiries about property and houses. Buying a house in Scotland has also been extremely competitive and busy. It’s a strong sector booming in the past year now, and it’s no doubt that many would want to call this beautiful place home. There are all kinds of property available in this geographically diverse country, from the usual apartments to countryside manors.

A Guide On Property, Mortgage And Solicitors In Scotland

scotland properties

Source: Pixabay

Scotland has a fairly easy and organised process when it comes to buying properties. The most important first step is to hire a solicitor who will take care of your paperwork (there’s a lot of it). Another important step before going into the details is to buy a mortgage in principle. This has to be done before you bid on a property (we will talk about that below), when a mortgage lender has to prove that they are ready to give you your money, i.e. the mortgage in principle.  

Keep reading for a brief informative guide on how to go about buying a house in Scotland.

Blind Bidding

blind bidding

Source: Depositphotos

This system allows the seller to be approached by offers approximate to the minimum price. This then turns into a traditional bidding process, with the money you shell out depending on how much other prospective buyers are willing to pay. In some cases, when buyers are extremely sure of a house, they offer a non-refundable deposit to the seller to show how exclusively interested they are in a property.

Home Report

home report

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This is a key document in the house buying process. The home report is divided into three parts:

  1. A single survey, an evaluation done by the surveyor and confirming the condition and repairs needed for the house, along with how much the house is worth. At this stage, you can get an idea of how much you can spend on renovation and repairs and leave the process without a penalty. 
  2. A property questionnaire, which is designed to give you information about the home, including past accidents that affected the home, extensions made to the home, any notices that might affect the house and the council tax band. 
  3. The energy report, as it reads, measures the energy efficiency and environmental impact of the house. It’s a good way of understanding the energy use and cost average in terms of heating, lighting, etc. 

While a seller can choose not to present you with the Home Report (based on personal discretion, they might believe you don’t have the budget), the Energy Certification is necessary

Note of Interest

note of interest

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If a house calls out to you to move, this is what you need. Filing a Note of Interest with your agent means they are obligated to keep you in the loop about the property, for example, if there are any developments, any price changes, other prospective offers made. 

Missive

This is an offer letter sent from your solicitor to the property seller’s solicitor. The two parties, you and the property owner, are represented by your respective solicitors, who then negotiate the contract conditions through missives. The binding contract comes through when both sides agree with the conditions.

Settlement

settlement

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Once you have handed over the cheque for the home, the solicitor will collect what is known as the disposition. This document officially transfers the ownership from the seller to the buyer, along with the title deed and the keys.

Additional Information

The entire process takes around eight weeks, and the timeline usually follows the step-by-step process that has already been laid out above. Another important thing to note is that another part of your finances needs to be kept aside. These are known as outlays, and they include:

  • fees and taxes for the government, like those due to Registers of Scotland
  • search fees
  • Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (formerly known as stamp duty land tax)

Conclusion

Scotland’s property buying system looks pretty straightforward, especially to a foreign buyer. The terms and conditions are unique to the country, but it also makes it easier to communicate with your agent or solicitor regarding any property of interest. 

I’m Kunzes and I’m a freelance writer and copy editor based in India. I have an academic background in Literature and Creative Writing. In my free time you’ll catch me reading and reviewing books for my bookstagram and listening to true crime podcasts.

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