26 Jan 2024

Navigating your first home purchase

Navigating your first home purchase

Can I afford to buy my first home yet?

Dreaming of your first home but wondering if it's within reach? Let's break down the numbers. The average property value in Scotland is around £189,000 which may initially seem daunting. But as a first-time buyer, you are typically expected to provide a deposit ranging from 5-10% of the purchase price. However, it’s worth noting that a larger deposit not only strengthens your position but will reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

Let’s get a mortgage!

To enhance your eligibility for a mortgage, you might want to explore the following strategies. Start by monitoring your credit score and see if there are ways you can improve your rating like getting a credit card, paying any debts on time and being on the electoral roll. It is also beneficial to seek advice from a mortgage adviser as they can confidently guide you through the process, ensuring you have access to the best deals. Additionally, you may want to consider government schemes and incentives crafted specifically for first-time buyers, including the LIFT scheme or enticing new build incentives.

Wait what costs?!?

The home-buying journey involves more than just saving for your deposit and handling monthly mortgage payments.

A significant expense is Conveyancing, a legal process ensuring the seamless transfer of property ownership. This entails essential tasks like property searches, title checks, contract drafting, and fund exchanges. Vital for protecting the rights of both buyers and sellers, Conveyancing ensures a legally binding property transfer recognised by authorities.

On a positive note, first-time buyers are exempt from paying Land and Building Tax on properties up to £175,000. However, for homes exceeding this value, a 2% tax applies to the portion between £175,000 and £250,000.

Mortgage in principle

Acquiring a Mortgage in Principle marks a pivotal milestone on your journey to homeownership. This preliminary agreement from a lender signifies their intent to lend you a specific amount. You’ll need to provide evidence of your income, credit history and details on the and estimated price of the properties you would like to offer on.  

What do I want?

When you're on the lookout for your first home, it's all about figuring out what really matters to you. Take a moment to consider these important factors:

Location - Think about how close you want to be to work, amenities, and public transport. Finding a spot that ticks these boxes not only makes daily life easier but also adds long-term value to your investment.

Cost: Set a budget that feels comfortable and realistic. Staying within your financial means is crucial for a smooth and stress-free journey into homeownership.

Size: Take a good look at your current space needs and think about how they might change in the future.

Local Schools: If you've got kids or plan to in the future, check out the local schools. Being close to good educational options adds to the overall appeal and potential resale value of your chosen home.

Seal the deal

Once you've found the home that captures your heart, you'll need to submit a formal written offer. This process involves negotiating terms with the seller. Your estate agent and solicitor will manage this process, and once an agreement is reached, a legally binding contract is drawn up.


Navigating the path to homeownership may seem complex, but armed with the right information and support, your dream home could be closer than you think.

Don't hesitate to book an appointment with our mortgage advisers and explore all the resources available to you as a first-time buyer.

Happy house hunting!
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