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Understanding the home buying process and the costs of buying your first home

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Understanding the home buying process and the costs of buying your first home

Buying a home is a major investment, and it's important to understand the costs involved before you start the process. In addition to the purchase price of the property, there are a number of other expenses to consider that can feel overwhelming to first time home buyers, including legal fees, stamp duty, and other expenses.

But not to worry, in this post we'll provide an overview of the costs associated with buying a new property, and offer some tips for managing those costs.

Legal Fees

One of the biggest expenses associated with the home buying process is legal fees. These fees cover the cost of hiring a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. According to recent research, the average legal fees for buying a home in Scotland range from £800 to £1,500, depending on the complexity of the transaction.

Stamp Duty

In Scotland, stamp duty is known as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The amount of LBTT you'll pay depends on the purchase price of the property. For example, if you're buying a property for £200,000, you'll pay LBTT of £1,100. Revenue Scotland provides a helpful LBTT calculator on their website to help you estimate the amount of tax you'll need to pay.

Other Expenses

In addition to legal fees and stamp duty, there are a number of other expenses to consider when buying a home in Scotland. These may include:

  • Mortgage arrangement fees: These fees cover the cost of arranging your mortgage, and can range from a few hundred pounds to over £1,000.

  • Home report costs: A home report is a document that provides information about the condition of the property you're buying. The cost of a home report can vary depending on the size and age of the property, but typically ranges from £250 to £1,000.

  • Removal costs: If you're moving from one property to another, you'll need to factor in the cost of hiring a removal company to transport your belongings. The cost of removal services can vary widely depending on the distance of the move and the amount of belongings you have.

Tips for Managing Costs

While the costs associated with buying a home in Scotland can be significant, there are a number of things you can do to manage those costs:

  • Consider a smaller deposit: While a larger deposit may be more attractive to sellers, it can also be a significant expense. Consider a smaller deposit to help manage your upfront costs.

  • Negotiate on fees: Some fees, such as mortgage arrangement fees, may be negotiable. Don't be afraid to ask your lender or service provider if they can reduce or waive a fee.

  • Work with an expert solicitor: No two buying journeys are the same, so working with a solicitor who takes a personal approach is essential for first time buyers. While price is certainly an important consideration when choosing a solicitor, it's not the only factor that should be taken into account. Make sure to work with a team who will take the time to get to know you and your unique circumstances, providing you with tailored advice and support that meets your individual needs, providing peace of mind and guaranteeing support throughout the entire process.

Purchasing your first property is a major and exciting investment but requires careful consideration of the costs involved. By understanding the expenses associated with the purchase, and taking steps to manage those costs, you can help ensure that your home buying experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

At Burnett & Reid, we understand that the purchase of your first home, and also all subsequent moves, may be one of the most stressful events of your life. You can be assured our expert property team will guide you through the whole process from start to finish and be on hand when you need us to answer your questions and provide you that little bit of reassurance when it’s needed most.