The housing and homelessness charity

Shelter Scotland / England

Buying a home

This section looks at how to go about buying a home in Scotland, including how to find a suitable property and how the buying process works. It also has information on buying a home if you have a disability, and grants and loans that may be available to help buyers. If you are a council or housing association tenant, you may have the right to buy your home - this section explains how this works.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • Buying a home overview

    Get an overview of the buying process in Scotland,from finding a property, to putting an offer in and completing the purchase.

  • Working out your finances

    Work out how you can afford, including running expenses and extra costs like legal expenses if you're buying a home.

  • Finding a solicitor

    A solicitor will help you through the whole process of buying a house, find out more about what help a solicitor can offer here.

  • Finding a property

    Help in how to go about finding a property to buy, where to look and what resources to use. Find out more here.

  • Valuations and surveys

    Once you've found a home you like, you need to get a formal mortgage offer from a lender. The lender must carry out a valuation. You'll also need to get a survey done.

  • Home reports

    If you're interested in buying a property in Scotland, the seller will need to provide you with a home report. This is a pack that provides more information about the property for potential buyers.

  • Making an offer

    Once you have found a property you like, you know that you can afford it and the bank or building society will lend you enough money, your next step is to make an offer to

  • Getting your offer accepted

    Once you have made your offer you have the nerve-wracking experience of waiting to see if it is accepted. This page talks you through what happens after you have made your offer.

  • Finalising the sale

    Once your offer has been verbally accepted, your solicitor will negotiate the conditions with the seller's solicitor before the property is transferred to you. This is called concluding the missives.

  • Title deeds

    These are legal documents to show who owns a property or piece of land. Find out where they are kept and what you need to do if you want to change them.

  • Moving in

    Check how to deal with problems that could happen once you have moved into your new home. For example if the heating isn't working or if anything is missing you thought was included.

  • Making a will

    Nobody wants to think about dying, but it's important to think about what will happen to your possessions when you die, particularly if you're buying a home.

  • New build homes

    The process for buying a new build home differs from buying a second-hand home, especially if the property is not yet finished. How it works and what to do if you're not happy with your new home.

  • Buying at auction

    More and more people are starting to use property auctions as a way to buy a new home cheaply and quickly. This page explains how the auction process works.

  • Buying if you're a disabled person

    If you're a disabled person, buying your own home can lead to greater independence. You can adapt your home to suit your needs. This page looks at the things you'll need to consider.

  • Buying with other people

    If you buy a home with other people, you need to decide who will legally own it and what share each of you has. If you don't, it may be difficult to decide what you're entitled to if there are problems.

  • Right to buy

    Some Scottish secure tenants have the right to buy their homes. This section explains who has the right to buy, how much it will cost and how the procedure works.

  • First time buyers

    It can be particularly tough trying to get on the property ladder if you're a first-time buyer. This page contains some practical hints and tips to help you.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444*
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

*Our advice line is free to call from landlines and all six of the main UK mobile networks, Virgin, Orange, 3, T-mobile, Vodafone and O2, but charges may apply from any other network