Buying a home
Before you buy a home
If you need to borrow money to buy a home, you'll need to work out:
what you can afford to borrow
which mortgage is right for you
You'll need a conveyancing solicitor to help you with the purchase.
Choosing a mortgage
If you need a loan to buy a home, this is called a mortgage or secured loan. Mortgages are different depending on:
who the lender is
what the interest rate is
how much you can borrow
Get advice before choosing a mortgage. A mortgage adviser will help you work out what you can afford and which mortgage product is right for you.
Mortgage advisers may not be fully independent from the products they're selling. If you can, look for free independent mortgage advice.
If you’re on a low income or cannot afford a mortgage by yourself
Saving a deposit
You'll need to save up a deposit. You'll need at least 5 to 10% of the value of the home you want to buy.
To work out what you can save, use the deposit calculator on Money Saving Expert.
The maximum a mortgage lender will lend you is the property value from the home report. If you want to make an offer that’s over home report value, you need to pay for this yourself.
Finding a solicitor
You’ll need a conveyancing solicitor to buy a home.
They’ll carry out the legal work for you, such as:
communicating with the seller’s solicitor
submitting an offer on your behalf
sorting out contracts and putting the property in your name
Before you choose a solicitor
how much they’ll charge you
when you’ll pay them
if the fee is fixed, or if it depends on how much work they do
what you'll owe if your offer is unsuccessful
If you’re unhappy with a solicitor
Speak to the solicitor to try and resolve the issue first. If that doesn’t work, complain to their firm.
If you’re unhappy with the firm’s response, you can take it to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.
If you're buying a home with someone else
Your solicitor can help you decide who'll own the home or if you'll share ownership.
They can also write a legal agreement saying what happens if:
your relationship ends
one of you wants to move out
one of you dies
Getting a mortgage with someone else
This is called a joint mortgage. You do not have to be in a relationship to get a joint mortgage.
You're equally liable for mortgage repayments. This means if one of you cannot pay your share, the other person must pay the full amount.
You both need to agree to any mortgage terms changes.
Last updated: 19 January 2023