Wondering how much it costs to buy a house or a flat in Scotland?
There are a number of fees to consider when buying a new house, including the cost of moving home, your deposit and solicitor’s fees.
This guide will help you plan for all of these when you work out your budget.
To learn more about the wider home buying process in Scotland, view our step-by-step guide.
Major upfront costs
Make sure you have saved enough to cover all of the upfront costs. These include:
- Land & Buildings Transaction Tax / LBTT (Scotland)
- Stamp Duty (England & Northern Ireland)
- Land Transaction Tax (Wales)
These taxes are government taxes paid on homes. In Scotland, LBTT is only paid on homes costing £145,001 or more provided it is your only residential property.
First-time buyers in Scotland will pay no LBTT on the first £175,000 for properties worth up to £500,000.
From 25 January 2019, there is a 4% increase on top of current rates if you’re buying an additional residential property above £40,000 such as a second home or buy-to-let property.
Our useful Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) calculator can give you a better understanding of the potential costs associated with your purchase.
This is the amount you put towards the cost of the property when you buy your home.
On average, you need at least 5% to 20% of the purchase price (for example: £10,000 to £40,000 when buying a £200,000 home).
The mortgage lender will assess the value of the property to establish how much they are prepared to lend you.
The cost can be £150-£1,500 based on the property’s value.
The cost can be £150-£1,500 and will likely be based on the property’s value.
Some lenders might not charge you for this, depending on the type of mortgage product you select.
The lender’s valuation is not like a full structural survey so it might not identify all the repairs or
maintenance that might be needed.
Home Report Fee
Anyone selling a property publicly in Scotland is required to have a Home Report available to purchasers.
This is a document that tells you everything you need to know about the Home Report. It’s split into three parts – a single survey and valuation, a property questionnaire and an energy report. It is vital that you read it thoroughly.
The survey, based on a visual inspection by a chartered surveyor, tells you about the home, its condition, its accessibility and any repairs you may need to carry out. It is not a buildings survey.
It gives a valuation (an opinion on how much the home is worth) and an estimated cost of any repairs that need doing. However, we strongly advise you to get quotes from local tradespeople to carry out the repairs. If you need help finding local tradespeople, please contact us.
You’ll normally need a solicitor to carry out all the legal work when buying and selling your home.
Legal fees are typically £500-£1,500, plus VAT, and will depend on whether you are buying or selling, the sale and purchase price, the type and location of property and other factors.
The solicitors will also do local searches, which will cost you approximately £200-£600, again depending on whether you are buying or selling, to check whether there are any local plans or problems.
Electronic Transfer Fee
Electronic transfer fees typically cost in the region of £40-£50.
It covers the lender’s cost of transferring the mortgage money from the lender to the solicitor.
Estate Agents’ Fees
Estate agents’ fees are only paid by the seller, not the buyer, for the estate agent’s services.
It is negotiated when the seller puts the property on the market.
It is usually around 1% of the sale price, plus 20% VAT.
Removal costs usually range from £300-£600 for local removals, although you could rent a van do it yourself.
We’ve put together a home buying timeline to help give you an idea of the costs you can expect throughout the process.
These might include:
- A booking fee of £99-£250
- An arrangement fee of up to £2,000; and
- A mortgage valuation fee of £150 or more.
You may want to pay these upfront rather than adding them to your mortgage, otherwise, you’ll be paying interest on them for the life of the mortgage.
Types of Mortgages
There are hundreds of types of mortgage products and several types of mortgages for different circumstances.
Look beyond the interest rate. Make sure you also take the fees and charges into account when choosing a mortgage.
If you’re unsure, why not speak to one of our independent specialist mortgage brokers? We offer free mortgage appointments with no obligations.
Remember once you buy your own home you’re responsible for looking after it.
Maintenance and Repairs
The Home Report should have highlighted any problems that need fixing straight away.
The lender will require you to take out buildings insurance to protect your new home against damage from fire, floods, subsidence and other risks.
It’s also a good idea to have contents insurance for all your possessions, life insurance to pay off your mortgage should you die before you’ve repaid the entire amount and income protection insurance in case you fall ill.
This pays out when you aren’t getting paid by your work and will help cover the cost of the mortgage.
We offer a free and independent income protection insurance quote.
The amount you pay is based on where the property is and the valuation band the property is in (apart from in Northern Ireland where rates are set individually).
Ask the sellers how much they spend on utilities – gas, electricity and water – every year.
Don’t forget to think about charges for your phone, TV packages and broadband.
If you buy a leasehold property, you’ll have to pay ground rent (normally around £50-£100 a year) and service charges to the person who owns the freehold.
Service charges and administration fees differ between properties.
This is an important cost of running a property so it’s vital you know more about these charges.
Freehold or Leasehold
There are different ways you can own property: freehold, leasehold or through a share of the freehold. If you’re unsure about the type of ownership structure please speak to one of our specialists.
Costs of Moving Home
Once you know the cost of your new mortgage payments, new insurance policies, solicitors’ and estate agents’ fees, make time to find out about moving-day costs.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned home mover, it’s important to know and prepare for these costs, which can be surprisingly high.
House Moving Checklist
Our checklist makes sure you’re ready to move home:
House Removal Costs
The average removal cost range from £300-£600, although you could rent a van do it yourself.
Remember to shop around for quotes (and references) to find a reliable firm.
House Removal Insurance
Check the removal firm you hire is insured.
If you’re moving yourself, think about arranging insurance cover. Check if your existing home insurance policy will cover your move – many policies will if you’re using a professional removal firm.
Shop around to compare prices and security arrangements, and get a sense of average costs. Estimate the length of time you’ll need storage, as prices will depend on this.
If you’re moving from a rental property you must usually leave it clean and tidy. Not doing so might contravene your tenancy agreement and your landlord might be allowed to charge you for the cost of a professional cleaner.
You might want to shop around and pay a professional to clean your property before you leave.
Extra Moving-Day Costs
Do you need to budget for extra childcare or kennels for a pet? Will you have the time or facilities to cook or should you plan for takeaways for a day or two?
These costs can all add up so make sure you include them in your budget.