Are you a first time buyer looking to purchase your first home in Scotland? ESPC is here to help – we can advise you on everything from the best mortgages for first time buyers, to how the property buying process works in Scotland and the importance of using a solicitor estate agent.

Find out more about our first-time buyers resources hub

What is the buying process for first time buyers in Scotland?

The home buying process in Scotland is slightly different to the rest of the UK, and as a first time buyer, it can be daunting if you’re unsure of how everything works.

Our first time buyer guide below details everything you need to know about buying your first home in Scotland. If you have any questions, we can help! Find out more about our free Ask The Experts sessions and on-demand phone appointments

Step one – Find a solicitor estate agent

When buying a home in Scotland, it’s a legal requirement that you have a solicitor represent you.

They’ll guide you through your first time buyer journey, and make offers and deal with selling agents on your behalf.

ESPC works with hundreds of solicitor estate agents across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, the Borders, central and West Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway, so you can find an ESPC solicitor estate agent today

An ESPC Charter firm can offer you even more assurance. They are committed to giving the very best levels of service, which is above and beyond what they are legally required to offer. Find out more about the ESPC Charter.


Step two – Get a mortgage in principle

A mortgage in principle (sometimes called a decision in principle) is a document from a bank which tells you how much they may be willing to lend you to buy your first home. This is an essential step in helping you work out how much of a deposit you might need and how much you can afford to spend on your first home.

ESPC Mortgages can help you with this. Our team of independent mortgage specialists can offer mortgage advice for first time buyers, as well as giving you up-to-date information on available support schemes for first time buyers.


Step three – Work out your budget

Once you know how much a bank will lend you, it's time to work out your overall budget. 

Other costs that are involved in buying a house include: 

  • extra money to bid over the Home Report value (your bank won't lend more than the property's Home Report value)
  • LBTT
  • legal fees
  • removal costs
  • homewares that you'll need to purchase soon after moving in

Your chosen property agent and mortgage adviser can advise you on your budget in more detail, and give you up-to-date advice on the current property market.

Step four – Search for your dream home

This is the fun part! Now you have your finances in place, you can begin searching for your first home.

There are hundreds of properties available on our website that are ideal for first time buyers, and you can use our search function to filter for exactly the kind of property you want.

ESPC also lists many properties exclusively for 72 hours, so you can get ahead of other buyers and find your dream home before it’s listed anywhere else.

Don’t forget to sign up to My ESPC, to receive new property alerts, save searches and create watchlists of your favourite properties.

Start your home search now

Step five – View your favourite properties

On the ESPC website you can book an appointment to view your favourite properties directly from the property's page. 

We've compiled a list of 10 questions all first-time buyers should ask before making an offer (and several of them are most applicable at the viewing!). 

Step six – Make an offer

The exciting bit! When you’ve found a property you want to buy, you can ask your solicitor estate agent to make an offer on your behalf. They'll also advise if you should bid more than the asking price. 

Make sure you’ve read the Home Report thoroughly, and share this with your solicitor too. Remember that your bank will only lend up to the value shown on the Home Report. 

Step seven – You’ve had an offer accepted

Congratulations! You’re now well on your way to buying your first home in Scotland.

The next step is to formalise your mortgage and complete the legal conveyancing process. Your solicitor estate agent and mortgage adviser can guide you through all of the paperwork needed to buy your first home.

Step eight – Move into your first home

Time to get organised! Our handy moving house checklist provides a step-by-step guide to moving home.

Once you're in, some handy homewares to buy as quickly as possible include a bed (or air mattress), kitchen utensil, crockery, and cleaning equipment. 

If you have any questions about the process of being a first time buyer in Scotland, remember that our property experts are available with free advice for first time buyers in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, the Borders, central and West Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway.

Mortgage advice for first time buyers in Scotland

Searching for mortgage advice for first time buyers? You’ve come to the right place.

ESPC Mortgages provides specialist independent mortgage advice for first time buyers. Our team of independent mortgage advisers can help you navigate the Scottish first time buyer mortgage market.

Here’s just a few reasons why you should contact ESPC Mortgages for advice:

  • ESPC Mortgages is made up of a team of independent mortgage specialists. This means that they aren’t linked to any single bank, so they can work to get the best possible deal for your personal circumstances.
  • The team has over 80 years of experience between them of helping people buy their first home in Scotland – there’s no question they haven’t already been asked!
  • They can advise on everything from the best mortgages for first time buyers, to who offers guarantor mortgages and new build mortgages. 
  • They can offer you up-to-date advice on the mortgage market in Scotland, and give you information about support schemes available for first time buyers.
  • They are friendly, hardworking and dedicated, and they’ll make the process as easy as possible for you. Just take a look at their Google reviews!

You can find out more here about how ESPC Mortgages can help with first time buyer mortgage advice, or you can get in touch directly by filling in the form below.


Tips for first time buyers in Scotland

For the latest advice on being a first time buyer in Scotland, including updates on available government support schemes in Scotland and general first time buyer advice, head over to our ESPC News section.

You can also stay up to date on the property market in Scotland by signing up to our regular property newsletter. Packed with useful information, market updates and helpful advice, our regular emails will keep you informed.

Free first time buyer advice in Edinburgh

We believe that everyone has the right to free, impartial advice on buying their first home.

You can access our free advice services by:

  • Attending up to one of our property events. We regularly host specialist first time buyer events both in person and virtually where you can find out more and ask any questions you may have.
  • Signing up to our weekly newsletter. We round-up all our recent articles, share the Ask the Expert rota, post our most recent podcast episode and share our favourite properties currently for sale on
  • Giving us a call. We offer a free property advice phone service, no strings attached. Simply call us, and we can put you in touch with a property expert who can offer you advice on buying your first home in Scotland.
  • Stopping by one of our Drop-Ins. Every Wednesday and Sunday an expert from one of our solicitor estate agents will be in our Property Information Centre to answer any of your questions relating to property. 
  • Listening to our podcast, The ESPC Property Show. You can find our first-time buyer episode on Spotify here and on Apple Podcasts here

Start your home search now

Contact ESPC Mortgages

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The initial consultation with an ESPC Mortgages adviser is free and without obligation. Thereafter, ESPC Mortgages charges for mortgage advice are usually £395 (£345 for first-time buyers). YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER LOANS SECURED AGAINST IT.

The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit

ESPC (UK) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Lyncombe Consultants Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.