Welcome to our first-time buyers' hub – your go-to resource for all things related to purchasing your first home in Scotland!

We understand that stepping into the world of homeownership can be both thrilling and overwhelming, and that's why we've created this comprehensive hub to guide you through every aspect of the journey. Whether you're seeking advice on saving for a deposit, exploring mortgage options, or deciphering the intricacies of the property market, our First-Time Buyers Hub is your one-stop destination. Here, you'll find expert tips, valuable insights, and a wealth of information to empower you on your path to becoming a first-time buyer. Get ahead of the game with ESPC on your first-time buying journey. 

Jump to mortgages

Jump to locations

Jump to schemes and government help

Jump to additional costs

Jump to solicitors / conveyancing process

Jump to tips

Jump to tools

Mortgages for first-time buyers

Navigating the realm of mortgages as a first-time mortgage buyer in Scotland can seem like a daunting task, but fear not – you've come to the right place. Our independent mortgage advisors at ESPC Mortgages are experts at guiding and helping first-time buyers make informed decisions. Whether you're in the early stages of exploring your mortgage options, curious about the home-buying process, or seeking clarity on financial considerations, we're here to empower you with the knowledge and confidence needed to embark on this significant milestone. 

How much can I borrow for my first mortgage?

This handy guide from the ESPC Mortgages team could help you to better understand how much you could borrow for your first mortgage.

How to make your mortgage more affordable

If you’re concerned about the cost of owning a home, the independent mortgage advisers from ESPC Mortgages have given us their top tips on making your mortgage more affordable.

Why should first-time buyers use a mortgage adviser?

Shirley Mushet, Independent Mortgage Adviser at ESPC Mortgages, gives her tips for buyers at the start of their property journey.

Can you buy a property with a friend?

David Lauder, an ESPC Mortgages independent mortgage adviser, gives insight into whether you can get a mortgage with a friend

Why you need the right insurance when taking out a mortgage

Paul Demarco, one of ESPC Mortgages’ independent mortgage advisers, shares his insights on why you need insurance when considering a mortgage.

Fixed rate or variable: which mortgage is best?

The team at ESPC Mortgages break down the different mortgage types available.

What do you need for a successful mortgage application?

ESPC Mortgages’ Shirley Mushet shares her expert advice on the prep you need to do for a successful mortgage application.

Can you get a mortgage without permanent residency?

ESPC Mortgages’ Paul Demarco, a mortgage and protection specialist, discusses how you can obtain a mortgage without settled status.

Self employed? Everything you need to know about getting a mortgage

Self-employed, and wondering if you can get a mortgage? ESPC Mortgages’ David Lauder looks at what’s possible, and the criteria involved.

Boosting your mortgage deposit

Buying your first home? Read on for our top tips on boosting your deposit.

How long does it take to buy a house?

Find out everything you need to know about the timescales of buying your first home from David Lauder, Independent Mortgage Adviser with ESPC Mortgages.

What is a flexible mortgage?

Paul Demarco, Independent Mortgage Adviser at ESPC Mortgages, explains what a flexible mortgage is and when it can be useful.

What is a guarantor mortgage?

Paul Demarco, Independent Mortgage Adviser with ESPC Mortgages, looks at how guarantor mortgages work.

What next after saving for my deposit

If you’re in the process of saving up a deposit to buy your first property and making the exciting leap onto the property ladder, you’ll likely have lots of questions you need answered.

Buy or rent: which option is better for you?

Find out the pros and cons of renting your home versus buying your home.

Frequently asked mortgage questions for first-time buyers

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the property buying process to ease your concerns.

Using ESPC Mortgages & moving to Scotland from overseas

Moving from overseas? ESPC Mortgages can help advise you on the Scottish property process and support you in the process of securing a mortgage.

Where to buy your first property

Choosing the right location is a pivotal aspect of your first-time buying journey, and below, we aim to assist you in navigating the multitude of options available within Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian, Midlothian, Fife, The Borders and Dumfries & Galloway. Whether you're drawn to the hustle and bustle of city life, the tranquillity of suburban neighbourhoods, or the charm of rural communities, the below resources serve as your guide to understanding the unique characteristics, advantages, and considerations of various locations.

Edinburgh Commuter Challenge: Edinburgh Park

This very special challenge has been designed to demonstrate the ease of commuting throughout Edinburgh using different modes of transport in under 30 minutes. In this episode, the contestants begin at Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh's biggest and most popular business park in the west of Edinburgh.

Why you should consider buying a fixed price property

Read on to discover all the reasons why you should consider purchasing a fixed price property for your next home.

How to choose the right location for your new home

Caitlin Keegan, Associate at Gillespie Macandrew, breaks down what’s involved in choosing where to buy a property.

The best places to live near Edinburgh

Want to live in a commuter town close to Edinburgh, but not sure where's best? We share the best places to live near Edinburgh.

The best areas for professionals to live

If you’re a professional looking to live in or near Edinburgh, check out our list of the best places to move to.

Top Picks: Areas for First-Time Buyers In Or Near Edinburgh

Discover the best areas in or near Edinburgh for first-time buyers. From bustling city neighbourhoods to coastal retreats, find affordable options for your budget and lifestyle.

Areas near Edinburgh with good commuting options

The rising cost of living, working from home and a desire for more space and a garden may be reasons why you are thinking of moving outside Edinburgh city centre, but what are the best areas for an easy commute to the Capital?

The best seaside towns in Scotland

Want to buy a home by the sea? Check out ESPC's rundown of the best coastal areas to live in Scotland!

What is it like to live in West Lothian?

ESPC takes a closer look at why West Lothian is somewhere you should consider for your next home.

What are the best areas to live in East Fife?

We take a closer look at the most popular areas of East Fife for buyers to call home, according to ESPC sales data.

What is it like to live in South Edinburgh?

Searching for a family home close to the Capital? The suburbs of South Edinburgh are increasingly popular – and with good reason.

What is it like to live in Leith?

One of Edinburgh’s hippest neighbourhoods, Leith is a property hotspot – and it’s easy to see why. Here’s just a handful of reasons why this thriving neighbourhood is a great place to find your next property.

What is it like to live in Dunfermline?

The largest town in Fife, Dunfermline is packed with heritage and history, and it’s increasingly popular with buyers setting up home. Here’s just a few reasons why…

Five reasons to move to the Borders

Homes in the Scottish Borders are hot property right now, as buyers make their dream of escaping to the countryside come true. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider making the move…

What is it like to live in Midlothian?

Discover the perfect blend of countryside tranquillity and urban energy in Midlothian. Explore captivating towns, excellent transport links, and diverse properties.

Six reasons why you should move to Musselburgh

Dreaming of a life beside the seaside, but still love the buzz of city living? Musselburgh, in East Lothian, offers buyers the ideal balance - here's just a handful of reasons why you should consider living here.

Five reasons why people love living in central Edinburgh

The centre of Scotland’s capital is a hugely popular place to live for a number of reasons…

Six reasons to move to Fife

From beautiful walks to fascinating historical sites, here are six reasons why you should consider moving to Fife.

Why people love living in the Scottish Borders

Explore why Scottish Borders is a sought-after destination with stunning scenery, outdoor activities, picturesque towns, excellent schools, and great transport links.

Five reasons why East Lothian is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts

If you love watersports, golf or cycling, East Lothian could be the place for you.

Six reasons why Leith is so popular

Find out why people love living in the port district, from the open green spaces to its superb bar and restaurant scene.

Six reasons why Midlothian is a great place to live

With easy access to the outdoors and a fantastic choice of homes, Midlothian is a great place to live.

Thinking of moving? Think about West Lothian!

As city prices continue to increase, many people are now looking for a home out with the city boundaries. Find out more about why the postcode area of EH52 is becoming popular with home movers.

Schemes and government help for first-time buyers

Navigating the Scottish property market can be complex, especially for first-time buyers, but fear not, as this section is your gateway to understanding the various schemes and government assistance available. From deposit assistance to tax incentives and special financing programs, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you make sense of the opportunities that can significantly ease the financial burden of purchasing your first home in Scotland.

Exploring government schemes for first-time buyers in Scotland

Explore Scottish Government schemes & LBTT relief for first-time buyers. Get ahead of the game buying your first home.

Additional costs for first-time buyers

Beyond the excitement of finding your dream property, it's crucial to be well-informed about the additional costs that come with buying your first home. In this section, we have an array of resources that guide you through key considerations such as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), the need for an extra budget to bid over the home report value (as banks often cap their lending at this value), legal fees, and the often underestimated expense of homeware for your new home. Understanding these additional costs ensures you approach the home buying process with eyes wide open, empowering you to make sound financial decisions and turning your dream of buying your first home into a well-planned reality.

Solicitors and conveyancing process for first-time buyers

As a first-time buyer in Scotland, navigating the legal landscape of property transactions can be a complex task especially as it differs from the process in other parts of the UK. This section is designed to demystify the conveyancing journey, providing you with insights into the critical steps involved in transferring property ownership. From the initial offer to the final exchange of contracts, we'll break down the legalities, terminology, and timelines, ensuring that you embark on this aspect of homeownership well-informed and with confidence.

You’ve had an offer accepted – but what happens next?

Graham Taylor, Associate Solicitor at Thorntons, shares what happens after your search comes to a successful end.

What are the differences between buying and selling property in Scotland and England?

Discover the major distinctions between buying property in Scotland and England. Learn about processes, taxes, and legal nuances for a smooth transaction.

Tips for first-time buyers

Purchasing your first home is a significant milestone, and navigating the property market in Scotland can be both thrilling and overwhelming. Whether you're in the early stages of saving your deposit or actively searching for the perfect property, this section is dedicated to providing you with valuable tips and guidance at every step. From financial considerations to property inspections and negotiating tactics, our curated tips are here to equip you with the knowledge and confidence needed to make informed decisions.

House Price Report Explained

A complete breakdown of the terms and phrases used in our monthly House Price Report - an essential resource for home buyers and sellers.

How to make your mortgage more affordable

If you’re concerned about the cost of owning a home, the independent mortgage advisers from ESPC Mortgages have given us their top tips on making your mortgage more affordable.

The ESPC Property Show: A Guide for First-time Buyers

Paul & Megan speak to Amy Howard & Caitlin Keegan for our first-time buyer special.

What is a gifted deposit? How to help your children buy a property

If you’re thinking of helping your children to buy a home, here's everything you need to know about helping with a house deposit.

The ESPC Property Show: Marital Status and Property Rights

Paul & Megan learn about how marital status can affect your property journey.

Why you shouldn't be scared of buying a doer-upper

ESPC shares top tips and advice for how to buy a property that needs some TLC to turn it into the home of your dreams - especially if you're on a tight budget.

What is a closing date?

In this article, we explain everything you need to know about how a closing date works in Scotland.

What is a Home Report?

Check out our quick guide on what a Home Report is, what it includes and what to look out for…

The dos and don’ts of buying a period property

Period properties can bring charm and character to a home but it’s important to think carefully before making the investment. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do before buying.

At home with a real ESPC buyer: Wallace Mitchell

Wallace Mitchell gives a glimpse into the process of buying a one-bedroom period flat in Edinburgh and how an ESPC mortgage adviser and solicitor helped on his property journey.

The do’s and don’ts when viewing a property to buy

David Marshall, operations director at Warners Solicitors, gives his top tips on the etiquette for viewing a property.

10 questions every first-time buyer should ask

We’ve highlighted the ten all-important questions that every first-time buyer should ask before making an offer on a property.

At home with a real ESPC buyer: Katie Brigstock

First-time buyer Katie Brigstock found her dream home in Edinburgh through ESPC. In this article, Katie shows us around her home and talks to us about her experience as a first-time buyer.

ESPC Jargon Busters

In our Jargon Busters we break down the terminology of the property industry to help you feel confident and in control of your home-buying journey.

Tools for first-time buyers

In this section, we present a suite of tools designed to simplify the complexities of the first-time buying process. Utilise our LBTT calculator to navigate the intricacies of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, ensuring financial clarity. Explore our mortgage calculator to gain insights into your borrowing capacity and repayment scenarios. Additionally, we recognise that sometimes, personalised guidance is invaluable. That's why we provide resources for in-person assistance, connecting you with experts who can address your unique needs and concerns.

How ESPC's Property Information Centre can help your property search

If you need a helping hand with your property search, come and see us in person at our Property Information Centre, 107 George Street, Edinburgh.

Property tax calculator

Calculate how much property tax you will pay on a property purchase. 

Mortgage Calculator

Calculate how much a bank might loan you for a mortgage.