How to Buy a House in Scotland
Buying a house is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. The excitement of searching for and eventually making an offer on somewhere that you can call home is a feeling that is hard to match.
It is important, however, for you to know and understand the legalities of buying a property in Scotland, so that you aren’t met with unexpected fees or taxes. At Watermans, our conveyancing team have compiled answers to some frequently asked property purchase questions, so that you can develop an understanding of what’s involved in the process.
What is a Home Report?
If you are selling a residential property in Scotland, you are required to produce a Home Report for prospective buyers to view.
The Home Report is a document noting useful information regarding a property. Produced by a chartered surveyor, it states the property value, and includes information on the general condition of the property, and any repairs that may need to be carried out. Knowing about any possible repairs that may be needed will allow you, as the potential buyer, to calculate whether your budget will allow for these.
The Home Report also includes details of the property’s energy efficiency and a questionnaire providing information on the council tax band, access rights and parking facilities.
Our conveyancing team at Watermans can help you by explaining all of the information included in the Home Report and answering any queries you may have.
What is the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)?
The LBTT replaced UK Stamp Duty in Scotland in 2015. It is a tax applied to purchases of residential and commercial land and buildings in Scotland. The tax is payable at different rates, set out in specified tax bands, which can be viewed here.
If you are a first-time buyer, there is some relief available if you are planning to buy a home which you intend to live in as your main residence. This relief increases the nil-rate band of LBTT from £145,000 to £175,000, meaning that you will not have to pay LBTT as a first-time buyer on a property valued up to £175,000.
What is the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS)?
The ADS is an additional amount of tax due on the purchase of additional dwellings in Scotland. This tax would be payable if you purchased a buy-to-let property or an additional home to your main residence. It is charged at 4% and is payable on the total purchase price of an additional property if the purchase price is £40,000 or more.
The tax is payable if you already own property anywhere in the world, and not necessarily only in Scotland.
There are many technicalities involved in the Additional Dwelling Supplement, and that is why it is important to be fully aware of where you stand as a buyer if you already own another property.
Why should I choose Watermans when purchasing a property?
At Watermans, our team of conveyancing experts know the Scottish housing market and understand how exciting and daunting it can be when you decide to purchase a property. We provide a property buying service tailored to your needs and are here to offer straightforward legal advice, to guide you through the process.
We explain everything clearly, without the jargon, so that you are fully aware of all the legalities of buying a property in Scotland. Use the form below to contact our dedicated conveyancing team, today.