Opening the door for first-time buyers

A guide to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder.

Getting started on the property ladder can be an exciting yet daunting thought and the process of where to start can be overwhelming which is why we have compiled some useful information for first-time buyers to consider when buying their first home.


Generally speaking, you will need to put down a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value and some lenders will require more than this. The more of a deposit you have saved, the less of a mortgage you will require and the more appealing your application will look to the lender.

Finding the right mortgage

Unless you have managed to save enough to buy a property outright you will need a mortgage to purchase your first home. Finding the right lender and product to suit your needs may sound daunting, but do your research online on the different mortgage providers and their rates. There is a wealth of online mortgage comparison websites that can help, or you can speak to a mortgage broker or bank directly.

To obtain an agreement in principle (the amount the lender is willing to lend you), the mortgage advisor will go through a considerable amount of information regarding your circumstances, so be organised for this. You should have lists of any debts owed, your salary, payslips, and bank statements, which will help the process go smoother. Once you have your agreement in principle it will give you a guide on what properties you can afford.

Government Schemes

The government often issues schemes that can help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. In Scotland, there are various schemes available and these can be researched online. Most mortgage advisors will be able to help you with what is available.


It is worth remembering that the agreement in principle is based on your circumstances now and what the lender thinks you can afford. However you must do your own budgeting and be confident that you can meet the monthly mortgage costs. You also need to think of what other bills you will have as well as the mortgage, including council tax, insurances and making sure you have enough leftover if something was needing to be done to the property. When buying a house, you will also need to consider the costs of the transaction including solicitor fees and moving expenses. At Middleton Ross we can give you a quote based on your requirements, so that you can factor this into your budget.

Property Searching

We all have an idea of what we want our dream home to include, but finding it within budget can be difficult. When looking for properties draw up a list of what you need within a property for example a garden, also have a list of what you are willing to compromise on. Look online at properties within your budget, and specifications. At Middleton Ross, we have a property matching service so you might be struggling to find something on the market at the moment, but we can match your specifications to properties that we have coming on the market in the future.

Property Viewing

When viewing properties take your time and take your list of what you need the property to have with you and what you are willing to compromise on. Look at the finer detail within the property, for example storage and the overall condition of the finishings inside.

Making an offer and purchasing your first home

Once you have found the right property you will need to place an offer through a Solicitor, and they will then deal with the conveyancing, ie. the legal process of transferring the property to you.

The Solicitor will guide you through the process and keep you informed throughout. The estimated time for conveyancing is typically around 6-8 weeks but this can vary depending on the complexity of the purchase.

Our team of Solicitors at Middleton Ross are on hand to deal with your purchase and help guide you through your first purchase as a homeowner and make it as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Why not visit our team page to meet our team who are here to guide you through your purchase.



If you have already been dealing with someone at the firm and have a query, please e-mail them first of all. E-mail addresses are found on our Team page.


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