Help to buy a house

Advice on buying a house

In the Scottish Borders, the average cost for purchasing a house has more than doubled since 2001. Our research indicates that the average price paid for a home in 2017 was £185,645.

House buying involves a number of stages:

  • obtaining finance, usually through a mortgage
  • finding a property
  • conveyancing
  • making an offer

Buying a house is probably the greatest financial commitment you will make, and it is advisable to get legal advice as soon as possible.

Once you have found a property, your lender and solicitor will advise you on the process for having the property valued, surveyed and making an offer for the property. Buyers from outside Scotland should be aware that Scotland has its own legal system and house buying process, which differs greatly to that in England.

Shelter Scotland provides useful information for potential house buyers on the buying a home section of their website.

Obtaining finance

You will need to contact a bank, building society, mortgage company or other lender to discuss how much you are able to borrow, what type of mortgages are available and what repayments are involved.

They will also be able to advise you on other costs involved such as legal fees and insurance. In terms of amount available to borrow, in general lenders will offer 3x single salary or 2.5x joint salaries.

The Financial Services Authority provides guidance on mortgages types and costs.

Where to get information on houses for sale

Borders Solicitors Property Centre

Borders Solicitors Property Centre (BSPC) publishes a list of properties to buy and rent in the Borders and North Northumberland. The publication is available free in banks, building societies and solicitors offices in the Borders and Berwick.

The BSPC also has a website which lists details for listed properties. Contact details for local estate agents and solicitors are listed in the Yellow Pages.

Many of these will operate mailing lists where you can specify your housing needs and details will be sent to you of any properties matching your criteria. A number of local estate agents and solicitors also have websites where they list details of properties for sale.

Local press

Local papers contain information on houses for sale, both through companies and privately.

  • The Southern Reporter and Berwickshire News are published every Thursday 
  • The Border Telegraph is published weekly on a Tuesday and covers the Central Borders
  • The Hawick News, Selkirk Advertiser and Peeblesshire News are published every Friday and cover local areas

Scotsman newspaper contains information on houses for sale throughout Scotland on Thursdays. Scotland on Sunday has a property section which also lists houses for sale throughout Scotland.

Right to buy

In 2016 the Right to Buy, which allowed tenants living in social housing to purchase their homes, was abolished in Scotland.

Internet Search

You can search for properties to buy or rent using websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Find out more

For more information please contact the Housing Strategy Team.

Download help to buy a home guidance and application notes Download the scheme of assistance guidance

Housing Strategy, Policy and Development

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. boswells

Telephone: 01896 661392

Fax: 01896 662765