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First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh
First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh - What you need to find out

First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh


We’re Cameron Stephen & Co, solicitors in Edinburgh and we specialise in helping First Time Buyers.

Here you will be able to find out the basic information relating to first time buyer mortgages in Edinburgh and some tips and advice.

Also, since we have an independent mortgage advisor working from our office, Alasdair Lowrey, of Trinity Finance, we shall also give you a little information about what he can do to help you.


First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh: What are the questions you should be asking?

Buying your first flat or house is one of life’s milestones and will be the biggest financial commitment you have made so far.

It is important therefore to find out a little more about how you are going to finance the purchase and get the best advice.

So the top first questions you should be asking are:

  • How much of a mortgage will I be able to get and afford?
  • What should I do to go about getting a mortgage?
  • How much of a deposit will I need?
  • Can I get extra help in that from the Bank of Mum & Dad or through government schemes?
  • What is it going to cost me to buy my first home?

So, let’s start answering those questions.

But First – The question: What is a mortgage anyway?

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or building society specifically to help you buy a property.

In return for giving you the loan, the bank or building society charge you interest and take a security or charge over the property you are buying.

That loan is repaid over a number of years (usually 25 years or more) by monthly payments.

If you don’t keep up the monthly payments then your home will be at risk. The bank or building society is able to call up their security, have you removed from your home and then sell your home.

There are various types of mortgage but all will be on a capital and interest basis if you are a first time buyer. This means that your monthly mortgage payments will be made up of the interest and a small amount of capital repayment (ie part of the loan is repaid).

Most often first time buyers go for a fixed rate mortgage. This is a mortgage where the interest rate is fixed for the first few years (usually 2 or 5). The benefit to you is that the monthly payments are fixed for that period and so gives you a degree of certainty.

Usually, the more you put in as a deposit, the better the rate of interest you can get.

How do I go about getting a mortgage?

There are just the two ways to get a mortgage:

  • You can either go into various branches of the banks and building societies, or
  • And this is becoming much more usual, you can speak to a mortgage advisor or broker, like Alasdair, who is qualified to give you detailed advice and offer you a range of mortgages from across the whole of the UK mortgage market.

Interesting to know that the vast majority of mortgages in the UK are now arranged through brokers rather than direct through the banks and building societies.

Some of the Benefits of going through a broker

Whole of Market – best deal for you

There is nothing wrong in going to your bank or any other bank or building society. But bear in mind that they will only be able to offer you a mortgage product offered by their bank or society.

So the first benefit of speaking with someone like Alasdair is that they will be able to offer you mortgage choices from all lenders in the UK (what is often referred to as “whole of market”).

And to find the best mortgage that will suit your needs – whether that is finding the lender which will offer you the most or the cheapest deal.

Getting your mortgage quicker

Lenders can sometimes have waiting lists for meeting with buyers wanting to apply for mortgages. That can sometimes be a wait of several weeks.

A good mortgage advisor will be able to see you almost immediately that you need the meeting and then submit your application within a few days. 

The result is that your mortgage offer will be issued much quicker than if you were to go into the bank yourself.

Helping where you a square peg in a round hole

If you are not a 9 to 5 worker, for example you are self employed, contract worker or rely on a large but uncertain amount of overtime, then a mortgage broker, like Alasdair, will be best placed to find you the best options.

Single Point of Contact

It is a really nice thing to know that you will be able to rely on your mortgage broker to deal direct with you, the lender and your solicitor to ensure that processing your mortgage application and completing your purchase are done smoothly and without stress.

Overcoming hurdles

Mortgage Advisors, like Alasdair, are best placed to identify quickly any likely hurdles you may have in getting a mortgage.

Such hurdles might be poor credit history, being self-employed etc.

They will be able to let you know which will be the best lenders for you.

How much of a mortgage will I be able to get and afford?

In basic terms, the amount of the mortgage you will be offered (the amount of the loan) will be calculated by a number of factors but these boil down to:

  • your income (salary) and
  • your spending and other financial commitments.

Rather than leave that to guess work, lenders offer something they call a Mortgage Agreement in Principle or Mortgage Promise.

This is where they take details from you about your salary and your monthly outgoings and calculate the maximum mortgage they would offer you. 

It does not give you any particular mortgage deal – for example a 2 or 3 year fixed rate date. It only gives you the maximum amount of mortgage you can borrow.

How much of a deposit will I need?

You will certainly need a deposit.

Your deposit (your savings) will need to be sufficient to cover the following:

  • the difference between the amount of your mortgage and the purchase price; and
  • the costs of buying

It is important to know that your mortgage will be a percentage of the value of the property (the home report value) and not the purchase price.

In the current Edinburgh property market, it is likely that you will need to offer over the valuation and so your deposit will also need to cover that difference.

Just as an example of this:

If you have a mortgage agreement in principle for £200,000 and the purchase price is £220,000 then:

  • Assuming a 90% loan to value, the mortgage would be £180,000 (ie 90% of the value of £200,000); and
  • Your deposit would be £40,000

That is a lot of money to save.


Can I get extra help from the Bank of Mum & Dad or through government schemes?

Yes you can.

Bank of Mum & Dad

This is the phrase used to describe gifts of money from your parents or close family members.

Generally, banks and building societies will be happy that you are getting some of your deposit through the Bank of Mum & Dad.

But it is important that your parents accept that this money is a gift and not a loan.

Lifetime ISAs

If you are not thinking of buying for a while until you have built up your deposit, then you might wish to take a look at opening a Lifetime ISA.

In effect, the government will add 25% to your savings when you use those savings towards buying your first home.

They are not offered by many companies but we have found our clients using the Skipton Building Society and Nutmeg. We have linked those so that you can go and have a look.

First Home Fund

This is a great fund launced by the Scottish Government in December 2019 which offers first time buyers up to £25,000 towards their first home. It is worth having a look at.

You can go the government website to find out more about this and we have a page on our website to give you an overview.

What is it going to cost me to buy my first home?

Besides the general costs of moving home, then the specific purchase-related costs will be:

  • the registration dues payable to Registers of Scotland to register you as the owner;
  • any tax (LBTT) payable – although there is a First Time Buyer Relief; and 
  • the solicitor’s legal fees

The registration dues and the tax (if any) depend on the purchase price of the property. Our fees will be fixed and we offer a special fee for all our first time buyers.

But if you give us an idea of the price you have in mind, we can send you a quote to give you a good idea of what the total costs are likely to be.

You can find a Request for Quote form at the foot of this page.


Get in touch with Alasdair

First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh

Although not staff or part of Cameron Stephen & Co, we are lucky to share our office with Alasdair Lowrey.

Alasdair is a CeMAP qualified Mortgage Advisor with Trinity Finance, a UK-wide Mortgage and Protection Brokerage. He has a wide range of experience and has helped many first time buyers get their mortgages.

Alasdair will offer you a free initial meeting and will then be able to get you a Mortgage Agreement in Principle.

Then once you have offered successfully on a property, he will be able to get you the best mortgage for you.

Alasdair can be contacted:

Tel: 07568 397 052

E: [email protected]

Contact Alasdair

Thank you for taking your time to read First Time Buyer Mortgages Edinburgh and we hope you will have found it useful.

We are Cameron Stephen & Co, solicitors in Edinburgh specialising in helping first time buyers.

Free First Meeting

We offer a free first meeting so that you can see us, ask us all your questions and find out more about the buying process.

Budget Planner

We can also prepare a Budget Planner for you to give you a better idea of what properties you can afford and so better target your property search.

Find out More

Below are a few links to other pages on our website where you will find out more about our service and our special offer to first time buyers.

And, if you would like us to give you a quote, then below the links you will also find a Request a Quote form.

Or simply give us a call on 0131 555 1234

We look forward to hearing from you.

Special Fee Offer for First Time Buyers

We offer a great value fixed fee for first time buyers.

Need help finding a mortgage?

Why not get in touch with Alasdair who will be able to help you?

Find out more about buying your first home

You can find out a lot more information on our website

Get in touch

14 Constitution Street,
EH6 7BT,

Legal Post: LP 13 Leith

Tel: 0131 555 1234

Fax: 0131 555 2299

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