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10 Tips for First Time Buyers in Edinburgh
Tips for First Time Buyers to help you buying your first home

10 Tips for First Time Buyers in Edinburgh


We are Cameron Stephen & Co solicitors in Edinburgh and we specialise in helping first time buyers in Edinburgh buy their first homes.

Although there are many of these top tip lists on the internet, these are our top 10 tips for first time buyers in Edinburgh.

If you are interested in finding out more about our First Time Buyer service and special fee for First Time Buyers then you might like to take a look at our Buying page where you will find more information.


We already have a Budget Guide for First Time Buyers and we recommend that you have a look at it.

It is quite surprising and will explain the interaction between your savings, your mortgage and just what you will probably have to offer for properties in Edinburgh in the current market.

Put simply, the more savings you have the better your chances of successfully offering for a property in the current Edinburgh property market.

We can prepare a Budget Planner for you to give you a better idea of what you can afford to offer. 


At the moment, Edinburgh is a sellers’ market and property prices are rising.

Typically we are finding that most first time buyer properties are very popular.

You will need to offer at a Closing Date and will need to offer substantially over the home report value.

Knowing your budget and knowing the market will give you a better idea of what properties you can afford and so narrow down your search.

We buy and sell properties in Edinburgh all the time and so you will get the benefit of our experience and expertise.


In the current Edinburgh property market, as solicitor estate agents in Edinburgh we generally market our properties at prices which are ‘offers over’ but at a price set a little below the Home Report value.

The home report value is the starting point for offers and is an important factor in knowing how much you can borrow.

We recommend that you ignore the asking price and go straight for the Home Report value.

Not all property portals offer you the Home Report but the ESPC website does. So, once you see a property you like, always download the Home Report. You will find the valuation at the end of the Single Survey section.

10 Tips for First Time Buyers

4. First Home Fund

As first time buyers you can apply to get up to £25,000 of funding from the Scottish Government to help you buy your first home.

We have prepared a short guide to the First Home Fund.

Well worth considering.


If you haven’t already got a Help to Buy ISA, then unfortunately you are too late.

But there are Lifetime ISAs and these work in much the same way; the government add 25% to your savings when you use the money to help buy your first home.

Not many banks operate these accounts but we are finding the Skipton popular with our clients.

Again, worth considering.


We know this sounds like self promotion and in a way it is.

But since you will need a solicitor in any case, we recommend that you make this an early priority when you start you property search in Edinburgh.


Because like no other person in the property industry, as solicitors we see on a daily basis what the market is doing. So it makes sense to make use of all our experience.

10 Tips for First Time Buyers


Whether you get this from your bank, building society or through a mortgage adviser, it is always a good idea to get this agreement in principle.

Mortgage offers change all the time. Getting a mortgage agreement in principle doesn’t tie you to anything but it will give you an accurate idea of what size mortgage you could be offered and you will also get a better idea of what a mortgage is.


There will competition for the properties you will see online and those properties will sell quickly.

So make a viewing as soon as you see a property come onto the market.

Putting off that viewing by a week can sometimes be too late as that property may have already come under offer.

Then contact your solicitor to note your interest so that you don’t lose out on any closing dates.


If your budget is tight, look for fixed price properties or properties that have been on the market for a while.

There are not that many fixed price properties for sale at the moment but look out for them.

Also look out for properties that have been on the market a while without selling.

Odds are there is nothing wrong with those properties but if you can avoid offering at a closing date, the more likely you will be being able to negotiate and agree a price with the seller that is lower than you would have to offer if in competition with other buyers.


Buying a new build property might be a sensible choice if you find yourself being outbid at closing dates.

The advantage of a new build is that they are fixed price.

If you buy off plan you may need to wait six months or so for the property to be built, but that time can be used to your advantage by increasing your savings.

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