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The Scottish property market is looking stronger than it has done for several years, particularly in Edinburgh. Government initiatives such as Help to Buy have helped stimulate the market from the bottom up and banks are lending more freely than in previous years. All good news.

Government help notwithstanding, for first-time buyers there are a number of financial challenges that must be negotiated.

Perhaps the central cost you will have to account for when buying your first home is a deposit. Whether you have or are able to save the entire amount yourself or you need help from your family or the government, at least a 5% deposit will be needed.

And again, unless you have lots of savings, you will need to get a mortgage. It is important to establish whether or not you will be able to afford the monthly payments . Not just today - but also in times when money becomes tight or interest rates rise. It is a good idea to approach a mortgage lender early on in the home-buying process.

Other costs:

Mortgage fees: this could include a booking fee, an arrangement fee and a mortgage valuation fee if your lender wants to survey the property to check it's worth the mortgage amount. This can add up.

Solicitor's fees: Before you can make an offer on a property it is necessary for a solicitor like Blair Cadell to put a note of interest to the seller's agent and handle all the paperwork involved.  A solicitor is also necessary for the conclusion of the sale of the property.

Homebuyer's Report or Building Survey: If you are buying an older property  you might want, or be asked (by your mortgage lender for example) to have a homebuyer's report or building survey carried out on it.

Stamp Duty: This lump-sum tax has to be paid on all property purchases of over 125,000. The amount you have to pay goes up incrementally depending on the value of the property you are buying. It can be a few thousand pounds on a larger property.

Other fees that you might encounter could include; removal fees, insurance costs, title registration fee.

How to make your life easier? Do your homework and make a detailed budget before you start the buying process in earnest - remember to factor in unforeseen costs too.

(image:grish_21/FlickrCC)

Blair Cadell's conveyancing specialists are on hand at all times to co-ordinate and advise on all of your legal arrangements and queries from the word go. We use the most up to date IT systems to maximise efficiency and minimise cost for you, including subscription to the Registers of Scotland state of the art on-line Automated Registration of Title to Land system (ARTL). Call us today to find out how we can help you.