The essential checklist when buying a house

Before you buy

Understanding a Mortgage

  • How much do I need to borrow?
  • How much deposit do you have?
  • What can you afford to repay each month?
  • When would you like to pay your mortgage off by?

Using a Deposit

If you are using a deposit, it is important that you tell us at the beginning where the money is coming from e.g. gift from family or personal savings. You must provide evidence of the ‘source of funds’ such as a bank statement. If part of your deposit is a gift, your mortgage lender will need to approve this and your lawyer will need to ID the donor and get evidence of transfer from bank statements.

Getting a Decision in Principle

Before making an offer on a property, you’ll need a mortgage lender to confirm that they are prepared to lend you the money. This ‘Decision in Principle’ involves a credit check and a review of your credit score. We share an office in the West End of Glasgow with Mortgage Advice Brokerage and highly recommend them.

Finding a lawyer

You need a lawyer to submit your offer and buy the property. Our friendly First Time Buyer team at Scullion LAW have the skills, understanding and experience required to guide you through the complex legal process from offer to entry. You can trust in us.

If you are buying a property with another person and one of you is putting in a larger deposit, you may wish to draw up a Minute of Agreement. This will help lay out what will happen should you decide to sell the property, or if one party wants to move and the other wishes to keep the house.

Understanding the Home Report

When you view a property, please read the Home Report in detail. This survey tells you the energy efficiency and value of the property. It also highlights any concerns e.g. state of repair and any alterations undertaken.

Other things to consider before buying

  • Check for phone signal; try making a call at several points throughout the house
  • Check the pressure of the shower
  • Turn on the hot water, how quickly does the water get hot?
  • Is there a garden? If so, where is it facing? Does it get any of the sun? Will it need regularly maintained?
  • Is the neighbourhood safe? Are you in the catchment for schools etc?
  • How much storage space does the house have?
  • Can the property be extended in the future?
  • If you are buying a flat, what are the communal areas like? What are the neighbours like?
  • What is parking like on the street?
  • If the seller is around, it is worth asking why they are leaving

Making an Offer

Once you are satisfied with the property, ask your lawyer to submit an offer. This will include the price, date of entry and any extras you want such as white goods (fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, lighting, curtains etc). This is done by a formal letter. At Scullion LAW, we negotiate the terms of your offer with the Estate Agent and the seller’s solicitor to get the deal that is right for you.

Applying for a Mortgage

Once your offer has been accepted, your broker will submit your mortgage application and liaise with your lender to get the loan offer issued in time for your move.

Concluding Missives

The formal legal process between your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer involves checking the titles, reporting and resolving any issues to you and your lender along the way. When all the legal checks are complete and the mortgage has been issued, then missives can be concluded. Please do not make any plans to move until missives are concluded. Timescales and complexities can vary per property. Until missives are formally concluded, either side can walk away without a penalty.

Date of Entry

When the seller receives the money – you receive the KEYS!

Making a Will

We encourage everyone that owns a home to make a Will. The Wills & Future Planning team at Scullion LAW can easily help you.

Additional things to consider

Notify your energy supplier

Before you move, you should make sure your energy company are aware of your upcoming move. Let them know the date which you’ll move out as well as your new address for the last bill to be sent on to. Take a meter reading on the day of the move to avoid being overcharged by your energy supplier. If you currently rent, you should confirm your meter readings with the landlord.

Buildings and contents insurance

Your buildings insurance will usually cover the cost of repairs to any structure or fittings in your home. Buildings insurance should cover you for any fire damage, flooding or subsidence issues. The cost of buildings insurance is based on what it would cost to rebuild the property, and not its purchase price.

To cover your personal belongings within the house, you will need contents insurance. Contents insurance protects you if your items are damaged or stolen due to a theft or accident that wasn’t your fault. Your more expensive belongings (such as jewellery, mobile phone or laptop) may need to be covered in a separate policy. Make sure to update your policy should you buy any additional expensive goods.

After you buy

Tell people you’re moving

This may seem obvious, but if you’re renting you need to make sure your landlord knows the date in which you are moving out. You also might need to update your information at your doctor surgery, in addition to getting your post redirected which you can do via your local post office.

Update your driver’s licence

A lot of people forget to do this but you can actually attract a fine of up to £1,000 if you do not inform DVLA of your address change, so make sure you update. Once you have applied, your updated licence should arrive within around one week.

Contact our conveyancing solicitors Hamilton & Glasgow

We’re dedicated to making sure you can get started in your new home as soon as possible. Do not delay, contact us today on 0141 374 2121 send us an email at, or fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll get right back to you.

Conveyancing|First Time Buyer|New Home


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130 Saltmarket
G1 5LB
0141 374 2121

105 Cadzow St
01698 283 265

730 Dumbarton Road
G11 6RD
0141 374 2121