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Looking to buy

The house buying process can be a daunting prospect especially if it’s your first time. There are some keys points which should be considered during the process.

If you are on a low income you may wish to consider one of the Low Cost Home Ownership Schemes available from the Orkney Housing Association Limited. More information can be found from the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

Consider your finances

The best way to do this is to approach some banks or seek financial advice and get pre-approval for a mortgage. This will give you an indication of how much you can potentially borrow and the size of deposit you will require. They will also advise you on other costs involved in the buying process.

Look for a solicitor

You will need to approach a solicitor to do the work required during the course of the buying process. Some banks may offer the use of their panel of solicitors. This may work out cheaper but they may also be based on mainland Scotland so there will be no face to face contact should a problem arise.

Look for a property

Once you've got an idea of how much you can afford you can start looking for properties. You should be aware that it is likely you will look at several properties before you find the right the one.

Home Report

Once you've found a property you like, the seller will have to provide you with a home report which is basically a pack with more detailed information about the property. This includes a single survey, an energy report and a property questionnaire.

The single survey contains a valuation and assessment of the property's condition (including the roof, external walls and plumbing). You may want to consider getting a more detailed building survey done if the property is older or of a non-standard construction.

The energy report will give the property an energy efficiency rating and assess its environmental impact by looking at carbon dioxide emissions. Completed by the seller, the property questionnaire will contain details such as whether the property has ever flooded or been treated for wood rot, as well as things like parking arrangements and council tax bands.

Valuations and Surveys

If you decide that you are going to put in an offer on the property, the valuation will determine the amount of money your lender will be able to lend on the property.

Making an offer

After you've got all of the above sorted and your bank have confirmed that they are willing to lend you the money you can proceed with making an offer. This must be done through your solicitor who will give you advice about how much to offer and how the process works.

Completing the purchase

Now that you have been through the process of waiting to find out if your offer has been accepted, your solicitor will then liaise with the sellers' solicitor in finalising the details of the purchase. This includes requesting the mortgage funds from your bank, getting the deposit funds from you, completing the transaction and dealing with the legal paperwork.