First Time Buyer Edinburgh

First Time Buyer Edinburgh

If you’re a first time buyer looking to learn more about Edinburgh and buying your first property, the information of this page will hopefully help.

What is a first time buyer?

In the UK, a first time buyer is someone that hasn’t owned a property before so has not been named on the deeds of a property before or had a mortgage.

Lenders have different views of what a first time buyer means to them. For instance, there are mortgage lenders that view first time buyers to be people that haven’t had a mortgage within a certain period, for example, three years.

This meaning of first time buyer applies to the lender’s own criteria. The correct meaning is a person that hasn’t been named on the deeds of a property in the past. Whether or not you are a first time buyer may impact on how much stamp duty land tax that you’ll have to pay when you buy your residential property.

If you are not sure about your status and what it will mean in terms of duty, we would recommend that you contact a solicitor that can give you the individual advice you need.


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About Edinburgh?

When you are looking for a home, it’s important to be well informed about the place that you plan to live. Many people reading this page will be first time buyers that already live in Edinburgh and are very familiar with the city.

For any first time buyers that are considering moving to Edinburgh and are not so familiar with the city, the below information will hopefully be useful.

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United Kingdom.

The city is home to a number of historical and cultural attractions, as well as a range of shops, restaurants and bars.

Edinburgh is also a popular destination for students, with a number of universities and colleges located in the city.

Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland city region comprising roughly 1.8 million people and is the headquarters of many Scottish businesses. The city is also a major tourist destination, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.

Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century.

Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999. When looking for things to do in Edinburgh you may find this website useful.

First Time Buyer houses in Edinburgh

What are the best areas of Edinburgh to buy in?

Knowing the best areas for a first time buyer to buy in Edinburgh is not possible as each person will have a different idea of what these are along with different requirements.

There are however many great places to live in Edinburgh. Some of the most popular areas include Leith, Stockbridge and Bruntsfield. Here is a bit of information about each place.


Leith is an area to the north of Edinburgh, Scotland, at the mouth of the Water of Leith. The earliest surviving historical records for the area are from the 12th century, when it was known as “Inverleith”. The name “Leith” comes from the Middle English for “port, landing place”.

In the late 17th century, the economy of Leith was based on the tobacco trade. The area was also home to a large number of breweries, most of which have now closed.

Leith was incorporated into Edinburgh in 1920, and since then has undergone considerable regeneration. The Leith Shipyards, which built many of the world’s most famous ships, including the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth, closed in the 1980s.

The docks themselves are now a popular leisure area, with a number of bars, restaurants and clubs. The area is also home to a number of art galleries, museums and music venues. The annual Leith Festival is a major event in the calendar, and the area is also home to the Royal Yacht Britannia.


Stockbridge is a suburb of Edinburgh, located to the north of the New Town.

The name is Scots stock brig from Anglic stocc brycg, meaning a timber bridge. It was originally a small rural hamlet located on the Water of Leith.

Stockbridge was formerly located within the county of Midlothian. In 1996, it became part of the City of Edinburgh council area.

It is an affluent area, with a high proportion of professional residents. It is also home to a number of independent shops, restaurants and bars, making it a popular destination for visitors to the city.

Stockbridge is well-connected to the rest of the city, with good bus and train links.


Bruntsfield is a neighbourhood in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located to the south of the city centre, between the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links.

The name comes from the Scots word “burnstane”, meaning “stone of the stream”.

The area is well-served by public transport, with several bus routes running through the area and a railway station located nearby.

There are a number of local shops and businesses, as well as a selection of restaurants and cafes.

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Is the housing market good in Edinburgh?

Over the years, Edinburgh has remained a stable place to have your money invested. With it being Scotland’s capital and packed with history, it means millions of Tourists visit the city each year.

With a large number of employers in the area and good transport links, Edinburgh has continued to be in demand with both first time buyers and home movers alike.

Edinburgh has consistently been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, so it is generally a good place to invest in property.

There is a variety of housing available, from flats to houses, and there is a good selection of schools and amenities.

When looking for a property in Edinburgh, websites such as RightmoveZoopla and On The Market are great places to start.

If you are interested in the Holiday let market, read our post on getting a mortgage on a Holiday let.

What deposit would I need for my first property in Edinburgh?

The minimum amount of deposit that you would need to put down on your property in Edinburgh would be 5% of the purchase price. When placing a minimum deposit, the interest rates reflect the higher amount of risk to the lender and result in a higher interest rate on the product.

Your mortgage adviser will be able to give you advice on the difference in rates and product fees when considering the amount that you want to put down as a deposit for your property in Edinburgh.

I NEED ADVICE can put you in touch with a qualified mortgage professional that can give you advice tailored to your situation.

row of houses in Edinburgh that can have a first time buyer mortgage

How much can I borrow as a first time buyer in Edinburgh?

The amount that a lender will lend to you for your first property in Edinburgh will depend on a number of things.

The lender will take into account your level of income, your deposit amount, the number of financial dependents that you have (such as children that live with you parents that you may car for), your credit score and history and the amount that you pay for commitments such as credit cards, loans including Student Loans, HP finance payments and Car Leases.

5 x your annual income may be possible with some lenders depending on your individual situation. Your mortgage adviser will hold a consultation with you to get a full understanding of your situation before giving you advice on how much you can borrow.

I have bad credit. Would I still be able to get a mortgage to buy my first home in Edinburgh?

Having adverse credit on your file will not always stop you from being able to get a mortgage. Bad credit is a complex area and there is a lot for a mortgage adviser to look at when giving advice on what options you may have.

For instance, they will need to get a full understanding of what the adverse credit consists of. They would need to know when it occurred, what type of bad credit it was (e.g. bankruptcies, debt management plans, arrears, individual voluntary arrangements and so on) how much money it was for, if the debts have now been repaid and what was the event that made the bad credit occur in the first place.

The amount that you have as a deposit, the level of unsecured debts that you have now, and your will also be factors determining what you will be able to borrow, and which lenders will consider you. 

To find out more about your credit score, a website such as Check My File can be useful.

Your mortgage advisor will be able get a full understanding of the situation to then give you individual advice.


Mortgage advisor giving mortgage advice

What are the best schools to be near to when buying our first home in Edinburgh?

If you have or are planning to have a family, being close to leading schools in Edinburgh may be a high priority when you’re looking to buy your first home. Many people are willing to pay a premium to live in a higher priced area just to get their children in to their chosen school.

There are a number of very good schools in Edinburgh. However, it really depends on your child’s needs and preferences as to which would be the best fit. Some parents prefer smaller schools while others prefer larger ones. Some parents prefer schools with a more traditional curriculum while others prefer schools with a more progressive approach.

Schools in Edinburgh that are considered good include:

How long should the term be for my first mortgage in Edinburgh?

How long your mortgage term is depending on your preferences. For example, what is a higher priority, repaying the mortgage quickly or having lower monthly payments?

Many first time buyers opt to take longer terms such as 30 – 35 years to keep the repayments more manageable for them. A lot of mortgage products also allow you to overpay so the strategy for some first time buyers is to take a long term and make overpayments. Your mortgage adviser would need to confirm that you can do this with the product that you intend to take.

Your anticipated retirement age should be considered when picking your mortgage term. For, instance, if you are 50 years old hoping to retire at 70, it’s unlikely that a 30-year term would be suitable as it would continue until you are 80 years old so this may cause you some trouble. However, you are may be able to get a mortgage into retirement.

Your mortgage adviser will be able to tell you the difference in monthly costs for different terms of the mortgage and give you the individual advice that you need.

Houses in Edinburgh

We are based in Edinburgh, should our mortgage adviser be too?

You do not need to be located close to your mortgage adviser in order to get the individual advice that you need to buy your first home in Edinburgh.

Many mortgage advisers give mortgage advice over the phone or by Zoom which can make it more convenient for people that work and would otherwise find it hard to attend appointments.

However, given the different processes involved in buying property in Scotland compared to other parts of the UK, we would suggest talking with a mortgage adviser that has experience in arranging mortgages in Scotland.

Your mortgage adviser should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

I NEED ADVICE can arrange for a qualified mortgage adviser to call you to discuss your options and give you the tailored advice that you need.

What should I be aware of when buying a property in Edinburgh?

When buying a property, it’s important to know what potential issues you may face in a certain area.

There are a few things to be aware of when buying a property in Edinburgh.

The market in Edinburgh can be quite competitive, so it is important to be prepared to move quickly if you find a property you like. Edinburgh can also be a very expensive city to live in, so it is important to budget carefully.

The city is quite hilly, so if you are not used to walking up and down hills, it may be worth considering a flat or a property closer to the city centre.

Furthermore, Edinburgh can be quite a crowded city, so if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, you may want to look outside of the city centre.


An expert mortgage adviser on the phone speaking to a customer

Would a first time buyer get a buy to let mortgage to buy their first property in Edinburgh?

It’s possible to get an investment property with a buy to let mortgage in Edinburgh as a first time buyer so a property to generate a rental income is not out of the question.

Most lenders require you to already own a residential property before they consider you for a buy to let mortgage but not all lenders have this rule.

Your earnings, the amount of your deposit, your credit history and the expected rental income from the property will all be looked at when a lender is assessing whether they can lend to you on a buy to let mortgage for a first time buyer.

If you would like I NEED ADVICE to find you an experienced mortgage adviser that could give you bespoke advice about buying an investment property in Edinburgh, please complete the contact form.


Edinburgh is a brilliant city packed with history and culture. It’s popular for both residents and tourists making a great place for first time buyers to live. Property prices on the whole have been relatively stable there too.

Always do your research before choosing a place to live.

If you are looking for a mortgage, look for an FCA regulated one with some experience in Scottish transactions as they differ from other parts of the UK due to the legalities.

If you would like to speak with an experienced mortgage adviser to find out your options, please complete the contact form.

The information on this page is not tailored to any individual readers and should not be considered financial advice under any circumstances.

If you are seeking advice about a mortgage, you should consult a qualified professional.

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