Buying language

Navigating the Lexicon of Homebuying

Master the Art of BUYING LANGUAGE

Embarking on the journey of buying a home can be fraught with jargon and intricate terms. To simplify the process, we’ve crafted this guide to demystify the BUYING LANGUAGE you’ll encounter along the way. Consult your legal advisor for further clarification, and know that we’re always here to assist you.

If anything requires clarification you should consult your legal adviser – or if we can help, we will.


‘Understanding Key Terms’

Bridging Loan: A Bridging Loan is your financial safety net when there’s a mismatch in the sale date of your existing home and the purchase date of your new one. It acts as a short-term loan until your mortgage kicks in.

Buildmark: A Buildmark warranty provides a decade-long insurance cover for your newly-built home. It’s backed by the National House Building Council (NHBC), safeguarding your investment.

Completion: Completion signifies the ultimate step in your home buying process, where all the funds are transferred, and you officially gain legal ownership of your property.

Contract: A contract between the seller and the buyer becomes legally enforceable once it is signed by both parties and the agreed deposit is handed over to the solicitor.

Conveyancing: Conveyancing is the legal mechanism that transfers property ownership from the seller to the buyer.

‘Navigating Property Legalities’

Covenant: A Covenant is a set of conditions or restrictions that come with the property and must be adhered to.

Deeds: Deeds are the legal papers that collectively represent all pertinent information related to the property.

Deposit: A Deposit is a partial upfront payment of the property price, usually paid upon contract exchange.

Disposition or Feu Disposition: In Scotland, the Feu Disposition is the legal document that confirms the transfer of property ownership to the buyer.

Energy Performance Certificate: Required by law, this certificate provides a comprehensive overview of your property’s energy efficiency ratings.

‘Contracts and Ownership’

Exchange of Contracts: This is when two identical contracts, one signed by the seller and another by the buyer, are exchanged, legally binding both parties to the deal.

Freehold: Freehold signifies your complete ownership of both the property and the land it occupies.

Ground Rent: For Leasehold properties, a Ground Rent is an annual fee paid to the Freeholder.

Home Report: This report is mandatory when selling any property in Scotland.

Insurance: Your mortgage advisor will guide you through the necessary insurance policies, covering both your property and its contents.

‘Financing and More’

Land Certificate: This government-issued certificate serves as your definitive proof of property ownership.

Land Registry Fees: Paid to the government through your solicitor, these fees confirm your property’s registration with the Land Registry.

Leasehold: Leasehold refers to owning a property for a specified number of years, decades or centuries. An annual Ground Rent is typically paid to the Freeholder.

Local Authority Search: Your solicitor conducts this search to determine if your property may be affected by any upcoming planning decisions.

Management Company: For apartments, a Management Company takes care of maintaining common areas like hallways, stairs, and sometimes even roads and street lights.

‘Essential Documentation and Due Diligence’

Missives: In Scotland, Missives refer to the exchanged letters during the property offer and acceptance stage.

Mortgage & Related Terms: Most buyers will require a mortgage, which is a loan for purchasing a house. The lender (Mortgagee) provides the loan to the borrower (Mortgagor), often requiring additional security like Mortgage Indemnity Insurance.

National House Building Council: The NHBC is a not-for-profit organisation that oversees the quality of new home constructions, offering a 10-year Buildmark warranty.

Registered Land: Land registered with the Land Registry assures legal ownership.

Searches: This is the process of ascertaining any current or future issues affecting a property.

‘Final Steps and Future Planning’

Settlement: In Scotland, Settlement refers to the final transaction stage where all property-related documents and payments are finalized.

Stamp Duty: This is a tax imposed on property purchases, which your solicitor will handle for you.

Sold Subject to Contract: This means that the property sale is proceeding but has not yet been legally finalised.

Title & Deeds: The Title represents the legal rights and responsibilities that come with property ownership, as detailed in the Title Deeds.

Will: Owning a home should prompt the creation or revision of your Will to ensure your estate is managed according to your wishes after your demise.