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    • Meka3256
    • By Meka3256 19th Mar 17, 2:51 PM
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    Meka3256
    150k house budget - mortgage free in Scotland
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 2:51 PM
    150k house budget - mortgage free in Scotland 19th Mar 17 at 2:51 PM
    Hi all,

    I currently live in London, and have been on the property market since I was 24 years old. I feel incredibly fortunate to have bought my current house just before the area became popular, and so now have a lot of equity in my property. The result is, if I sold tomorrow I am likely to have 140-150k.

    I am in my early 30s and I have decided that I want to leave London in the next couple of years and be mortgage free. I've spent a lot of time looking at where in the UK I would move, and have ultimately decided on Scotland. As I will be mortgage free, I have also decided to work slightly differently, so I will not be commuting.

    However my question is where in Scotland? I have been researching a lot and I think somewhere like Peebles would be my ideal, but I can't get what i want without a mortgage. The Scottish borders, and places like Ayrshire would give me what I want from a mortgage free point of view, but I am not sure how I would feel about moving from London to such smaller communities. At least with Peebles (or somewhere similar), you have Edinburgh on your doorstep. Prestwick looks like an option, but then Lanarkshire gives me more for my money.

    My requirements: I have no children so I'm not bothered about good schools, other than the fact they tend to indicate a nice area. I want 2 bedrooms, with a large kitchen and an office space (this could be a 3rd bedroom, or I can build an outside building). I'm not bothered about a lot of land, and don't want to be too remote - I'm fine living in a village as long as it's close to a large town with supermarkets. I will need fast internet as I will be working from home. I'm open to some work, but 150k is my max budget - I have extra savings for fees, moving costs etc, but no extra for renovations. I also need to be reasonably close to an airport as I have close family who live abroad, and I want to be able to visit them regularly. My final, slightly random requirement is that I don't like the snow. So whilst I've come to terms with the rain and dark i will encounter when I move, I don't want to be too far north and experience a lot of snow.

    Has anyone done the move and have any suggestions based on their knowledge? Or anyone live in Scotland, and want to share the great place they live?
Page 1
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 19th Mar 17, 3:06 PM
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    Penitent
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 3:06 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 3:06 PM
    My final, slightly random requirement is that I don't like the snow. So whilst I've come to terms with the rain and dark i will encounter when I move, I don't want to be too far north and experience a lot of snow.
    Originally posted by Meka3256
    Then don't move to Peebles, move closer to the coast (unless you want to be under a few feet of it come February).
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 19th Mar 17, 4:51 PM
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    ProDave
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 4:51 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 4:51 PM
    I have no regrets moving just north of Inverness. If you don't like the countryside, Inverness itself would do. It's a lot less wet this side of Scotland, and while it does snow in Inverness, it's on the coast so it's never that bad. Cheap frequent flights to the south for when you want to go visiting etc.
    • HWG
    • By HWG 19th Mar 17, 5:45 PM
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    HWG
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:45 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:45 PM
    I'd say East Lothian and the Borders are a great idea. The weather is drier than the West Coast. (compare the annual rainfall of Edinburgh and Glasgow).

    Peebles is lush - for similar towns check out Dunbar, North Berwick, Eyemouth and Melrose. Might be cheaper.
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 19th Mar 17, 6:36 PM
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    Nebulous2
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:36 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:36 PM
    Do you drive? East coast is certainly drier than West but airports tend to be City based and that bumps up the cost.

    The cheapest City is likely to be Dundee and the surrounding towns. Try the local property centre.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 19th Mar 17, 6:39 PM
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    Pixie5740
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:39 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:39 PM
    What made you decide on Scotland? Where have you visited in Scotland previously and what did you think of those areas? It's a large area to cover with great variations from one area to the next.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • JP1978
    • By JP1978 19th Mar 17, 6:40 PM
    • 269 Posts
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    JP1978
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:40 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:40 PM
    To be fair, there a lot of places in Scotland that can offer what you want, I have lived up here since 2002 and have no regrets whatsoever.

    Peebles and the places that others have mentioned are very nice - Peebles been quite touristy for walkers etc and is a stopping point for those who want to travel to Edinburgh. You will however get snow, often when other areas of Scotland dont get it.

    We stay in a smaller town in Fife - although I personally love this particular township, it's not got the 'out the way' part that you are looking for but I would promote Fife as an area for you to look at the smaller towns and villages. You will see that it has good transport links to Edinburgh, Dundee & Perth (and beyond to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling etc)

    There are lots of small old fishing villages along the coast, with some properties very reasonably priced - West Wemyss etc. Wherever people stay in Fife, although its a big county, a beach isnt far away and nor is a decent sized town with all the amenities you could want. Fife is also home of St Andrews of course - although that is an expensive area for property and are some of the neighbouring villages. I like the fact that most towns and villages are separated by miles of rural scenery, where I am originally from, one town/suburb just merged into another, hardly any greenery at all.

    In terms of property prices, we recently paid C189,000 for a 4 bed detached of good size and quality - wonder what someone would get in inner city London for that?
    • jennifernil
    • By jennifernil 19th Mar 17, 7:36 PM
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    jennifernil
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 7:36 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 7:36 PM
    We are in Scotland, but in an upmarket area where your budget would not be anything like enough. We are just NW of Glasgow.

    I grew up in Prestwick, it's a pleasant area, mild climate, good links to Glasgow, and very reasonably priced, as is most of Ayrshire.

    We have also lived in Fife, Dalgety Bay, good for Edinburgh, but as a result a bit more expensive.

    The further you go from a large town, the less expensive it usually becomes.

    If you are working from home, as my son does, fast internet will be important, so check that out first.

    He has been in Ayrshire, just NE of Kilmarnock, for 6 years now, internet was not great, but is certainly improving. He works for a large American firm, so is looking forward to his new internet connection.
    • Meka3256
    • By Meka3256 19th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 13 Posts
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    Meka3256
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    Thanks everyone for the replies so far - some really helpful suggestions. Some places also that I hadn't thought of at all.

    I do drive, so this does make me more flexible with the location.
    • ellie27
    • By ellie27 19th Mar 17, 9:30 PM
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    ellie27
    Do you really need to be mortgage free??

    Surely location and getting the house you want in the right location (even with a small mortgage) is way more important and better than a house thats not in as great a location and being mortgage-free?
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 19th Mar 17, 9:38 PM
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    glasgowdan
    We are in Scotland, but in an upmarket area where your budget would not be anything like enough. We are just NW of Glasgow.

    I grew up in Prestwick, it's a pleasant area, mild climate, good links to Glasgow, and very reasonably priced, as is most of Ayrshire.

    We have also lived in Fife, Dalgety Bay, good for Edinburgh, but as a result a bit more expensive.

    The further you go from a large town, the less expensive it usually becomes.

    If you are working from home, as my son does, fast internet will be important, so check that out first.

    He has been in Ayrshire, just NE of Kilmarnock, for 6 years now, internet was not great, but is certainly improving. He works for a large American firm, so is looking forward to his new internet connection.
    Originally posted by jennifernil
    I grew up in West Kilbride and live in East Dun too

    OP, don't worry about the snow. The vast majority of the Scottish population experience very little of the stuff! I know 7mm of it at Heathrow sends Londoners into convulsions and gets them on their prayer mats, but really... it's not like that. If we get a day or 3 a year it doesn't really change anything. Airports still operate, people still drive to work, pedestrians get to the shops without dying and so on.

    Are you ok with a semi or does it have to be detached?

    Start with the larger towns with supermarkets and work out to smaller satellite villages where housing is cheaper and the standard of living is arguably better. So, Ayr, Greenock (ok, many undesirable areas around here!), Irvine, Dumfries, Glasgow, Paisley, Dundee, Perth, St Andrews, Stirling, Edinburgh. Small places that I know and would happily live in if schools/kids wereb't in my life would include the areas around Ayr, Troon, Stewarton, Ardrossan, Seamill, Largs, Kilmacolm, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Neilston, any of East Dunbartonshire, Balfron, the few miles north of Stirling, Comrie, Crieff, most of the east side of Fife, the few miles around Perth, Linlithgow, Innerleithen, Peebles, Walkerburn.

    None of these areas have unusual snowfall. They're all accessible to airports, have decent enough supermarkets within a sensible drive and most have some amazing scenery and access to countryside.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 19th Mar 17, 9:43 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    Do you really need to be mortgage free??

    Surely location and getting the house you want in the right location (even with a small mortgage) is way more important and better than a house thats not in as great a location and being mortgage-free?
    Originally posted by ellie27

    My thoughts exactly. Why put such emphasis on not having a mortage when it might be small and manageable and cleared In a few years (say, 10 or less), be easy to afford and give you a better quality of life for the rest of your life rather than be hogtied by what frankly is a fairly arbitrary decision.

    You are probably at peak earning potential right now, mortgages are as cheap as they've been for many generations, without going wild with a millstone of a mortage now is the time to take adavantage of both those factors if it means you can get the right place for you for life, rather than putting up with second best just because you don't want to pay a couple of hundred pounds a month for a few years.

    It will also put you better placed much later on, when / if you come to downsize or take equity, being ina better location will pay back those earlier years.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 19-03-2017 at 9:46 PM.
    • Meka3256
    • By Meka3256 19th Mar 17, 10:04 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Meka3256
    My thoughts exactly. Why put such emphasis on not having a mortage when it might be small and manageable and cleared In a few years (say, 10 or less), be easy to afford and give you a better quality of life for the rest of your life rather than be hogtied by what frankly is a fairly arbitrary decision.

    You are probably at peak earning potential right now, mortgages are as cheap as they've been for many generations, without going wild with a millstone of a mortage now is the time to take adavantage of both those factors if it means you can get the right place for you for life, rather than putting up with second best just because you don't want to pay a couple of hundred pounds a month for a few years.

    It will also put you better placed much later on, when / if you come to downsize or take equity, being ina better location will pay back those earlier years.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Thanks both for asking this question.

    My desire to move is to have a better work life balance - essentially for my own well being. If I am able to be mortgage free, it means I can be self employed and chose a job that will make me happy.

    What you say is exactly rational, and the best economic choice is to stay working. However my move is driven by a desire to have a happier life, and as long as I can get roughly what I want in terms of house and location, I feel it will be the best choice for me.

    If I can't get what I want mortgage free, I will stay a couple more years in London and continue on with the 'rat race'. But at the moment next year is looking possible for me to move, and get what I want from life.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 19th Mar 17, 10:20 PM
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    glasgowdan
    I say stick to your instincts and buy outright. The feeling is wonderful. Though with my newest council tax bill I'll never really feel financially freed, mortgage or not!
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 19th Mar 17, 11:24 PM
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    zagubov
    There will be loads of good places in the central belt. Around Stirling and Falkirk there are loads of good connections to Glasgow and Edinburgh and in Fife you've access to Dundee too.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Have you thought about how you will feel somewhere that is so different to London?

    It's very easy to spend many years living in one part of the country and assume the rest of the country is very much the same - except for fewer people and more countryside.

    There's rather a lot more to it than that. It can feel fairly much like moving to a different country in many respects.
    ploughing my own furrow...

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    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 20th Mar 17, 8:50 AM
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    glasgowdan
    Have you thought about how you will feel somewhere that is so different to London?

    It's very easy to spend many years living in one part of the country and assume the rest of the country is very much the same - except for fewer people and more countryside.

    There's rather a lot more to it than that. It can feel fairly much like moving to a different country in many respects.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    The OP has very much thought about it, that's the whole point of this post.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th Mar 17, 9:48 AM
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    Davesnave
    There's rather a lot more to it than that. It can feel fairly much like moving to a different country in many respects.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    And if the wee fishwife gets her way, it might well become a different country!

    But seriously, regional variations are something to be celebrated. Just make sure you understand the implications before committing to such a major move, which may well mean renting first.

    I live in a large county. Within it there are quite marked variations in climate and the way people interact. It's fair to say that many parts of it don't attract me at all, regardless of what the tourists may think. One has to live somewhere for a while to really understand how it feels 24/7/365.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 20th Mar 17, 9:54 AM
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    Penitent
    most of the east side of Fife, the few miles around Perth, Linlithgow, Innerleithen, Peebles, Walkerburn.

    None of these areas have unusual snowfall. They're all accessible to airports, have decent enough supermarkets within a sensible drive and most have some amazing scenery and access to countryside.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    With respect, I lived in Peebles for a few years and it does get a large amount of snow. We always assumed it was some quirk of geography, maybe something do with the hills. Living there is the reason I still get very anxious in winter (even though I now live somewhere that rarely gets "proper" snow), so I certainly wouldn't recommend it for someone who isn't a fan of the stuff to start with.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the east Fife suggestion, though. The East Neuk is one of my favourite places in the UK. It does get a bit touristy in the summer, but you get used to it. Not sure what house prices are like there these days, though.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 20th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
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    davidmcn
    With respect, I lived in Peebles for a few years and it does get a large amount of snow.
    Originally posted by Penitent
    It's at an altitude of around 200m, so it's bound to get a lot more snow than lower-lying places. I used to live in East Kilbride, which is at a similar height, and we would often have significant snowfall when the centre of Glasgow had hardly seen a flake.
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