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Contemplating a move from London to Scotland (Edinburgh outskirts )

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Contemplating a move from London to Scotland (Edinburgh outskirts )

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We're currently contemplating longer-term plans to move out of East London suburbs up to Scotland. Initially, we're thinking within the Edinburgh-Glasgow-Stirling triangle (but open to suggestions), and likely in 1-2 years time as best suits schooling for our two teenage kids. We'll be looking for a spacious 4+ bed detached house with character in the £400-500k bracket, likely not a new build. I'll be working remotely for a London firm, my wife as a nurse locally, kids are currently 14 (Oct birthday, school year 9) and 11 (April birth, in year 7), with a view to them going to Uni in Scotland. As such, I'm trying to get myself clued up on everything we need to be aware of. So far I've found out the following:
  1. Higher-income tax - 41% higher rate with a lower threshold
  2. Stamp duty differences (LLBT) - likely £11-21k for us.
  3. I'm starting to understand the house buying differences, getting a solicitor to put together legal binding offers, 'offers over' sales, buying doing a survey upfront etc.
What other key differences/issues should I be aware of?
Know any good resources on the process of buying a property in Scotland?
I'm struggling to understand education system differences, where my kids would slot in and exactly when would be the best time to move. Got any tips, advice or resources you can point me to on this?
Anyone made a similar move and can share any tips or advice?



  • edited 22 February at 3:34PM
    theartfullodgertheartfullodger Forumite
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    edited 22 February at 3:34PM
    Nicer people IMHO, generally, better benefits, better scenery and access to outdoors, more likely to rejoin EU early.  Many many detailed legal differences, some better in England, some better in Scotland. Handling Covid better, less selling how wonderful they were doing it. Public transport especially 'buses and coaches greater numbers, routes ..

     People/country know how to cope with winter conditions way way better.

    English government intent on making things tough plus sniping. (Born English sadly).

    Sectarianism still a blight and national shame.

    Midges !!!!!!!!

    Many estate agents are also solicitors.

    Made the move (but Highlands) , now back in England (relationship), but missing Scots and Scotland.

    NB "offers over" can be ignored, bidding low.  I did, very insulted vendor, fierce rejection, a week later made exactly same offer, accepted.
  • edited 22 February at 4:43PM
    davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    edited 22 February at 4:43PM
    Arfa__ said:
    we're thinking within the Edinburgh-Glasgow-Stirling triangle
    Any particular reasons? If working in a specific location isn't a concern for either of you, what are your other priorities? Being in Edinburgh (or within commuting distance of it) will tend to add to the price, which seems unnecessary unless it's got some other draw for you.

    As for the kids, year 7 = last year of primary school here, so starting secondary school in August (summer holidays are shifted a few weeks earlier than England), and year 9 = second year of secondary school, so about to start whatever their choices are for the (minimum) school-leaving exams - and the following year are the normal university entrance qualifications i.e. Scottish university courses are a year longer, starting a year younger. But with the option of an additional year at school inbetween (which is normally the same school - no real equivalent of sixth form colleges).
  • Skiddaw1Skiddaw1 Forumite
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    Edinburgh is lovely, but as has been said, relatively expensive. Have you considered further north? Inverness is a splendid town, as is Aberdeen.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Buying process is a lot easier, look for properties online, download homebuyers report and rule out / in many properties a lot easier. It's worth looking now to get a feel for how they are and what you can currently get for your money. A lot of the solicitors have a brief guide to buying and selling up here.
    There's more to Scotland than the triangle you're looking at, same as there's more to England than London.

    I agree with @theartfullodger and have no regrets about moving up here, I've a much better quality of life. Moving up here provided me with a holiday feel, moving out of Edinburgh provided me with everything I want and I'm never moving back down.
  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    download homebuyers report 
    Home Report, not "homebuyer's report". Different other thing (though it does include a survey).
  • youth_leaderyouth_leader Forumite
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    I researched the Portobello area as I wanted to live near the beach and found nothing suitable there, but a little further along the coast at Joppa there are some beautiful houses.  
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • fewcloudyfewcloudy Forumite
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    Arfa__ said:
    I'm struggling to understand education system differences, where my kids would slot in and exactly when would be the best time to move. Got any tips, advice or resources you can point me to on this?

    As mentioned, school summer holidays start earlier here, starting in 1st week July, some years even the very end June, so your kids would be starting at a new school in the 2nd week of August.

    I think Year 7 is the same as S1 (1st year) here in Scotland but it's an easy thing to type "year 7 or 9 equivalent in Scotland" into Google. And you have said this is a long term plan, so not happening this year I assume.
    In terms of "exactly when would be the best time to move" I think they are already too old for the start of Secondary School, when children from several different 'feeder' primary schools are coming together for the first time.  So next best time for me would be the start of S3 (most schools) as this is when they drop a number of subjects and focus on around 8 subject choices for the next 2 years (in S3 and S4). The next change is at the end of S4, when some pupils choose to leave school, and other choose to continue with their education for S5 and then S6. In S5 they will study at National 5 and/or Higher level. In S6 usually Higher and/or Advanced Higher.

    In S1 and S2 maximum class size is 33, in S3/4/5/6 it is 30. In practical subjects (of which there about 20), the maximum size is 20.

    Here in Edinburgh approximately 25% of school pupils attend what we call a private or an independent school, as opposed to a local authority school. I think I am correct in saying that is the highest % in the UK, and it will be nowhere near that anywhere outside of Edinburgh.  It seems to be a bit of an obsession here to have your children at a top performing local authority school (if that isn't an oxymoron), and house prices can be affected by the secondary school catchment area; probably the same where you are now.  But certainly wherever you choose to buy a house will determine which local authority school your children will attend.
    Feb 2008, 20year lifetime tracker with "Sproggit and Sylvester", 0.14% + base for 2 years, then 0.99% + base for life of mortgage...base was 5.5% in 2008...(but not for long)
  • Arfa__Arfa__ Forumite
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    Cool, great info, keep it coming!
    Why Edinburgh-Glasgow-Stirling triangle? - thinking about longer-term practicalities; kids travel to Uni or future work (who knows when they'll move out!), for current work I will periodically need to travel to London or abroad and if I have a change of heart on remote working being near Edinburgh/Glasgow affords more opportunities (I'm in software/pharma/biotech industry). Similarly, my wife has done Uni lecturing in the past (law, ethics, medical, Health/Social care areas) and may wish to revisit that career sector in the future. I'm also not sure I want to go super remote but will consider life in a small town or village.
    We've also got several friends around Edinburgh, love the city, so be good to be nearby. The rest of our families are in the Midlands, so don't want to be too far North away from them. We're all keen bikers, so would like easy access to the lovely scenery further North, but also to the South. Hence, this area appeared a good Goldilocks balance for us, but I take your point about money going further as you go more North.

    Yes, we're thinking far ahead, not likely to be this year. Initially thinking after my eldest has completed her GCSEs and youngest about to start them, so June 2023. End of her Year 11 for oldest, but does this mean she'd only do S6 in Scotland, then straight into Uni?! Youngest will be at end of year 9, which I think will set him up to then start S4 in Scotland, or as he has a late birthday, maybe into S3 would work better? Seem reasonable, or do you think a move sooner/later may suit the kids better? It's this unknown that makes me ask these questions this early! We'll almost certainly be looking at a state school and yes contending with the associated price inflation that incurs...

  • edited 22 February at 6:17PM
    StrictGold5208StrictGold5208 Forumite
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    edited 22 February at 6:17PM
    You should also consider that Scotland may vote to become independent and what the possible consequences of that will be. IT IS possible that this vote would happen within the next two or three years. Although I can't imagine it would end in the English being ordered to leave Scotland etc.
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    For looking at what is available in and around Edinburgh you will want to know about the ESPC website (which also have useful how to buy guides) as a lot of properties don't seem to get onto national websites.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
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