Rural Property In Scotland


Image showing a rural property in Scotland
A surge of interest in rural property in Scotland has pushed house prices higher. Photo © Andrew Tryon (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Buying Rural Property In Scotland


The move towards rural living is gaining traction especially in 2020 when living in large crowded cities has lost much of its appeal. A simpler life and a quiet location with stunning views are usually cited as good reasons to search for rural property in Scotland. There is also the added attraction of affording a larger house for less money. Whatever their reasons, more people than ever are looking to move to the countryside.

If you are considering migrating to Scotland from another part of the UK you can expect a warm welcome, free health care and excellent schools. Moving to a rural property in Scotland brings with it certain obstacles and difficulties and in this article we can look at some of the aspects associated with making this challenging move.

Is There A Big Demand For Rural Property In Scotland?


The demand for rural property in Scotland has been and remains on the rise in 2020. With an increase in the number of people working from home, many families now see the real possibility of enjoying life in the countryside in a larger home with a more spacious garden.

The appeal of Scotland lies not only in the beauty of the land but also in the forward looking government that prioritises high quality free education and health care. Some rural houses have easy access to local towns or cities although most people would agree that for the more remote properties a car is still essential. Connectivity is one of the factors that could determine whether a family will find it easy to settle into a rural life.

Character Rural Property In Scotland

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One of the advantages of buying a rural property in Scotland is that there are plenty of homes full of character. Additionally, the cost of a character home is considerably cheaper than in many other parts of the UK. A four bedroom house in a small village can be bought for around £295,000 and you can get a large seven bedroom house for under £500,000. A similar property in London would easily cost between 5 and 10 million pounds.

Interest in rural properties lies in many areas of Scotland. There are remote areas like the Western Isles and Orkney which are proving very popular. On the mainland, Aberdour is close enough to Fife for commuting to Edinburgh and the Borders is another location where beautiful character rural homes can be found.

Rural Properties in Scotland FAQ

How Much Are Rural Properties In Scotland?

Rural properties in Scotland are some of the most affordable in the UK with house prices costing less than four times the local average annual salary. In Caithness you can find a detached farmhouse and cottage for as little as £48,000. However, in some sought after areas you may find a 'rural premium' applies with houses costing up to 17% more than the equivalent type in a town.

What Problems Are There Buying A Rural Property In Scotland?

Rural property usually involves some land and there could be issues with access if the land is adjoining local farmland. Problems could also arise due to water services and drainage. If you are buying a croft there might be issues with crofter's rights, common grazing rights or even boundaries. Consult good legal advice before buying a rural property in Scotland.

Is It Easy To Buy Rural Property In Scotland?

Buying a rural home in Scotland follows the same process as buying any other property. However, the buying process in Scotland is different to other parts of the UK. A solicitor will be needed to file a 'note of interest' with the agent who will keep you informed of progress. If an offer is accepted the deal is not complete until final contracts are signed.


Is Rural Property Cheap In Scotland?


Overall the price of houses in Scotland has increased by 5.75% in the last year However, the price of rural homes has not changed in the last twelve months. In fact, over the last 10 years it has fallen by 1.7%. This makes Scotland a good choice for anyone who wants to buy a property in a rural or remote area.

In St Monans you can get a 3 bedroom fisherman’s cottage for around £150,000. East Ayrshire has homes for £75,000 and is one of the most affordable areas in the country. The price you pay will depend on how near you want to be to amenities and available transport. Searching for cheap rural property in Scotland will take time but the rewards can be worth the effort.

Image showing an empty rural church for sale
In Scotland there are also many unusual rural properties, such as empty churches. Photo © Jeff Buck (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Repossessed Rural Houses In Scotland

The incidence of house repossessions is always greater when interest rates are high and the economy is suffering. Although 2020 has been a difficult year the number of repossessions for rural property in Scotland has not rocketed. In line with other parts of the UK, repossessed rural houses in Scotland are not openly advertised. Lenders often impose strict conditions of sale.

Buying a repossessed house brings some risks as well as rewards. There is always the possibility that the house will be removed from the market before you complete the purchase.

You may find some repossessed properties by approaching banks and building societies or other financial institutions. Alternatively, look at property auctions in Scotland or contact estate agents to see if they have any available repossessed properties.

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Moving To A Property In Rural Scotland


Moving to a rural location brings with it a specific set of challenges. It need good planning and this starts with finding a suitable home. Taking time to assess the amenities in the area is a good plan as is checking out the infrastructure if you have to commute to work.

You need to see how far away schools and shops are located and think carefully about whether you can cope if bad weather hits and you get snowed in. To this end it is certainly a good plan to stock up on essentials especially if the local store is some miles away.

Being the newcomer in a neighbourhood you may feel isolated so making friends in the community even if they live some distance away is a good idea. If you have never lived in the countryside before then learning about the local wildlife and nature is essential.

A life in the rural depths of Scotland will be a totally different lifestyle to living in a town or city. As long as you recognise this fact you can make changes to your lifestyle that will enhance the experience of living in your new rural home.

Unusual Rural Properties In Scotland

If you are searching for an unusual property in Scotland there are plenty available. From small crofts with no amenities at all to farmhouses, barns and empty churches, rural Scotland offers a wide choice. The Church Of Scotland has its own website where redundant churches are advertised for sale. If you are looking for a challenge you can get a church for upwards of £60,000.

Churches and other unusual rural properties in Scotland will require substantial renovation to turn them into a family home. Another option is to buy a windmill either one that has been converted or one ready for renovation. Planning permission will be needed so contact the local authority before buying. Buying an unusual rural property in Scotland can bring significant challenges but if you choose the right one you will reap the considerable rewards.

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