If you’ve found it’s time to escape the hustle of mundane life or move on to your retirement dream, Scotland might be the place. But can you buy land there?
It is possible to buy land in Scotland as a foreigner. There are no limitations to foreign investment and there are several ways to approach a purchase. More complicated is the recent trend to buy one square foot of land accompanied with a lord or lady title which isn’t as good as it seems.
We investigated the ins and outs of land purchase in Scotland along with the new trends in gifting a “souvenir plot” from private companies to create this quick guide in moving to the United Kingdom.
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Can You Buy Land in Scotland
It is possible to purchase property or plot of land in Scotland, and there are several ways to do so. There is no discrimination against foreign purchasers of property or land in Scotland, as property rights remain accessible to all within the UK.
However, understanding the Scottish property market has its challenges with regards to financing and ownership restrictions, as some traditions and laws remain complex. Potential buyers should familiarize themselves with property regulations In Scotland to ensure a smooth and successful path to becoming a Scottish landowner.
Lastly, there is a recent fad in buying “souvenir plots” which we will visit below. This pathway is not functional for legitimate land buyers who want to move into, develop, or hold large portions of land in the country.
Why Buy Land in Scotland
Buying property in the Scottish Highlands is a great investment opportunity for many reasons. The property market remains strong, and Scottish land offers many potential opportunities for buyers.
With property land ownership comes the benefit of having complete titles to the property which can be helpful if disposal or sub-division is ever necessary.
Not only are there ample scenic location options to choose from, but governments in cities throughout Scotland have taken measures to reduce tax on property ownership and create further incentives, for example the Help to Buy Scheme, for buying property.
Scotland establishes an excellent backdrop for property owners, both internally and externally with its maritime provinces that connect it with other parts of the continent and overseas. Whether it's urban chic in the bustling cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow, or a more traditional rural setting, Scotland offers many desirable prospects for land ownership.
How To Purchase Land in Scotland
Plots of land in Scotland are not difficult to find however, purchasing property land in Scotland is a complex process, and it is important to ensure you understand all of the steps required before taking ownership. Obviously, if you have recordable Scottish heritage and proper documentation, the process can be sped along.
First, you need to decide on the area in Scotland where you wish to purchase property land. Next, it is necessary to identify any property or land registries associated with the area, and contact them to begin the buying process.
It is essential to have evidence that you can own property such as a National Insurance number as well as sources of funding such as a lender or savings.
Once this information has been secured, property searches must be conducted to confirm the exact boundaries of your property and if there are any restrictions or plans pertinent to ownership.
Finally, transfer deeds must be signed when payment has been settled in order for transferral of property rights to take place and for your purchase of property in Scotland to be complete.
Owning property land in Scotland is an exciting prospect, however, the process of registering it must be taken seriously. In Scotland, property land is registered with the Registers of Scotland (RoS).
To ensure a smooth process and eliminate potential obstacles, owners should work with property solicitors who are knowledgeable of property law requirements within their geographical area.
Before beginning the registration process one must first gather all necessary documents including boundary descriptions and sales deeds if applicable. After submitting the correct forms, RoS will conduct a title search to determine if there are any disputes or claims against the property. Once all is approved, registration can be complete, officially making you the property’s legal owner.
What is the Typical Purchase Price
According to Strutt & Parker, arable land values will vary depending on location but you can expect the average value to fall around between £7,000 per acre, which is an increase from 2020 when it was £5,800 per acre.
Where to Look
Finding a piece of land in your prime location is the first step to purchase. Luckily, the internet makes it easy to find land for sale in Scotland. Through websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, you can tailor your search to find exactly what you’re looking for.
You can also visit local realtors and get assistance in searching for land tailored to your exact needs and specifications like size, location, and what type of development opportunities are possible.
There are also auctions held throughout Scotland, either virtual or in-person, that make it easy to bid on property without being present.
Here are other local resources to help you find your peace of heaven in Scotland:
- Checking with the local Solicitors Property Centre
- Check with local agents
- Enquire with private developers who have undeveloped land
- Check community trusts in the area for self-builders
- Considering sites with derelict property and check the Buildings at Risk Register
Highland Titles : Souvenir Plots
Those who have always dreamed of being able to call themselves "lord" or "lady" can fulfill their dream with small souvenir plots available from Highland Titles.
The small plot is actually a gift deed to a small parcel of land in the Highland Titles Nature Reserve, located in Scotland. The small plot can be legally registered and, as such, provides people with the Noble Titles of Official Lord or Lady.
Upon registration of your small plot, every Lord or Lady receives a personalized Land Certificate featuring their own crest and coat-of-arms as well as a Welcome Pack which includes details of their plot details and other souvenirs.
Obviously such a small plot is not meant to become a real land investment. Most people purchase them for their friends or family for the novelty of the Scottish titles and perhaps the charitable aspect.
The company's bespoke cause is meant to be conservation. They espouse that when you become the proud owner of a small plot from Highland Titles, you not only get a Noble Title but also help Scotland to remain wild by supporting nature conservation and traditional land management within the Highland Titles Nature Reserve.
Their “conservation project” comes with a courtesy title, and personalized certificate with details about your plot and an exclusive access to the reserve. However only 10% of their profits are pledged to the reserve and the project as a whole has faced a large amount of government scrutiny.
A recent article in Euro News goes into depth about these “fake titles” and their abuse of playing upon people’s eco-anxiety to make sales. While the nature reserves are real there is still speculation about how much of the funds go towards conservation efforts.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling