Scotland is a country full of character and, with character comes unique quirks that those moving to the country may not always be prepared for. The country is a place of beauty and has something for everyone. Although it is part of Britain, moving to Scotland will be a completely different experience than moving to England may be. Before you jump in and buy your dream house in the Scottish valleys, here are 8 things that you should know.
Buying a home in Scotland is slightly different to anywhere else in the UK. One of the perks of the Scottish process are home reports- which are a required document for every property that is up for sale. Home reports will give you a complete rundown of the property in question, which is incredibly useful for comparing different properties to find the perfect home for you! All sellers must provide a home report in Scotland so, you should use this to your potential. The home report will provide you with the most essential information about the property including an energy report, a property questionnaire and a single survey evaluation.
One of the delights that moving to Scotland will bring is a much cheaper standard of living. The living costs in most Scottish cities are around 10% cheaper than those in popular UK cities. In fact, living in Scotland is supposedly 30% cheaper than setting up shop in London! This saving is mainly due to the low housing costs. Even the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, offers some cheap, yet beautiful, places to live that definitely won’t break the bank.
If you are moving to Scotland with children, or are planning to start a family, it is worth knowing that University tuition fees are far cheaper in Scotland. In fact, if you live and study in Scotland, there are no tuition fees what so ever! This saves a lot of money compared to the £9,250 per year fees that apply in England.
Scotland has a different tax system from other parts of the UK. In Scotland, those earning up to £24,000 will pay less tax than in the UK. There is a 19% starter tax band in Scotland compared to a 20% band in England. This may not sound like a huge difference but it is still something to be aware of. However, higher earners may end up paying more tax in Scotland than they would in England. In Scotland, high earners face a 41% tax rate that starts at £43,431. In England, this is just a 40% rate and does not take effect until £46,351.
One thing that Scotland does well is public transport. The country makes getting around easy with many options of accessible public transport that can take you just about anywhere! In Scotland, you can buy monthly or annual transport passes that will save you money and make getting around that little bit easier! You should consider buying a public transport pass when you arrive in the country so that you can start exploring straight away.
When looking for a home in Scotland, many people turn to the big cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow. These cities are wonderful places to live and will be perfect if you are looking for a busy, city lifestyle. However, locals would recommend that you widen your search and look into countryside living in Scotland. The Scottish countryside brings spectacular views, rich history and friendly locals that will turn this country into a true home. You can find pretty countryside properties for a small price that will place you on the doorstep of nature. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up every morning to the view of mountains or rolling hills? The Scottish countryside really isn’t something to miss!
It is a common fact that the Scottish weather isn’t always the best. You should come prepared with thermal layers, good coats, gloves, hats and waterproofs. Many residents of the country bring rain protection with them wherever they go to stop them from being caught out by the weather, It may sound dreary but, bad weather doesn’t take long to get used to. You will easily be able to adjust to the change. After a while, you probably won’t even notice the rain!
Many people in Scotland do speak English but with a twist! Scottish locals like to use their own slang, which is something that you will pick up throughout your stay. The Scottish accent can also take a while to get used to but is all part of true Scottish charm. You will find yourself talking exactly like a local in no time!
If you’re moving to Scotland, it is worth brushing up on the history or politics of the country. Scottish people are very proud and are passionate about their home. Many Scottish residents want independence from the UK so, it may be wise to avoid mentioning the UK government whilst you are there. However, do not worry about making friends in Scotland. The locals are very friendly and are always more than happy to connect with new neighbours. It is very common to hear a number of stories from the people that you meet in Scotland. You should think up a few of your own that you can share with your new friends.
Written by: Charlotte Murphy
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