McEwan Fraser Legal are a leading UK estate agents with properties for sale throughout Scotland. If you're looking to buy or sell we're here for you. All the lastest news about the property market delivered by the no. 1 estate agents in Scotland.
Last weekend, McEwan Fraser Legal held their fifth annual staff conference & awards ceremony at The Principal, Charlotte Square, formerly known as The Roxburghe.
We were delighted this year to have singer/comedian and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Edward Reid performing on the night, he has once again put on a great show, getting everyone in the celebration mood. We also had a special surprise during the dinner for the team at MFL, we invited the Secret Opera Singers (SOS). They were absolutely fantastic and everyone loved the surprise!
Everyone had a great evening, celebrating our successes over the past year – 2017 was another great year, achieving a number of awards to add to our collection of plaques in reception. The night was also a great opportunity to set the McEwan Fraser Legal’s objectives for 2018. And lastly, a total of 18 different awards were presented on the night to those who have excelled in making a lasting contribution to the company.
The winners were as follows:
Negotiator of the Year – Jackie Lyell
Day Shift Client Specialist of the Year – Logan Watt
Night/Weekend Shift Client Specialist of the Year – Lisa Grieve
Best Single Design of the Year – Ben Daykin
Best Photo-shoot of the Year – Grant Lawrence
Business Support Employee of the Year – Natasha Collie
Contribution to Legal Service – Jamie Miller
Legal Employee of the Year – Stephanie Wright
Employee with the Highest Number of Reviews – Lewis Hunter
McEwan Fraser Legal is delighted to reveal that it has agreed to become the new main club sponsor at Ross County Football Club from next season for at least a two-year agreement.
As well as extensive branding at the Global Energy Arena, McEwan Fraser Legal’s logo will appear on the front and back of Ross County’s new home and away kits for next season.
Making it a Highland double, Ross County join Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club who will again be sponsored by McEwan Fraser Legal after a contract extension was agreed for next season.
Completing a hat-trick of sponsorships at this time is Dundee Football Club. McEwan Fraser Legal have agreed to extend their partnership with the Dens Park club for season 2018-19.
McEwan Fraser Legal Chief Executive Ken McEwan comments:
“We are delighted to welcome Ross County to our portfolio of clubs. Doing so allows us to support both professional clubs in the Highlands.
“Our experience of both County and Caley Thistle is that they are rooted in their communities, committed to supporter engagement, and share our vision to “think differently” about how we do things.
“Inverness have been a terrific partner for us, and so it was an easy decision for us to extend our relationship with them. We want to play a big part in their revival and return to the Premiership!
“I am also very pleased that we have reached an agreement with Dundee to continue to support them next season. We’ve developed some brilliant fan activation campaigns with the club over the last couple of years and we are committed to continuing that work with the Dark Blues into season 2018-19.
Ross County Chairman Roy McGregor comments:
“We are delighted to sign a two-year agreement that sees McEwan Fraser Legal become main club sponsor from the beginning of next season.
“We’ve seen what fantastic sponsors McEwan Fraser have been to other SPFL teams in the past and think their commitment to fan and community engagement, particularly, will be a great fit for Ross County Football Club.
“We look forward to working closely with McEwan Fraser Legal on a number of exciting supporter-focused initiatives set to commence in summer 2018.”
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Chairman Graeme Rae adds:
“We look forward to building on the successful partnership we have built up with Chief Executive Ken McEwan and his team at McEwan Fraser Legal in the coming year.”
Dundee Commercial Manager Keith Haggart says:
“We’re delighted to partner up once more with McEwan Fraser Legal for season 2018/19. We’ve developed a great relationship over the last two campaigns and look forward to continuing to build on the great work we’ve done together engaging with the Dundee FC fan base.”
McEwan Fraser Legal are also proud main club sponsors at Motherwell FC for season 2017-18. An announcement about the future of that partnership will be made in due course.
McEwan Fraser Legal can now assist you with the preparation of your Will, Power of Attorney, Guardianship Application, Trust, Inheritance Tax Planning and Executry Administration.
With many people ignoring the importance of planning ahead, here are a few of the facts explained:
It is estimated that about 70% of the population do not have a Will. It is vital that you make a Will so that your estate can be distributed according to your wishes.
A Will can be a complex legal document and should be completed by professionals you can trust and in the manner you desire. In Scotland, if you die without having made a Will, any property or assets you hold at the time of your death would fall into the hands of intestate law where the Government will decide who the estate beneficiary becomes.
This may not be the person you would wish your assets and belongings to be passed to and the law does not always take an obvious course. A far longer process than necessary ensues and can even include court proceedings, creating more stress and anxiety for your relatives.
If you are living with someone (cohabiting) but not in a civil partnership or married to them, they will have no right to any part of your estate, and this could result in serious financial problems.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you detail who is to look after your affairs, in the event of you no longer being able to control your affairs (becoming incapacitated), after an illness or accident, you will have the peace of mind that the person you selected is looking after your finances and making the decisions you are no longer able to. Granting a Power of Attorney is a protective step and is not an acknowledgement that capacity has been, or is about to be, lost.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)
It’s important to remember that when you die, your estate could be subject to inheritance tax, with careful planning you can reduce the amount payable. The IHT threshold is currently £325,000 per person, so married couples and civil partners can have a joint estate of £650,000 before any IHT is payable. In most cases, tax is currently payable at 40% of everything over the IHT threshold.
There are various ways you can reduce the size of your taxable estate, such as with lifetime gifts, trusts, charitable giving and other forms of planning. It is important to think a long way ahead, as some aspects of IHT planning need seven years to take full effect.
McEwan Fraser Legal have formal strategic relationships with many professionals in the financial sector throughout Scotland and we would liaise with them or your professional connections to help mitigate any taxes against the estate.
The team at McEwan Fraser Legal understand the importance of planning for the future.
Contact the Private Client Division on 0131 524 9797 for more details on any of these services.
Are you looking to buy your first home but not sure where to start? McEwan Fraser Legal shares our top 10 tips for first time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.
Make sure you can afford it
Avoid setting yourself up for a disappointment by getting your sums straight first. You’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of the property price – but the more you can put down the lower rate you’ll get on your mortgage.
Remember you’ll also need to save enough money to cover your legal fees, stamp duty and moving costs etc.
Consider making a budget plan and make a commitment to saving a set amount each month.
Consider Government schemes
The Government offers a whole range of schemes to help first-time buyers ranging from Help to Buy ISA, LIFT scheme to shared ownership.
Secure a mortgage agreement in principle
Once you’ve found the right mortgage, you can get an agreement in principle from your chosen mortgage lender, after they have run a credit check on you. It’s not a commitment to either you or the mortgage lender, but it does let you start house hunting at ease, as the first stage of the approval process is out the way.
Do your research
Now your budget is established, you can search for homes you know you can afford. But preparation is key and, as ever, start with location. This is the most important factor as it’s the one that can’t be changed.
In terms of the property itself, think very carefully about your requirements and narrow them down to must-haves and nice-to-haves. List these down, remain focused on them and your search will be a lot easier.
Viewings are key
Take your time when you view the property, if you need to view it more than once or bring family and friends for second opinion, just do it!
Ask direct questions on viewing, such as if there have been any major works or extensions to the property?
House purchases rarely stick to the expected time frames. It might take you several months to find your ideal property, and then the transaction can take a while as well. It’s probably one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important not to rush it.
Appoint a solicitor
Instructing an approachable and proactive solicitor can help your transaction run as smoothly as possible. At McEwan Fraser Legal, our experienced conveyancing team will be happy to guide you through the process.
Remember to negotiate
It’s always worth negotiating on the price – as a first-time buyer with nothing to sell, you’re in a strong position.
You’re ready to go!
Once your offer has been accepted, all you need to do is arrange when to pick up the keys and start ordering in your new furnitures. When you have completed your move, don’t forget to crack open a bottle of bubbly and sit down and relax before the housewarming commence!
Make a Will
Now that you are a homeowner you need to think about making a Will. This is vital if you want to ensure your assets are passed onto your loved ones when you pass away.
For further information about buying your first home, please contact a member of our buying team – 0131 524 9797.
In early November 2017, the Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade – this is a move welcomed by savers, but not by homeowners paying off mortgages!
The bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) decided to double the base rate from its record low of 0.25% to 0.5%. This rise has result in nearly four million British households now facing higher mortgage interest payments, however hard-pressed savers should get a small lift in their returns.
Autumn Budget 2017: Stamp duty axed for first-time buyers
From 22 November 2017, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Autumn Budget that the first-time house buyers south of the borders will pay zero stamp duty on the first £300,000 of any home that costs up to £500,000 with immediate effect. This means on a home worth less than £300,000, you’ll pay no stamp duty at all. This move could save buyers up to £5,000!
Unfortunately, it is not good news for first time buyers in Scotland. The changes only apply to purchases by first-time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scottish buyers will have to wait and see if the Scottish Government will make a similar change north of the border in its own draft Budget on Thursday, December 14.
Stamp Duty in Scotland is now known as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
LBTT is not paid until a purchase price exceeds £145,000. Between £145,000 and £250,000 the rate is 2%, and rises to 5% between £250,000 and £325,000. From £325,000 to £750,000 the rate is 10%, and jumps to 12% above £750,000.
House Prices Rise and Lack of Supply
As a bustling capital city with lots to offer its residents, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is a very desirable place to live. But with properties in high demand, prices are continuing to rise at an extraordinary rate.
According to research from ESPC, the average price for a home in the Scottish capital is £253,182. On average, it takes just 16 days for a property in Edinburgh to sell, and 77.8% of properties exceed their home report valuation.
In Edinburgh, those living in EH2 have seen their property values rise on average by nearly £50,000, or 14%, in just one year. This is perhaps unsurprising, given the easy access to the buzzing city centre.
The high prices and quick selling times are due to a shortage of suitable properties coming onto the market.
The shortage of properties coming to the market means that there are multiple buyers looking to buy the same property which encourages competitive bidding at a closing date. It is now common for such properties to sell 10% or more above the home report value.
We’re here for you
Thinking of selling your property? Feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0131 524 9797 to organise a free valuation of your home. Don’t forget we are open throughout the festive period.
Are you starting to feel the winter blues about selling your property? Whilst spring and summer are commonly busy periods in the property market, they are not always the best time to sell. The majority of people think that Christmas is a bad, or the worst, time to sell and would rather wait until the New Year when in reality, this is not always a good option.
Here are three reasons why marketing your property over Christmas is a good idea:
There tends to be less competition as only a few new properties come on the market and many properties have been taken off the market until January, meaning your house is more visible to buyers.
The people looking at properties during this period are more motivated and serious about buying. For example they may need to find a new house by January. If so, they will have a sense of urgency.
Not only buyers are in a jolly mood, they are less distracted by work commitments at this time of year as they will have more time searching for the right property.
So if you are thinking of selling your property during the Christmas period, we have four top tips to help maximise the number of people viewing your property:
Give your home a quick DIY makeover – Small DIY jobs that you have been put off all year can make a difference to the property. For example; giving your walls a fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve the brightness and appearance of your property.
The garden is just as important in winter– A lot of sellers forget about the garden when it comes to this time of year. Ensure the grass is cut and free of leaves and debris.
Always clean and de-clutter – Make sure the property is clean and tidy as this will make the place appear more inviting. Furthermore, if there are less personal items it will be easier for potential buyers to envisage their own items in the property, which is always a positive outcome.
Home sweet smelling home – First impressions count for everything. Often people roast coffee, or home baking to create a warm baking smell, but simple things like candles or air fresheners can make all the difference to first impressions, and don’t cost a lot of money!
How can McEwan Fraser Legal make this work for you?
If you know you want to sell your property this winter, McEwan Fraser Legal is here for you… we are open everyday throughout the festive season, making sure no enquiries are missed. If you would like to discuss things further, please feel free to visit our website or contact us on 0131 524 9797.
Did you know that 1 in 4 children across the UK are living in poverty and will not receive a present to open on Christmas day?
Each year, the team at McEwan Fraser Legal supports Cash for Kids and raise money and presents during ‘Mission Christmas’ with Forth One to try and bring an end to children living in poverty in the UK.
We’re really pleased to support the campaign again this year, which Cash for Kids hope will be the biggest appeal to date. Please do consider buying an extra gift this year, which you can drop off at our Edinburgh Head Office reception area. The gifts can be suitable for children aged from birth to 18 years of age, and they don’t even need to be wrapped.
The gifts will be collected on Wednesday 13th December so it can be delivered to Santa in plenty of time. Santa will be delivering all these lovely gifts to children across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.
It’s a fantastic cause so please show your support if you can- let’s help to make this the best Mission Christmas yet!
Last night (Wednesday 15th November), two boys in Uddingston received a very special visit as part of our McEwan Fraser Legal’s #HomeRun promotion ahead of Motherwell’s appearance in the Betfred Cup Final, next Sunday, against Celtic.
Aston (8) and Marcus (10) received four tickets to go to the showpiece finale at Hampden Park on Sunday 26 November, after their great uncle Derek nominated them as part of our #HomeRun.
We were very touched by their story. Sadly, the boys lost their dad Brian in August, and understandably it’s been a really difficult time for the whole family.
To help just a little, McEwan Fraser Legal teamed up with Motherwell stars Richard Tait and Andy Rose to make a surprise visit to the family home.
The whole family gathered together to enjoy a special moment as the boys opened the front door and were stunned to discover a couple of first team stars standing in front of them.
Richard and Andy spent time with the family in what was an emotional experience for everyone involved.
Watch our special behind the scenes film:
McEwan Fraser Legal #HomeRun in Motherwell - YouTube
Over 200 people swapped their beds for sleeping bags this November in aid of the UKs longest running sleep out with Rock Trust. Here, we have Janine and Grant who took part telling their experience.
The Rock Trust Sleep Out was on a Friday night (3rd November), our colleagues Janine McIntosh and Grant Gordon (including Grant’s dog, Milla) had to be at Festival Square before 7pm to register and remain there until 7am. The aim of this was not just to raise much needed money for the charity, Rock Trust, but also to help raise awareness for youth homelessness.
Grant said “If I’m honest, and I know now how naïve I was, I thought the Sleep Out would have been easier than it was. I figured it would be staying up all night with the other sleepers, chatting and laughing until morning but the reality was very different.”
The Charity organisers had managed to obtain permission to use the Speigeltent for a few hours on the Friday evening and laid on a bar, a comedy act and a silent disco for all participants. All proceeds at the bar went to the Rock Trust with the staff using this time to sell raffle tickets. Before long it was 11pm and the fun was over, everyone were ushered out into the cold and asked to bed down for the night.
Grant commented, “At first I felt that if the organisers had kept us busy for longer, kept the bar open into the small hours then the night would have passed quicker but I realise now that would have been missing the point entirely.”
“Homeless people don’t have the option of spending night after night in a warm pub chatting with friends and I believe the organisers felt they could best demonstrate to us this by getting us to bed down as early as possible. The chat that I imagined would go on until morning soon stopped and an uneasy silence fell across the 200-strong group. It was a cold night for sure but it got colder as each hour passed and lying or sitting still for a prolonged period seems to invite the cold further into your bones making the time pass very slowly indeed.”
Everyone were each issued with a human-sized thin sheet of cardboard and a similarly sized ‘potato sack’ which were, essentially, meant to serve as a mattress and sleeping bag.
Grant added “I have to say neither offered any long-term comfort at all and once the rain started to fall around 3am the potato sack and cardboard sheet soon became water logged and then disintegrated rendering both useless. The rain continued and more and more people adjusted their positions, pulling hoods, sweaters and carrier bags over their heads to help avoid becoming totally soaked through.”
“Despite the rain, I’m pleased to say no one gave up, each and every one of us stayed put – it was just for one night after all. But there is the thing, we were sleeping out to help raise money to help those who sleep out not for just one night but night after night, in the cold and the wet. We were kept safe in a specially designated area with a security team on hand to offer help and protection in case of trouble. For the homeless, they have no such safe area, no such guardians to protect them whilst they try to get some sleep in a busy city centre. The wee small hours of Friday/Saturday nights are filled with peril from revellers on their way home, drunks shouting and crashing around, fights breaking out and the slightly less obvious but ever prevalent few who are out to cause nothing but trouble for troubles sake.”
The rain was slow but steady and by now everyone were all well and truly soaked, around 5am one of the charity organisers came round to tell those who wanted could go take cover in the Speigeltent but the reality is that very few people retreated – “I think it was at this point that I felt a first wave of emotion, I could feel the solidarity of the group stronger than ever before. We were cold to the bone, wet through, we had been heckled a couple of times – one local hotel guest even branded us all as ‘losers’ telling us that we were ‘kidding ourselves’ if we thought we knew anything about being homeless.”
“I’ll never know what it was that offended such a well-dressed, well-spoken lady so much about what she saw that night but she was right about one thing, I knew nothing of what it was like to be homeless and I hope to God I never have to find out but this much I do know; between 200 fundraisers, a raft of volunteers from the Rock Trust, a friendly security team and a whole host of people who supplied hot meals and bacon rolls, we not only raised awareness for the cause but well in excess of £50,000 of which every penny stays with the Trust allowing them to function for the next year offering much needed support and advice to the young people who need it the most.”
“At the start of the night I knew one person, our very own Janine McIntosh, but by the following morning we were all standing together hugging not just a very welcome hot mug of tea but also each other, both pleased and proud of our achievement and many of whom who were already committing to next year’s event.
It was, without question, an extraordinary and incredible experience, humbling in so many ways and worth every cold, wet and achy minute!
It just isn’t feasible to continually ask friends and colleagues to dig deep to support this great cause but if I can help them in any other way then I will do what I can, I guess that’s what comes from ‘raising awareness’.”
Janine concluded “It makes you so aware how vulnerable and exposed homeless people are. I can’t imagine being between 16-25 years old and being out there on my own. The Rock Trust are truly amazing. The whole event was incredibly educational, ran smoothly and was a great success. I would definitely take part again and recommend others to experience the hardship these young people go through.”
If you would like to support or find out more what Rock Trust do, please click here.
At McEwan Fraser Legal we don’t only cater for residential sellers, we also have a Scotland wide team of Commercial Surveyors dedicated to delivering a solution that works for your business. As we come to the end of another year’s service, we take a look back at just some of the business sectors successfully managed over 2017 – and a glimpse at what to expect in the New Year including how we can get involved building a bespoke solution for your specific exit strategy.
Getting ready to sell your commercial property in 2018? It’s best to get on the market before Christmas. Why? As well as the majority of people searching for a new residential property at Christmas, those thinking of investing in a new business or moving company location will be searching too.
At McEwan Fraser Legal we pride ourselves on looking at a business sales solution that gives your premises and your business sale the competitive edge, professional photography and printed hard copy brochures including 3D floor plans, account analysis, and our unique Part Exchange solution, presenting your business to the marketplace in the correct format ready for a sale at maximum value.
Our head office is open until midnight, so we never miss any interest in your commercial property.
Our dedicated team, working across Scotland, work beyond simply helping you with buying, selling, leasing and investing in commercial property, we’re here for the whole journey.
What type of property classifications can McEwan Fraser Legal market and sell for you?
A1 – Shops
Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, dry cleaners, etc sandwich bars Showrooms, domestic hire shops, funeral directors
A2 – Financial and Professional Services
Banks, building societies, estate and employment agencies
Professional and financial services, betting offices
A3 – Food and Drink
Restaurants, pubs, snack bars, cafés, wine bars, takeaway shops for sale of hot food
A4 – Drinking Establishments
Premises where the primary purpose is the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks on the premises.
A5 – Hot Food Take-away
Premises where the primary purpose is the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises
B1 – Business
Offices, not within A2
Research and development studios, laboratories, high tech
B2 – General Industrial
B8 – Storage and Distribution
Wholesale warehouse, distribution centre’s, repositories
C1 – Hotels
Hotels, boarding and guesthouses.
Here are some examples of commercial properties we have sold or currently on the market with us:
If you need more information about our commercial services. Please speak to Bill Corbett on 0131 524 9797.