Well nearly anyway.  Sarah tells me she has made an excellent start with her collection of Munros.

For those of us not in the know, a Munro is a mountain in Scotland over the height of over 3,000 feet (914m).  The original list was compiled by Sir Hugo Munro who produced his Munro’s Tables in 1891.  The Scottish Mountaineering Club have identified 282 Munros and an additional 227 subsidiary tops.


I wrote last month about the encouraging increase in first time buyers in the UK housing market. There was more heartening news recently when research from a report in February by the Bank of Scotland revealed that in terms of monthly costs it is cheaper to buy than rent.

The report goes on to say that first time buyers save an average of between £590 and £2,190 a year compared to renters, depending on the area they live in.

The big question remains; how to become a first time buyer and get to that vital first rung of the ladder?


I knew 15th February 2018 was a date that rang a bell with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me – it was twenty years to the day since Sandra Merrick first came to work for us.


I was pleased to read on the BBC website that more first time buyers took out mortgages in 2017 than in any year since 2006.

In terms of actual figures that means there were 365,000 first time buyers in the UK last year, an increase of 7.4% over 2016, according to UK Finance.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that the rise in price for the first time buyer market was 4.8%, which was less than the overall average house price increase of 5.2%.


I am often asked if there is a perfect method of showing prospective purchasers around a property. Each individual person and property is different, of course, but here are the three basic steps that I use:

1. Make planning the key. I always do my research well in advance as understanding the needs of the purchaser and the attributes of the property is crucial. I try and predict the questions I am going to be asked such as why the owners are selling, how long the property has been on the market and what the local schools are like. Understanding exactly what the viewers are looking for is important too so I check what other properties they have looked at. Finally I always aim to get to the property early so I can have a scout round in case anything unexpected needs to be dealt with.