May 2024
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Red Front Door Means Mortgage-Free ?

Red Front Door Means Mortgage-Free

Red door in an old house in Scotland

Once upon a time, in a quaint village nestled amidst the rolling hills of Scotland, there lived a man named Robert. Robert was a hardworking and determined individual who had spent most of his adult life striving to own a house. He dreamt of the day when he would finally pay off his mortgage and call the property his own.

For years, Robert toiled day and night, saving every penny he could, and diligently making his mortgage payments. It wasn’t an easy journey, as he faced many challenges along the way. But his perseverance and unwavering spirit propelled him forward.

One fine summer’s day, after years of dedication and sacrifice, Robert received the joyous news that he had successfully paid off his mortgage. Overwhelmed with a profound sense of achievement, he decided to celebrate this milestone in a unique and meaningful way.

Word of an old tradition had reached Robert’s ears—a custom that had been passed down through generations in his beloved village. According to this custom, when a homeowner had fully paid off their mortgage, they would paint their front door in a vibrant shade of red.

The red door symbolized financial freedom and marked the end of a long and arduous journey towards homeownership.

Inspired by the tradition, Robert embarked on a quest to find the perfect shade of red for his front door. He sought the advice of local craftsmen and consulted his neighbors, who shared their stories of painting their doors in jubilant red hues.

Robert listened intently to their tales, taking in the enthusiasm and pride with which they recounted their experiences.

With newfound inspiration and a clear vision in his mind, Robert set to work. He carefully sanded down his door, smoothing its surface to prepare it for the transformation. As he mixed the paint, he felt a surge of excitement coursing through his veins, for this was not just a mere coat of paint—it was an embodiment of his determination, his sacrifices, and his unwavering pursuit of a dream.

With each brushstroke, Robert infused his door with his hopes, dreams, and hard work. The vibrant red paint embraced the wooden surface, bringing forth a sense of joy and accomplishment. As the sun began to set, casting a warm golden glow over the village, Robert stood back to admire his handiwork.

There it stood—an emblem of triumph and perseverance—a red door that told a tale of a journey completed, a mortgage paid off, and a dream realized.

News of Robert’s painted door spread quickly throughout the village, and soon, other homeowners who had paid off their mortgages joined in the tradition. The village streets became a kaleidoscope of red doors, each one representing a unique story of resilience and achievement.

And so, in that picturesque Scottish village, the tradition of painting front doors red to commemorate the liberation from mortgage debt continued to thrive.

It became a visible symbol of a community’s collective determination and an inspiration to future generations.

To this day, as you wander through the village’s charming streets, you will find a multitude of red doors, each one holding within it a story of hard work, dedication, and the sweet taste of freedom.


While the tradition of painting front doors red to signify the payment of a mortgage is often associated with Scotland, it is important to note that there is no widely recognized or officially documented custom of this nature specific to Scotland. The notion of painting a door red upon mortgage completion is more of a folklore or anecdotal tradition rather than an established cultural practice.

Color symbolism in relation to doors can vary across different cultures and regions. In some places, a red door may symbolize good luck, prosperity, or protection. However, it’s crucial to recognize that traditions can differ from one community to another, and stories and customs can evolve over time.

So while there may be instances where homeowners in Scotland or elsewhere have chosen to paint their doors red as a personal celebration or to signify the achievement of paying off their mortgage, it should be understood as an individual choice rather than a widely recognized and established tradition in Scotland.

Dear and loyal readers, what are your thoughts? Would love to know! Share in the comment section below. 🙂

Until next, take care and all the very best,

Janice | Proud member of Scotiana’s team








2 comments to Red Front Door Means Mortgage-Free ?

  • Iain

    How could you have known, Janice, that the painting of front doors was soon to become a hot topic here in Scotland? (I must say, I haven’t heard of the tradition of the red door that you wrote about, but it’s an interesting story!)

    The saga of Mrs Dickson’s front door in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town has been running now for several years, and has received massive publicity. It all started with a disagreement over what colour the door should be, and recently (July 2023) it was repainted for the third time. Not all doors are created equal, and those in Drummond Place enjoy triple protection, for the individual town houses are Listed buildings and situated in a Conservation Area that forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

    Yet it seems that Edinburgh City Council has no clear policy regarding the colours that are permitted. The advice from their Planning Department is to “stick to traditional colours, like dark red, dark grey, sage green, dark blue or black” – yet Mrs Dickson’s door was originally white, and she has pointed out that several of her neighbours have doors in bright red, yellow or bright blue.

    (I have always considered black to be the only suitable colour for ironwork on historic buildings – this would apply to the gutters and downpipes, as well as the ornamental gates and railings at the front. Pure white is almost universal for windows – and small windows in a basement, etc. always look vastly better, to my eye, when the owner remembers to paint their bars in black.)


    • Dear Iain, thank you so much for your enthusiastic comment! I’m thrilled to hear that the topic of painting front doors has become a hot discussion in Scotland, particularly with the ongoing saga of Mrs. Dickson’s front door in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town. It’s fascinating to see how a simple disagreement over door color has garnered so much attention.

      Thank you for sharing your insights, and I hope to hear more about any other interesting traditions or stories you come across!

      Warm regards,

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