The real cost of buying a house

When moving house, most will have mastered the art of budgeting and saving to finance the home itself. But when it comes to the actual move, you must factor in all of the additional costs – from Stamp Duty and new furniture to redirected post. Here, we break down the true cost of buying a house so you don’t have to.

So, how much does it cost to buy a house? There are two sides to your costs: the upfront fees and the extra, ‘on the day’, costs that you may have forgotten about.  

The upfront costs

  1. Stamp Duty 
  2. Mortgage deposit and mortgage fees
  3. Valuation and house survey fees
  4. Conveyancing fees

Preparing to move

  1. Cleaning fees
  2. Removals costs

Once you’re in

  1. Redirecting the post
  2. Setting up the bills
  3. Furnishings

The Upfront Costs

What are Stamp Duty fees? 

Stamp Duty fees are an additional cost involved when buying a house or land in the UK. It’s a tax that is charged at a gradable rate based on the value of your new property. It also takes into consideration whether you’re a first-time buyer or if you already own property. 

You can check which Stamp Duty rate you’ll be charged at using HMRC’s Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator

How much are the mortgage costs?  

When it comes to buying a home, your mortgage does the hard work for you. Most lenders will require at least a 5% deposit towards the full house price and there are usually mortgage fees associated, which can be anywhere up to £2,000. 

To ensure the mortgage is accurately calculated, most lenders will require a valuation to ensure that your new home is valued at the appropriate price and doesn’t have any hidden surprises. Valuation Fees will be paid here as part of your mortgage costs. 

Buyers can also undertake a private survey to gather additional, more in-depth information which can cost you anywhere up to £400. 

For more information on what mortgages are available, take a look at our guide to the different mortgages types.

How much are Legal Fees when buying a house?

You can expect to pay anywhere between £800 and £1,500 for these costs. Legal Fees, otherwise known as Conveyancing fees cover all the work ticked off by your solicitor or Conveyancer. Alongside their rates, you’ll need to factor in disbursements. 

These costs cover legal checks such as: 

Preparing to move

Clean as a whistle  

Ensuring your old home is ready for its new residents and your new home is all set to move into can be a tedious job, but one that needs doing nonetheless. If you’re currently living in rented accommodation you should always check your contract to see what level of cleanliness is expected. 

If a deep clean is in store, you may wish to consider a professional cleaning service to help you get the job done. 

The big move

The move itself must be factored into your fees when buying a house, from temporary storage costs to removals companies and van hire; there’s lots to consider before you can get your belongings into your new place. 

Once you’re in your new home

Redirecting post

For some time you may find that your mail is arriving in the wrong place. To avoid lost post you can pay £33.99 for up to three months or £69.99 for the first year after you’ve moved, to have your mail redirected to your new home. 

Setting up utilities

Utilities and Council Tax are just some of the household bills that will need to be considered once you’ve moved home. If you’re moving counties, your Council Tax costs may change quite radically and bills will fluctuate depending on the size of your property. Make sure to prepare ahead of time, so that you’re well equipped for all costs. 

To help get your finances in order, download our budgeting spreadsheet!

The final touches

Once you’ve got the keys and you’re finally in, your attention will likely then turn to making the place your own. Whether you’re bringing furniture with you or you’re starting anew, interior design costs can stack up.

It’s not uncommon for excited buyers to start buying furniture and decor items before moving in. Try to avoid the bigger buys until you’ve had a little time to settle and get to know the space. This will help to avoid non-refundable purchases that don’t fit or ‘look right’ in your new home. 

On a budget? By adopting second-hand furniture or making arrangements with previous buyers, you can keep costs to a minimum and work on your interiors over time.

Next steps 

If you’re looking to get onto the property ladder and need some help organising your finances for your mortgage, get in touch with our dedicated team today by calling us on 0345 1645790 or submitting your query via our online form.