Buying a house or selling a house can be a costly business, but what exactly do you need to budget for and what is the real cost of moving house?
We clear through the jargon and tell you everything you need to know about the cost of moving house.
The real cost of moving house:
Buying a house
Conveyancing fees: These are the fees you pay to your solicitor for handling the legal aspect of buying a house, including the legal transfer of property ownership. You can expect to pay around £500-£1,500 in conveyancing fees which will need to be paid upfront in installments, with a final bill payable to settle upon completion.
Land registry fees: Another part of the legal transfer of home ownership is the recording of your property ownership on the land registry. Your solicitor will arrange the payment of this fee and bill you accordingly, but you can expect to pay up to £500 in land registry fees depending on the final purchase price of the property.
Stamp duty land tax: Stamp duty is the tax you pay to the government when you buy a house – you will be expected to pay it to your solicitor ready for completion, who will in turn pay it on to HM Revenue & Customs. Stamp duty land tax is up to 12% of the final purchase price, depending on how much you pay. You can calculate how much you’ll need to pay using the table below:
Property purchase price
Percentage of final purchase price payable
Up to £125,000
£125,001 – £250,000
£250,001 – £925,000
£925,001 – £1,500,000
Mortgage fees: Arranging a mortgage can be one of the more time consuming aspects of buying a property and is also one that has several costs attached to it. These costs may include:
- Mortgage arrangement fee – a fee charged by your mortgage lender to cover their administrative costs. It may also be referred to as a product fee, a booking fee or an application fee. You can expect to pay anything up to £2,500 for this fee, but around £1,000 is normal for a mortgage with an attractive interest rate. This fee can either be paid up front or be added to your mortgage borrowing.
- Valuation fee – this is a fee charged by your lender to cover the cost of valuing the property you want to buy. The lender will want to ensure they’ll make their money back on the property should the worst happen and they have to repossess your property. You can expect to pay £300-£400 in valuation fee which will be payable upfront.
- Survey fee – More in-depth than a simple valuation, a survey will alert you to any area of the property that requires attention eg. damp, plumbing issues, roofing and structural problems. You can expect to pay between £400 and £700 for a survey and the fee is payable at the point of commissioning the survey.
- Broker’s fee – if you’re using a mortgage broker or independent financial advisor to secure a mortgage you may be required to pay a broker’s fee (some brokers charge a fee, others will just take commission from the mortgage lender once the lending has been confirmed). If a broker’s fee is payable it will usually be anything up to around £500 and will be payable upon completion.
Other costs to be considered when buying a house:
- Removal costs
- Service charges, ground rent and maintenance costs (on leasehold properties)
- Any additional furnishings required for the new property
- Ongoing mortgage repayments
Selling a house
Estate agent fees: Estate agency fees can be fairly varied, but typically you can expect to pay between 1% and 3.5% of the final selling price. Some online estate agents charge considerably less, but are unlikely to have the same level of local knowledge and it’s also important to be aware of low ‘basic’ packages and costly ‘extras’ such as accompanied viewings, floorplans, additional photography etc.
Conveyancing fees: Similar to the process of buying a property, you’ll also require the services of a solicitor to handle the legal process of transferring property ownership to the person buying your property. When it comes to selling a house you can expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 in conveyancing fees, but may be able to secure a discount if your solicitor is handling a sale and purchase for you simultaneously.
EPC: An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a legal requirement when selling a property. In short, it’s a document that tells perspective buyers how energy efficient your property is and what steps could be taken to improve the energy efficiency of the home. You can expect to pay £50-£120 for an EPC, which can either be arranged through your estate agent or independently. The fee will be payable upon booking.