Moving home can be costly, so it pays to be prepared. Find out the true price of moving, so that you can prevent any unforeseen costs.
Moving home may seem exciting, but you will need to keep an eye on your costings. The median cost of moving in the United Kingdom is around £8,885, but this can differ depending on where you live.
Here, we’re breaking down the cost of moving in to help you prevent any unexpected financial surprises, depending on if you are a first-time buyer or you’re moving to a new home.
1. Stamp Duty
What is Stamp Duty?
A tax that you may have to pay when you buy a house.
How much is it going to cost me?
Everything depends on the price of the house, whether you’re a first-time buyer and where you’re buying in the UK. If you are a first-time buyer in the UK, you won’t have to pay a penny if you pay up to £300,000 for the home. Yet you’re going to have to pay Stamp Duty on homes that cost more than that, even if you are not a first-time land or home buyer.
Example for first-time buyers:
You are going to have to pay 5% of the sum between £300,000 and £500,000. For example, the Stamp Duty will be £5,000 (5 per cent of £100,000) on a property that costs £400k. If your home costs more than £500k, there’s a growing amount of Stamp Duty to pay – use the Government Stamp Duty calculator to find out more.
What about Stamp Duty for moving home?
In England and Northern Ireland, you would have to pay property taxes in excess of £125,000. The Government Stamp Duty Calculator will help you figure out the bill.
What about properties in Scotland and Wales?
In Scotland, you pay the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) at various rates for each aspect of the purchase price of the property. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you won’t have to pay for anything until the house costs more than £175,000. When you move from a house that you purchased, you’ll be charged for buying a new house that costs more than £145,0003. In Wales, you’re going to have to pay land transaction tax on property above £180,0004. The Welsh Government is offering a calculator to help you find out how much you will need to pay.
2. Valuations & Surveys
What is the difference between a valuation and a survey?
Your mortgage lender can arrange a valuation to make sure the price of the property is reasonable. In some instances, many borrowers, including Barclays, will not ask for this. A survey is a report from a trained professional to illustrate any problems that could cost you money in the future. Surveys are not mandatory, but they are an excellent idea.
How do I arrange a survey?
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors will help you get in touch with a professional surveyor in your field.
How much does the building survey cost?
Surveys vary from a simple condition report, which costs between 250 and 300 pounds, to a detailed building survey, which may cost between 500 and 2,000 pounds depending on the size of the house. The older or more unique the property is, the more detailed the survey will be.
3. Legal fees
Do I need a lawyer to hire?
You may require a lawyer or a licenced conveyor to deal with all the legal aspects of your home sale or purchase. Licensed conveyors are usually cheaper than lawyers, but they are not eligible to deal with complicated legal issues. Ask family or friends for feedback.
Why must I pay legal fees?
Buying land can be difficult and legal advice can help you prevent problems. Solicitors and conveyors contact the local authority to verify any planning concerns that can concern you and to register the possession of the property with the government. There are costs for this, which will be included in your bill by the lawyer.
What will I need to pay for it?
Legal costs amount to be between £800 and £1,500. It is a good idea to obtain quotes from various companies – check if the overall cost includes VAT, land registry and search fees so you can compare them.
Are there any other legal costs?
If your lawyer needs to do some extra research because of your personal circumstances, you will be charged.
If you are making the purchase with a family member or a friend who isn’t your wife, a lawyer may suggest that you set up an act of trust. This will tell you what would happen if either of you wanted to move out or sell their share. If this is a matter for you, your lawyer will explain it to you.
What’s a money transfer fee?
Many lenders charge a fee for moving the mortgage money you borrowed to your solicitor so that the solicitor can complete the purchase of your house. This is generally between £40 which £50 and is most likely to be included in the lawyer’s bill.
What is buildings insurance?
It protects you for any damage to the foundation of the house that may affect its value, and most lenders will not give you a mortgage until you prove you have it. Some, like Barclays, can provide a premium to cover you. However, you can get insurance from any insurer. Buildings policy typically covers permanent fixtures, such as fitted kitchens and bathrooms.
How much buildings cover do I need?
You need to make sure that the policy provides enough money to restore the property if it is destroyed. This isn’t the same as the price you pay for the land. The British Insurance Association has a calculator to help you figure out the coverage you need.
When should I arrange buildings insurance?
Your buildings cover need to start from the day you exchange contracts – not the day you move in. If you’re buying a freehold house, you need to get an insurance policy. It is usually managed by the freeholder for rental properties and billed to you each year. Your solicitor will check this.
What about contents insurance?
This extends to you for loss or harm to your personal belongings, valuables and furniture. The exact coverage varies by policy, and many providers require you to select the cover that fits your needs. This is not mandatory, but the content cover will shield you from costs if anything unforeseen happens.
Do I need to get life insurance?
This isn’t mandatory to get a mortgage. However, you should consider it. Life insurance will make sure your mortgage debt is covered if you die or become seriously sick, which means that your loved ones won’t have to worry about losing their home. You should get a life insurance quote.
5. Estate agent fees (if you’re selling)
How much will it cost?
If you’re using a high-street estate agent or an online site, you’ll have to pay a fee to sell your house. It will be either a percentage of the sale price (often between 1% and 3%) or a flat fee. Make sure the quote you get is straightforward as to whether the value-added tax is included.
6. Deposit, mortgage costs and broker fees
How much deposit do I need?
Most borrowers would ask for a deposit of at least 5% – if you’re a first-time borrower, find out how to help you save for a deposit. You can also get support from your family to make a deposit.
Do I have to pay for a specific mortgage?
The mortgage you are applying for can include a fee. You can pay for this by credit card, check or bank transfer when you apply. Instead, you might opt to apply it to the mortgage balance, but this means you will pay interest on it before you pay off the mortgage. Usually, fees range from around £500 to £2k.
Will I need a mortgage broker?
Most lenders allow you to compare mortgage rates on their websites, and online comparison sites make it easy to compare different lenders. If you negotiate directly with borrowers, you’re always going to get more reliable and regulated financial advice, the same as you would with a broker. Brokers can help you handle the process; most borrowers provide support and updates through their websites or apps.
What’s the cost of using a broker?
All brokers must take a commission out of your mortgage from your lender. Some providers will charge you a fee for advice, ranging from £300 to £750, and others won’t. Many brokers will be offering an initial conversation free of charge.
What do I need to check before using a broker?
Ensure they are licenced to provide mortgage advice to the Financial Conduct Authority. You can also ask if they are related to any particular lender – ask whether they give guidance on mortgages from the entire sector. Finally, make sure you’re aware when any fees are to be charged.
Expenditure to consider before your moving day
1. The Removal company
Should you hire a removal company?
If you haven’t got any heavy furniture, then hiring a self-driving van might be of great benefit. Just make sure you have friends or relatives ready to lend a hand for the entire day. Light removals may only require a man-with-a-van service is likely to be cheaper than a removal business. In contrast, skilled movers can do light work on moving large quantities of furniture and valuables. In this case, ensure whether the mover is protected so that your belongings are safe if they are harmed in transit.
How do I choose a removals company?
Ask your friends and family for advice, or search the removals Ombudsman’s website to help you find one.
What else should I check?
Please contact the local council to find out whether you require a permit for your removal vehicle – and also for your personal vehicle. Usually, you should apply for a temporary permit in advance so that you won’t be charged for parking outside your new home.
2. Temporary Storage Units
What if I have to store possessions before moving in?
You’d probably need a unit of around 50 square feet to store the contents of a one-bedroom apartment. The entire contents of a three-bedroom family home would require a unit of 150 square feet. Prices will vary, so shop around for quotes, but be prepared to pay £140 a month or more. Comparison Platform Compare Storage is a valuable starting point.
3. Redirecting your mail
How much does it cost to get my post sent to my new home?
Prices range from £33.99 for three months to £66.99 for 12 months, and redirecting can be done quickly and conveniently online. It’s actually focused on surnames, and if you stay with someone who has a different name, they’re going to have to pay separately.
4. Move-out clean
Do I have to pay for a deep clean?
When you are renting, check what your rental agreement says about cleaning the property when you leave. Your landlord or rental agent may demand that you use your preferred cleaners, or you may have to hire your own.
What else should I do?
Either way, verify that the cleaners have done their job as agreed, and take pictures as evidence. If you use your own cleaner, get a written receipt to confirm that the job has been completed. It is essential, because having no evidence may affect the value of the deposit you get back.