Moving house can be expensive. The average house price in the UK is just over £300,000 (rising to £1 million in London), so expect to pay around £21,750 in additional fees. Before you move house, you’ll also need to consider the following hidden costs:
Stamp Duty is a tax on the purchase of any freehold, leasehold or shared ownership residential property over £125,000 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (there is a separate but similar tax in Scotland). It changes depending on whether you’re purchasing a first home, or a second home/buy to let.
As of 2018, this rate operates on an escalating scale, so you’ll be charged the relevant amount for the portion of the total cost that falls within each band.
E.g. for a home worth £400,000, you’ll pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, and then 5% on anything between £300,001-£500,000.
Always get your new property checked by a surveyor before you buy. This is the only way to determine if there are any structural problems, and may save you money on repairs in the long run.
Expect to pay £250 for a basic home condition survey, or £600 or more for a full structural survey. Definitely don’t skip this step!
You’ll need a solicitor to put together all the paperwork for your new home, which will set you back £850-1,500 (including VAT). They can also conduct local searches to check whether there are any local plans or problems which might impact on your property in the long run, which will be another £250-300.
A removals company will usually charge around £300-600. You can also rent a van and do this yourself, but still expect to pay a couple of hundred pounds. Unless you’ve got excellent upper body strength and can resist fighting with your spouse on the motorway, it might be worth just leaving it to the pros. Plus, they’ll be able to provide contents insurance in case anything happens.
It’s unlikely that everything you already own will fit perfectly into your new pad, and you’ll probably feel like you want a fresh start anyway. A plush sofa for your brand new den, big kitchen table and fresh appliances to replace anything that was built in could cost more than £5000.
Maintenance and repairs
Even if its former owner was a professional handyman, the average new home requires around £5,750 of work done to bring it up to scratch. Hiring a professional surveyor early in the process can help you understand exactly what needs to be done, but expect to also find lots of practical things once you’re living there.
Estate agent fees
You won’t pay the fees on your new property, but you will have to cover the sale costs of your old home. Fees vary, but you should aim to pay about 1%+VAT.
If you’re selling a £250,000 property, that means £2500 + £500.
Expect to pay around £18,750 (minimum) out of pocket, above and beyond your mortgage deposit.
Before you decide to move house, have you thought about what changes you could make to your existing home that could skyrocket it’s value and make it more comfortable for your family? A loft extension or side conversion might give you all the space you need, without having to move house at all.
Use our free valuation calculator to discover what value you could add to your home by spending your money wisely.