Think you’re ready to buy a house? Don’t forget these extra costs…


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Buying a house is a huge milestone event in your life. You’ll go through a whole range of emotions and stresses, but ultimately you’ll come through the other side feeling happy and secure in your own home. But before you can sign on the dotted line and get your keys, most of us will have to have saved a fairly large deposit and secured a mortgage. But that’s not the only costs you have to factor in.

Don’t get stung by any unexpected costs – here are some to look out for:

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is a tax on properties priced over £125,000. It’s important because the amount you will pay works on a sliding scale – with more tax due on more expensive properties. The Stamp Duty tax is probably the most costly extra that you will come across and can total into the thousands, so it’s worth considering before you are looking for properties.

Like I mentioned before, the tax works on a sliding scale:

  • Up to £125,000 = 0
  • The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) = 2%
  • The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) = 5%
  • The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) = 10%
  • The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) = 12%

Mortgage fees

When you get a mortgage, lenders charge you for their service. The fee can be known as a few different things like the ‘booking fee’, ‘arrangement fee’ or the ‘mortgage fee’, but they are all the same thing. The actual cost can vary massively and certain low-interest rate mortgages come with higher fees, so it’s always good to check that before you sign anything.

Survey fee

The survey is there to prove that the property is ok and doesn’t have any underlying problems that you can’t immediately see. You’ll find that the more thorough the survey the more expensive it is – but it’s worth paying more as you’ll get a fully comprehensive view of what you are potentially buying – issues and all.

Valuation fee

Your mortgage lender will check that the property is actually worth what you are planning to spend. The cost for this varies but is typically anything between £150 and £1.5k.

Local Searches

This is a fee your solicitor will charge you. Your solicitor will look for any issues with the property such as any existing planning permissions or any disputes. This is different to the ‘survey fee’ mentioned above as it’s not looking at the property itself, it deals with wider issues.

Legal fee

This is the fee for the solicitor. It covers the work they do creating and processing all the paperwork.

Transfer fee

This is a fee you pay to have your money transferred to another account (when you are paying for your new house). This usually costs around £50.

Moving costs

Finally, you have to think about the actual costs of moving your possessions – this can cost at least £300, but it may be far higher depending on what/when/where you are moving.

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