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The £6,000 surprise bill for first-time buyers

If you’re buying your first home, it can feel difficult enough to save up a deposit and find a mortgage with monthly payments you can afford. Yet on top of these costs are up to eight different fees and taxes, potentially adding up to £6,000.

Stamp duty, valuation fees and mortgage fees are just some of the extra charges you could face. How much you pay does depend on where you live, the property’s value and the type of mortgage you get.

Analysis by consumer website Money Saving Expert (MSE) has found the average costs for each of the fees. The typical stamp duty will set a home buyer back £560, while the likely fee for the mortgage is £942. Many of these charges are required upfront.

The total bills faced could be anywhere between £2,677 and £5,952 according to MSE, highlighting why it’s important to fully cost your buying and moving costs.

Buying a home – the costs to consider

It’s not just the buying and moving expenses to consider.

If you had been renting or living with parents before getting your own property, you probably haven’t had to concern yourself with repairs and general maintenance. Things can – and do – go wrong, from faulty boilers to leaking roofs, so it’s worth having a buffer fund to cover unexpected costs if they occur.

You’ll be required to have buildings insurance on top of any contents insurance you choose to have, and you might find Council Tax and other bills are higher than where you previously lived.

Finally make sure you take into account any new furniture and decorating costs you’ll need to pay out for when you first move in.

Help getting your first home

If you are saving for a deposit, or think buying a home is out of your reach, there are schemes which could give you a boost.

From Help to Buy to shared ownership, there are ways you can reduce the deposit needed, or lower your monthly payments.


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