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moving home

Why it costs more than ever to move house

Buying a house isn’t cheap. Not only do you have to find a deposit and make monthly payments, you’ve also a number of other expenses which can quickly add up. In fact, the average cost of these extras has grown to a hefty £10,996.

Research from Lloyds Bank suggests these costs have risen by £870 (9%) in the last year, with rising house values pushing up stamp duty and other fees linked to the buying prices.

The figures were at their highest in London, where the average moving cost jumped by 18% to £31,416, with stamp duty accounting for close to half that amount. The average in the South East was next highest at £20,210, while bills range from £6,900 to £8,000 in Yorkshire, the North East, Scotland, the North West and Wales. Northern Ireland is the cheapest at £5,401.

Working out the total cost of buying a home

Whether you’re a first time buyer, or just moving to a new home, there are a number of costs to budget for.

Stamp duty

This is an extra charge you pay based on the value of the property. This will be a big chunk of the extra costs if the property is bought at more than £125,000 – and even more if it’s a second home or buy-to-let property.

Valuation fee

Before you get a mortgage, the lender will assess the value of the property you want to buy to decide how much they want to lend you. You won’t always be charged for this, but expect to pay between £150 and £1,500 if you are.

Surveyor’s fee

A surveyor will take a look at the property too, but they will check for any potential issues. It could cost anywhere from £250 for a basic survey to more than £600 for a full structural survey.

Legal fees

You can’t just complete a house purchase yourself. You’ll need a solicitor or conveyancer to do the legal work, which can often be as much as £1,800.

Estate agent fees

If you’re selling, you’ll also have to pay 1% to 3% of the sale price plus VAT to your estate agent. Lloyds estimates £5,404 is the average in 2016.

Mortgage fees

Behind those record-low interest rates you’ll possibly find a sky-high fee. You can pay up to £2,000 to set up a mortgage – and there could be more costs further down the line such as early exit fees.

Moving costs

You might have only a few things to move, but if there’s any furniture or boxes of stuff you’ve accumulated over time you’ll possibly need a removal firm to help, and they don’t come for free. Typically, you’ll pay £300 to £600, and more at weekends.

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  • Bradley Thomas / 28 November 2016

    Thank you MAS for these tips - very useful. We're looking at selling up next year but I'm trying to keep costs to an absolute minimum for everything from surveyors to estate agency fees.

    I don't know if you (or anyone else here!) can help point me in the right direction, but I'm struggling a bit with finding a nice and easy 'at a glance' table to compare mortgages? I don't want to submit my details to any of the price comparison websites, and am ideally looking for something similar to what Yopa have produced for comparing online estate agents

    Any help most appreciated!