The hidden costs that can price you out of moving house

So you’ve found your dream home, or your next dream home, and you’ve worked out that you can afford the mortgage. But have you budgeted for the other costs of moving house?

  • Stamp duty. On all but the cheapest properties you will need to pay stamp duty on the transaction. You pay nothing on the first £125,000 of the purchase price, 2% on the next £125,000 (up to a total price of £250,000), and beyond that the amounts payable go up: 5%, 10%, 12%. The HMRC web site has a handy stamp duty calculator to help you work out exactly how much will be due.
  • Surveys: although your mortgage provider will perform a valuation of your property, this will not be a full structural survey and you may wish to commission your own survey to check that there are no nasty surprises lurking within, such as maintenance or repairs that will be required before you can move in. A full survey can cost several hundred pounds, but can also provide reassurance that you won’t suddenly have to find several thousand more.
  • Removals costs can vary hugely. If you’re moving into your first property and don’t have much furniture, then perhaps a “man and a van” or some friends will be all you need. If you have more, then professional removers will almost certainly save you time and money, and will carry insurance for your peace of mind. Do consider paying them to pack — it will be quicker and save you an enormous amount of effort! Always ask for quotes from several firms.
  • Connection and disconnection fees can mount up, especially if you are buying a new-build property or one which has been empty for some time. You should discuss with the vendor which utilities are currently connected to the property and decide whether you need others, for instance, do you want a different Internet connection? Will you be able to migrate your existing provider to the new property?
  • Solicitors’ costs should be specified up front. This will consist of legal fees and the cost of local searches, which check whether there are local plans or issues. Most of the searches required are the same for all properties and have a fixed price; if your property requires additional checks, the cost for these should be clearly specified.

Keeping these additional costs in mind will ensure you not only get a home you love, but one you can afford.


Categories: Real Estate

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February 11, 2016 The hidden costs that can price you out of moving house