How much does it cost to move home?

It’s something we do, according to MoneySuperMarket, more than five times during our lifetimes on average. And it’s likely to be one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do. So it’s no wonder that people often ask us how much it costs to move home, although charges vary considerably, depending on a number of different factors.

But one major financial services provider (Barclays) and one of the UK’s biggest lenders (Halifax) both quoted similar average moving costs of nearly £12,000. MoneySuperMarket also reported last year that the typical cost of switching residence had risen by some 12% over the previous 12 months.

Here, we try and give a summary of the main things you have to pay for, whether you’re a first-time property purchaser or have previously bought a place.

  • Conveyancing

This is the hiring of a solicitor to act on your behalf during the buying or selling process. While costs vary considerably, legal fees can potentially amount to £1,500, and will include VAT at 20%. Additional local searches that lawyers carry out can cost another few hundred pounds on top.

A good solicitor can make all the difference, including by making the whole process quicker by ensuring everything’s done on time. They’ll also deal with your contracts, offer any necessary legal advice, conduct property searches to identify any issues you need to know about, transfer funds and register that you are your new property’s legal owner.

  • Deposit

This, of course, is the percentage of the property price paid as an advance downpayment and typically worth up to 10- 15% of the property’s value. Clearly, the more you can put down as a deposit, the smaller your mortgage, which is a huge saving given rising interest rates. While 95% mortgages are available, these are usually more expensive. As we reported recently, in some cases it’s even possible to take out a zero-deposit home loan.

  • Stumping up Stamp duty (SDLT)

You pay this charge when you buy a property in England or Northern Ireland worth more than £125,00. In Scotland and Wales the tax has other names. Its calculation is based on the house or flat’s worth and paid on completion of the transaction. It’s not something you can add to your mortgage.

You pay this duty at 2% on properties worth between £125,001 and £250,000, 5% for those valued at between £250,001 and £925,000, 10% if the home is priced between £925,001 and £1.5m, 12% thereafter.

The government has also changed this system so that rates only apply to that portion of the property falling within each relevant band. Additionally, if you’re buying your first home, stamp duty only kicks in after £300,000, while a 5% duty applies between that price and £500,000. Use a quick online calculator to work out what you’ll be paying.

  • Valuation charge

When you apply for a home loan, the mortgage provider will do a house valuation on the place you’re buying to make sure its value is right for what you are paying for it. This can sometimes cost up to £300, but is often done free of charge.

  • Surveyor’s costs

Depending on the property you are purchasing you may choose to instruct a surveyor to check for any structural problems. You can decide on different kinds of survey, with the level of thoroughness involved reflected in the price and property, including:

  • Condition report
  • Homebuyer’s report
  • Building survey (this is the most comprehensive one)

The bill for your surveyor likely to reach hundreds of pounds. It’s not compulsory, but if you have concerns with the property you are hoping to purchase then a survey is certainly recommended.

  • Mortgage fees

Most mortgages have arrangement fees as a set-up charge. Equally, some brokers may charge you for their services in arranging a loan, either as a one-off fee or each time you seek their advice. Be clear on fees before you meet a broker. This cost can run into several hundred pounds. Most lenders do not charge until you receive a mortgage offer, be very wary of Brokers charging an up-front fee!

  • Extra legal costs

As well as solicitors’ fees and conveyancing costs, there’s Land Registry fee, which will vary according to property location and value.

  • Estate agents’ fees

Using an estate agent to market and sell your property involves a fee, usually charged either as a percentage of the sale price (often between 1 and 3%), or a flat rate. Get recommendations, compare charges and check if VAT (20%) is included. Find an agent you like and with whom you feel you can build a personal rapport, you need to work with an agent who you can 100% trust to look after you, work hard on your behalf and support you throughout the process.

  • Moving day payments

You can save money by hiring a van and moving yourself, or get a removals firm to take care of the heavy lifting for you – you may find this saves you a fair bit of hassle on what is likely to be a stressful day. A compromise could be a ‘man and a van’ solution. Think about where your movers will park, and source local operators from the National Guild of Removers and Storers.

As a rough guide, one survey by the website Compare My Move revealed the average moving cost to be £1,761 with extra charges for special-care items, tricky access requirements and packing materials.

Oakfield says

At Oakfield Estate Agents, we fully appreciate that moving house can be an expensive, stressful and time-consuming business. With offices across East Sussex in Bexhill, Hastings and Eastbourne, we’re right up your street – and have been helping people get into their dream homes locally since the 1990s.

With reasonable rates and a friendly, professional service, we’re the estate agents you can trust and put you in touch with the best professionals to assist you throughout the sales process.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we could do for your next move. Contact Us