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What are the costs of moving house?

By Daisy Mason

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Whether you’re buying or selling a property, there are many costs to consider when moving house. Here, we’ve outlined the major costs associated with a move, although they may not apply to everyone and will depend on individual circumstance.

Mortgage

If you are borrowing money from a mortgage lender to buy your new property, there are a number of associated costs. What and how much you pay will vary on an individual basis, but these are the most common fees associated with taking out a mortgage:

Mortgage application fee

Before you make an offer on a property, you will need to arrange for a mortgage in principal. When you decide which mortgage is right for you, you will often pay a booking fee to the lender while the application is processed.

See it as a reservation fee that is non-refundable if you choose not to proceed with the mortgage.

Arrangement fee

This is what you will pay to the lender for arranging your mortgage. It will either be a percentage of how much you are borrowing or a flat fee depending on the lender and the type of loan you are taking out.

Often you will be able to choose whether you add this fee onto the mortgage total or pay it up front, but be mindful that you will be paying interest on the fee if you add it to your loan.

Valuation fee

Your mortgage lender will need to check that the property you are buying is valued correctly and that the value is adequate for the amount that you are borrowing.

Some mortgage lenders will do a mortgage valuation for free as part of their service and others will charge, but often you will pay this fee upfront at the start of your mortgage application.

Usually you will also have to pay an additional admin fee for the mortgage valuation.

Account administration fee

Your lender will charge you an administration fee for setting up, maintaining and closing your mortgage account, which will normally be added to your loan.

Mortgage broker fee

A mortgage broker will usually charge a fee for giving advice and arranging the mortgage. This fee is often fixed, but sometimes commission based depending on how much you are borrowing.

CHAPS fee

This is charged by your bank for making a high-value, same-day deposit. When you are completing on your new property, it is necessary to pay your monies to your solicitor on the day the contracts are signed for the sale to be finalised.

If you’re a seller, you will have to pay a CHAPS fee on behalf of your lender when they are transferring money to your solicitor.

Deposit

Your deposit will usually be the biggest cost when moving home and is a percentage of the value of the property you are buying. Typically, this will be between 5% and 20% of the property’s value and will be payable when you exchange contracts.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax imposed by the government on every property sale. The amount you pay is dependent on the value of the property, if it is an additional property and if it is residential or non-residential.

Take a look at our breakdown of how much stamp duty you have to pay.

Surveyor

You may choose to instruct a surveyor to carry out an inspection of your new property. There are varying levels and, therefore, varying costs associated with these surveys. But it is a good idea to get one to make sure that there are no underlying issues with the property.

The different levels include:

  • Condition Report - Recommended for new and fairly new homes, this is a basic report that doesn’t offer advice or valuations.
  • HomeBuyer Report – For properties in good condition, this report will outline any immediate structural problems, the property’s value, and advise on any necessary repairs.
  • Structural Survey – The most thorough of all the surveys, a structural survey is extensive and advises on potentially hidden problems too. It will also outline repair options.

Legal fees

You will need a solicitor or conveyancer to do all the legal stuff involved in buying and selling a property.

Their fee covers things like drawing up contracts, handling monies, and liaising with the other party. In addition, as a buyer you will need to pay for local searches, which outline any local authority issues and plans that may affect the value of and your usage of the property.

Estate agent fees

As a seller, you will pay a fee to the estate agent who is responsible for selling your property.

This fee is usually a percentage of the total sale price of the property and covers marketing, viewings, negotiating and contracts.

EPC

As a seller, you are required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property when you market it for sale.

Removal company

If you’re not prepared to do the heavy work yourself, you will have to pay a removal company to help you move your belongings into your new home. If you’re downsizing or moving abroad, you may also need to think about storage costs if you can’t move all of your stuff in one go.

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