Moving house can be a stressful and expensive time. You will need to think about estate agent’s fees, conveyancing, surveys and removals, so there is a lot that you need to consider and budget for.
To help you save time and money we have pulled together some helpful advice to give you an indication of how much moving house will cost, hopefully you might have a few extra pounds left over for a bottle of bubbly once you’re settled in your new house!
The average estate agency fee is approximately 1.8% + VAT.
Some estate agents charge more than others, so make sure you find out their fees before you sign a contract and be prepared to negotiate. If you are thinking about moving house in London, fees can be far higher, so be prepared to pay more.
Since you’re dealing with significant amounts of money, you should ensure you choose an estate agent that’s registered with the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or another professional body. In addition, make sure you deal only with estate agents registered with The Property Ombudsman. In the event of a dispute over fees, you’ll have a dedicated avenue for redress.
And remember, you don’t necessarily have to use an estate agent to sell your property. Most people do as it simplifies the process considerably, but if you’d rather not, there are several websites online that allow you to list your property privately or via a ‘hybrid’ of online only and local property expert. Estate agents are quick to point out the dangers of doing so, for example the potential for under-pricing your property or having to deal with time wasters.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is charged on all property and land transactions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The amount you pay depends on the price of the house you’re buying; full details are displayed below:
|Purchase price (£)||Rate (%)|
|Up to £125,000||0%|
|£125,001 to £250,000||2%|
|£250,001 to £925,000||5%|
|£925,001 to £1,500,000||10%|
For example: If you buy a property worth £400,000 then you will have to pay £10,000 in stamp duty.
You pay no stamp duty on the first £125,000, then 2% on £125,000 to £250,000 and 5% above £250,000. This would range across two stamp duty percentages rates.
It is important to note that if you are purchasing an additional property such as a second home or buy-to-let you will need to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge on top of your current stamp duty.
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland
Since April 2015, Stamp Duty in Scotland is now known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
In an aim to help first time buyers, if your property is less than £145,000, then you will not have to pay LBTT.
|Purchase price (£)||Rate (%)|
|Up to £145,000||0%|
|£145,001 to £250,000||2%|
|£250,001 to £325,000||5%|
|£325,001 to £750,000||10%|
For example, if you were buying a house in Scotland that was sold at £400,000 you would have to pay £13,350 in LBTT.
You pay no Land and Building Tax on the first £145,000, then between £145,000 to £250,000 2%, 5% on £250,000 to £325,000 and 10% above £325,000.
Since April 2016, anyone wishing to buy an additional property in Scotland will have to pay an extra 3% surcharge. This includes second homes and buy-to-let.
The average conveyancing costs that UK homeowners can expect to pay ranges from between £330 to £1,050 with the process taking between 8-12 weeks to complete.
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property from one person to another. When buying or selling a house it is essential the sale is conducted legally and above board. Some people try to do their own conveyancing, but the Law Society recommends it is always carried out by qualified Licenced Conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor who is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) this will help to make the process as hassle-free as possible. Make sure you get at least three quotes in writing before you instruct a solicitor, as prices vary depending on the relative experience and location of the firm.
You may or may not be able to negotiate on the price; busy solicitors may refuse as they know they will find other customers.
The average cost of a HomeBuyer Report can start from £300 and a Building Survey from around £400. The cost of your survey will depend on the type, cost and location of your property.
If you require a mortgage (and most of us do!), your lender will mostly likely require a surveyor carrying out a mortgage valuation which is an assessment on the value of your house based on its condition and structure. This is not a survey. A HomeBuyer Report – which is the survey you would need to commission independently of the mortgage valuation - is more in depth, covering the basic condition of the property and areas that need urgent attention, the Buildings Survey is an extensive structural survey of the property you’re looking to buy.
Mortgage valuations can cost you between £180-£1,500. It is unlikely that you will see the detailed valuation, but just the price at which they value the property. If you wish to see a report on your property you will need to employ the surveyor directly for a HomeBuyer Report or a Buildings Survey.
If you choose your own surveyor make sure they are registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. (RICS).
A Building Survey can be useful for your peace of mind, it will identify areas that need immediate attention and those that can reasonably wait, along with detailed photos, in-depth information and outline costs to repair the problems The report can often be used to help with negotiations on the selling price.
Mortgage Arrangement Fees
Your mortgage arrangement fee can be up to £2,000.
Lenders will often charge a mortgage arrangement fee which serves to cover administration costs. For some lenders this will be a few hundred pounds, whereas for some it can reach over £2,000 which can be a significant sum. The fee will generally depend on the type of institution you’re borrowing from and the cost of your property. Those looking for a sizeable mortgage should expect to pay higher mortgage arrangement fees.
Homeowners have two main options when it comes to paying mortgage arrangement fees. If the fee is sizeable and they have limited cash assets they can ask for the fee to be added to the mortgage. However, this will increase the amount you owe, your interest will rise and so will your monthly payments. Alternatively, you can pay the fee off with cash immediately.
This is the fee for the mortgage product, and is sometimes known as the product fee or completion fee. You can sometimes add this to your mortgage, but this will increase the amount you owe, your interest and your monthly payments.
The average price in 2016 for moving up to 10 miles away is:
£300 for a 1-2-bedroom house
£458 for a 3-bedroom house
£682 for a 4-bedroom house
£871 for a 5-bedroom house
Removals quotes are dependent on several factors: the distance between the properties, the time spent in packing your belongings, and the quantity of your possessions. You can reduce the amount you spend by preparing early and packing boxes yourself. Moving earlier in the week (such as a Monday or Tuesday) is often cheaper.
Some homeowners with little furniture opt to move their belongings themselves. However, unless you own a van or can get your hands on one this will be very difficult to achieve in a car. Hiring a van can be relatively expensive for the small time period you’ll need it. Plus, you must factor in petrol and insurance (which can often be included in quotes for removals).
Don’t forget to buy your packing materials in bulk. Your removals firm may be able to supply most of them but you can get some very good deals by searching online. Most people underestimate how much they’ll need so make sure you buy enough. And don’t forget the little extras, like box pens and furniture covers to protect your belongings en route.
The cost of storage will depend on your location and the amount that needs to be stored. You may not need to use a storage solution if you’re able to move straight out of your old house and into a new one. However, if there’s a gap between completion dates or if there’s a last minute complication you may have to put your possessions into storage for a set or indefinite amount of time until your new home is ready to move into.
The most important thing to do is shop around when you need storage. Your removals firm may have a storage facility or there are well known companies who supply good quality solutions but there are also local firms who may be able to meet your needs at a fraction of the price. If you live in a large city, you may want to take a look at companies based slightly outside your area to get a cheaper price.
Another issue is insurance. Some companies offer insurance as part of their packages but it can be significantly more expensive than if you phone an insurance company directly. Get as many quotes as you can. Check out any special offers posted by the larger storage companies – some may include insurance deals. Also check your current home insurance in case it will cover your possessions as Goods In Transit.
Finally, don’t buy your storage boxes and accessories through the storage company. They are likely to be overpriced; get them either or from the removals firm.
There are always little unavoidable extras that bump up the price when moving home, so make sure you budget a portion of money for miscellaneous jobs, supplies and emergencies that you may be otherwise unprepared for.
Examples of miscellaneous costs include:
A skip so you can purge your belongings
Takeaways whilst you’re packing boxes and on your first night in the new house
Vet’s fees if your cat or dog finds the move distressing
If your friends are helping you move, you may want to pay their petrol costs
Toys for your children to keep them happy whilst you’re rushing about
Curtains and soft furnishings for your new house
One of the biggest unexpected moving costs is new white goods. If you have a built in fridge or freezer at your old house you may be unable to move it, or you may have arranged to leave it behind as part of the sale. Alternatively, you may arrive at your new house and find the dimensions are too large or small for your new kitchen.
Total cost of moving
Below you’ll find two examples of total moving costs for different properties:
Type: 4 bedroom detached house
Cost of property: £275,000
Location: Moving up to 10 miles away from previous home
|Conveyancing fee (selling)||£370|
|Energy Performance Certificate||£60|
|Estate Agent's fee (based on 2% of £275,000)||£6,600|
Type: 3 bedroom semi-detached house
Cost of property: £500,000
Location: Moving 272 miles from previous property
|Conveyancing fee (purchase)||£450|
|Stamp Duty Land Tax||£15,000|