How Much Does it Cost to Move House?
I can believe it’s been over a year since we moved house. But if you are thinking of moving house it is worth saying that moving house is an expensive business, so it’s a good idea to budget properly. One of the first things I did before we put our house on the market was put together a plan of anticipated costs and expenses I thought we would encounter when we moved house. My plan didn’t didn’t quite work out, so I thought I would share some of our actual moving costs to help you if you are thinking of moving soon. The equity in our old home was the deposit for our new home, but if you’re a first time buyer you will need to take into consideration deposit costs. The more deposit you can get together, the better rate you can negotiate on your mortgage too.
The Cost of Moving House
Stamp duty is evil. This is my official stance. It was also a lot more than we expected. We had to add the cost of this to our mortgage.
You pay stamp duty on the house you are buying, not the house you are selling.
The good news is if you are buying a property for £125,000 or less then you don’t have to pay any stamp duty at all. Also if you are first time buyer there are tax breaks available for you. But if like us you were buying a house worth more than this and not a first time buyer it works out quite an expensive business.
You can find full details on the government’s website, but here is a rough guide:
|Up to £125,000||Zero|
|The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)||2%|
|The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%|
|The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)||10%|
|The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)||12%|
Estate Agent Fees
You can negotiate here and we looked around at local estate agents and asked in local Facebook groups for opinions before deciding on one. This was really useful as people sent me some really clear feedback on who to avoid and in the end we decided on going to a slightly pricier estate agent in exchange for better service. We originally agreed on 1.4%, although this did later get negotiated down after problems with our chain. Remember you will need to add the cost of 20% VAT on top of this.
Le me give you an example:
- Price of the house you are purchasing: £350,000
- 1.4% fee = £4900
- Then add 20% VAT to get your total cost = £5880
As you can see adding the VAT makes quite a difference and not something I personally had initially thought about.
You can organise a mortgage directly with your bank account, but if you want someone who knows the market and can advise you on your whole financial situation, I would recommend using a Financial Advisor.
Before we put our house on the market I looked around at a lot of comparison sites and did various mortgage calculators to see what we could afford and what people would lend us. But our mortgage advisor came up with a much better deal than I was able to find on the internet. In fact she managed to find us a deal that has fixed our mortgage for 5 years at 1.99% which we were really pleased with as even our own bank couldn’t match this, so it was definitely worth paying for her advice and expertise.
There is a cost associated with this. You didn’t used to have to pay a financial advisor to arrange your mortgage for you, as they often get a kick back fee from the provider. But this all changed in 2014 meaning that Financial Advisors needed to be more transparent with their fees.
We paid £399 for ours.
Mortgage Arrangement Fee
Your mortgage provider will often charge you an arrangement fee to organise your mortgage. This can vary from provider to provider, but this cost us £995 which we added to the cost of our mortgage.
Solicitors will usually quote you for a cost as soon as you have had an offer accepted on the property you want to buy and accepted an offer on your property. Again a solicitor firm is something I would suggest you get personal recommendations on, as they really can vary. A slow solicitor can hold up the whole chain and make it all a very painful process.
Also remember this is a quote on expected costs, if something happens in the buying process unexpectedly this cost may end up increasing.
Your solicitor fee usually covers search fees, legal costs, VAT Registration fee and sale legal costs. We paid £2500 for our move.
However, on top of this we also needed to add an indemnity insurance for our conservatory that we couldn’t find some paperwork on, this cost us £195.
Valuation and Survey
There are two costs to consider here. In order to get a mortgage offer, you will need a valuation on your property conducted by one of their approved partners. You can have your survey completed by this person too, but we were advised to pay for an independent one separately. The reason for this being as long as the mortgage company is happy that they can get the money back they are lending they are happy with a simple valuation. But if an item is found on the bigger survey they could use this to rescind their offer. This item could be something you as the owner are happy to live with or fix at a later date, perhaps use to negotiate a lower cost on instead. So if you have your survey done independently this gives you more options.
There are several levels of survey that you can have done on a property and the type you have probably depends on the type of property you are buying. An older building for example probably needs a more extensive survey to check for structural damage. You can find a full list of the type of surveys that you can have on the Money Advice Survey website, we opted for a Homebuyer’s Report.
The costs that we paid here were: mortgage valuation fee £330 and survey £570.
Depending on the amount of stuff you have, how far you are moving this is a cost that can vary dramatically. The last time we moved we were going from a flat to a house and we didn’t have too much to move, so we simply called in some favours with friends and hired a van, so it cost us a couple of hundred. This time around that wasn’t possible and we had quite a bit of stuff! Which meant we paid a lot of money in removal costs.
Some removal companies will pack for you too, we decided on this service simply because of time. It’s actually quite a thing to behold how quickly professional packers pack up your house.
We had to do some things ourselves, they wouldn’t empty our loft for instance, so my husband did this one weekend into one room is the house, which also gave us time to go through it all and have a good clear out too.
Moving and packing up of our house cost us £2000.
An EPC or energy performance certificate is something your house must have before you put it on the market. It’s basically a certificate about your home’s energy use. Full details can be found on the government’s website. This cost us £100.
Other Misc Costs
Other costs to take into consideration and these were costs I hadn’t planned for is a boiler service, our boiler service was overdue and we were asked to do this before exchanging and provide the necessary paperwork. That you might have to fix anything brought up in the property’s survey. We were lucky and didn’t have to, but we did ask the people we were buying from to fix some items raised on our survey before we would proceed.
Another thing to bear in mind is that as soon as you exchange you are responsible for the building insurance of the house that you are buying. This usually works out as your buyer becomes responsible for yours, but we did have to pay a small admin fee for this.
After Moving House
Another thing you need to consider is that if you are up-sizing like we were it is not only the cost of your mortgage that will increase, but the cost of most of your household bills too, although I did find ways to save money on these by using comparison sites, fixing tariffs and negotiating new deals for example with our broadband provider.
*Disclosure: I am not a financial advisor or professional, this is simply my experience as an individual moving house in September 2017.