Moving into your dream home can be one of the most exciting chapters of your life, however it’s likely to be an expensive one too! The average cost of moving home in the UK is £11,777, however this can be much more or much less depending on where you live. From conveyancing fees and stamp duty, to moving costs, there’s many factors to consider which can quickly add up. It’s important to be aware of all of these costs so you can budget accordingly, and so there’s no nasty surprises along the way.
In this blog post we’ll take a look at the various fees, taxes and moving costs that you’ll need to factor in when moving house.
- Stamp Duty
If you’re not a first time buyer then this is a tax which will need to be paid whenever you buy a new property in the UK. How much it costs you will depend on the property price, where your home is and personal circumstances.
You can use the below calculators to find out how much stamp duty you’ll have to pay:
Moving to a home in….
- England or Northern Ireland – use the Government’s stamp duty calculator
- Scotland – here it’s called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) – calculator.
- Wales – it’s known as the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) – calculator.
- A property survey
You may initially begrudge spending money on a property survey of your new home if to the naked eye it appears pretty perfect. However, a survey from an expert could potentially save you serious money and is well worth the cost. A survey will identify any parts of the house that need repair, including structural problems, and this may be in areas you can’t see for yourself such as on the roof.
If a survey does uncover costly issues which you’ll need to fix, this can then be used as a bargaining tool for your agreed sale price.
The cost of the survey will depend on which level you go for, along with the size and value of your home. A basic survey could cost approximately £500-600 on a property worth £250-250K, however if you’re purchasing a very old or unique house then it’s likely you’ll want a more thorough report. This could cost anywhere from £600-1500.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors can put you in touch with a qualified surveyor in your area so you can arrange a survey.
- Legal fees
Finding the right conveyancer can hugely affect your home moving experience, in fact it’s so important that we’ve written a whole blog post about it here – How to find the right conveyancer or solicitor? 11 key factors – YouConvey – The UK’s first collaborative conveyancing service (you-convey.co.uk)
Your conveyancer or solicitor will handle all of the legal documentation including contracts, offer legal advice, transfer your funds and register your ownership of the property. Technically, you don’t actually have to hire a legal professional when you move, however the majority of people do whether it’s a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor.
How much does a conveyancer cost in the UK?
Firstly, there are no rules as to what and how much conveyancers charge, and each practice will have their own set of charges. Secondly, initial quotes are rarely 100% accurate, however there should be a standard set of charges i.e. what fees they charge for the core transaction, and what they will charge for additional work.
Conveyancing fees include two elements, the core transaction fee and disbursements, with the latter being all payments to third parties which your conveyancer will transfer on your behalf.
The cost will depend on whether you’re selling and buying a freehold or leasehold property:
Freehold sale – basic fee range £495-875
Although the average fee charged for this transaction is £875, a quick internet search of conveyancing fees will throw up any number who will offer a lower core sale fee – some lower than £495.
You need to be careful if you are looking at price as the only criteria as you need to make sure that there is a good degree of customer service. Try and get recommendations from friends and family, and if you are picking one from the internet, the rule would be to go for a price point in the middle, rather than the cheapest you can find.
Freehold purchase – basic fee range £695-£1075
Fees on purchase cases tend to be higher as there is more work to do. Your conveyancer will need to review a number of documents including the local search and environmental searches, which can be a timely process. They may also need to raise enquiries on the title with the sellers conveyancers and perhaps take some measures to ensure you end up with a marketable title.
Leasehold sale – basic fee range £695–£1075
You will almost always see a higher charge for leasehold sales (typically £200 extra) or a separate fee charged as a Leasehold Fee. Leaseholds are generally more tricky to deal with and certainly your conveyancers will need to send off enquiries to the Managing Agent, probably chase them a couple of times and then review and report to you. All that takes time and encourages a higher charge by the conveyancers.
Leasehold purchase – basic fee range £945–£1325
Going by the same principles you will be charged extra when you are buying a leasehold property, as your conveyancer will need to review and report to you on the lease which can add 4 weeks onto the time taken to get to exchange, and around £250 extra in fees.
Standard additional charges when moving homes
You will often see a variety of additional charges depending on whether you are selling or buying, including:
Acting for Lender
Whether you are acting on a sale (and redeeming a mortgage) or acting for a lender on a purchase you will often see a separate charge when there is a lender involved. This will reflect the need for your conveyancer to deal with the lender and maybe their own lawyers.
ID Checks and Source of Funds
These days conveyancers will often outsource their initial identification processes rather than ask you to send in your passport and driving licence. The conveyancers will tend to charge a fee which includes the cost of the service to cover their own administrative time.
Help to Buy (Sale or Purchase)
Whether you are selling or buying a property under the Help to Buy scheme there are administrative tasks which need to be carried out by your conveyancer. That includes correspondence with the administrators of the Scheme and all this can take time and take up the resources of the conveyancers. Expect to see this range of additional charges.
Again there can be a considerable amount of further work involved dealing with the sale or the purchase of Shared Ownership properties. This is because the lenders need to take part in the process and quite often their own legal departments get involved.
Bank Transfer Fee
Although conveyancers routinely send money through the banks these days there is still a fair degree of internal administration to do so conveyancers will charge for their time.
On top of the core fee and any additional fees which your conveyancer is charging you, there are payments to third parties which are collected from you and then paid on. These should not contain any fee element to the conveyancer and typically include:
- Local Search – The charge by a local authority to check their records to make sure there are no charges against the property you are looking to buy varies from council to council, the price could be £50 or it could be £295
- Stamp Duty – as previously mentioned
- Land Registry Fees – typically a couple of hundred pounds but a precise figure will depend on the value of the property
For more details about conveyancing fees explained, check out one of our earlier blog posts – Conveyancing fees explained for property buyers and sellers – YouConvey – The UK’s first collaborative conveyancing service (you-convey.co.uk)
There’s a few different types of insurance when it comes to your home which you should consider, with the main ones including:
Buildings home insurance – this is a vital policy to consider and includes the cost of damage to your new home’s structure in the event of a fire, floor or storm damage, plus permanent fixtures such as fitted kitchens. Most lenders won’t offer a mortgage unless you have this in place if you’re buying a freehold property.
To work out how much cover you should get, check out The Association of British Insurers’ calculator to help figure it out.
Contents home insurance – this covers the cost of replacing household items, for example if you were broken into and items were stolen. You may already have this type of home insurance on your home so check with your insurance provider and ask to move it over if so.
Life insurance – although this isn’t compulsory, if the worst was to happen this insurance would give you peace of mind that your mortgage debt will be covered and your family wouldn’t have to worry about losing their home.
Estate Agent fees
If you’re selling a home too then don’t forget about the estate agent fees. The cost for this will depend on whether you’re using a high-street agent or an online service, and could be a percentage of the sale price, or a flat fee. Make sure to do your research to compare fees, and if possible use recommendations from friends and family.
Moving in costs
If you’ve accumulated a lot of furniture and belongings over the years, as many people do, professional movers may be required. The cost for this depends on if you want help with the packing, the distance of the move, and how many belongings you have.
As a ballpark cost, expect to pay £50 – £80 per hour for two removal professionals and a van and keep in mind that removal companies will often have a 2 hour minimum charge.
Settling in costs
Don’t forget about utilities, broadband and TV costs which will need to be sorted when you move into your new home. Before you move, check which services you can get and do your research to compare quotes. There can often be a delay to get everything up and running, so it’s good to be organised and sort this out before your completion date if possible.
Council tax is another cost which you’ll need to consider, as if you’re upsizing or moving to a different area it could be more expensive. Check out your new local council’s website to find out how much.
If you’re about to embark on your home moving journey and want a helping hand, get in touch with us today to find out how we can make the process as quick and stress free as possible for you.