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Costs of buying a home

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What are the costs of buying my first home?

It’s not just a deposit you need to budget for when buying a house – there are lots of other costs to factor in.

In this guide, we run through the additional costs you need to meet when you buy your first property, including mortgage fees, solicitor charges, and dreaded stamp duty.

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Which? Mortgage Advisers are experts in helping first-time buyers get their feet on the property ladder. Give us a call today for a free consultation on 0800 316 4071 or fill out our callback form and we’ll get in touch with you.

What mortgage costs will I pay?

Arrangement fees: Many mortgages come with arrangement fees and other charges for setting up the loan, the average is around £1,500.

You can get deals without these fees but it may affect the interest rate you pay.

If you don’t have the money to pay an arrangement fee upfront you can usually add it onto your mortgage loan – but you will pay interest on it.

What survey costs will I pay?

Lender’s valuation: Your lender will conduct a valuation survey to ensure the property is worth what you’re planning to pay for it. They will arrange it, but you will need to cover the cost, typically between £200 and £400.

Survey: It’s a good idea to get your own independent survey done to check whether there are any problems with a property. There are two main kinds of survey – a home buyer report or a building survey (also known as a structural survey).

A home buyer report will cover the general condition of the property and usually costs between £250 and £500. A building survey provides a more in-depth analysis of the condition of the property, including the structure.

They can cost between £500 and £1,200. For conventional properties that are less than 40 years old, or flats, a home buyer’s report may be adequate, but it’s worth considering a full building survey for older or more unusual properties, as well as houses.

What legal and solicitor costs will I pay?

Property solicitor/conveyancing fees: You will need to hire a solicitor to deal with the legal aspects of buying a property.

Conveyancers will either charge you a flat fee or a percentage of the value of the property. You can expect to pay £500 – £1,500 depending on how complex the transaction is.

Land registry fee: The Land Registry is a government department that keeps records of all registered properties in England and Wales.

It charges a fee for registering the property with a new owner. The fee will vary depending on the property price but you can expect to pay between £200 and £500.

What taxes will I pay?

Stamp duty: Stamp duty is a tax on land and property transactions. If you’re a first-time buyer, you won’t need to pay it if you’re buying a house or flat worth less than £300,000.

But if you’ve owned a home before, you’ll need to pay it on any home more than £125,000. The amount of stamp duty you will pay depends on the value of the home you’re buying.

Use our stamp duty calculator to find out more.

What other costs will I pay?

Removal fees: Moving costs will, of course, vary a lot depending on how many belongings you’re moving. If you can do it yourself, either in your own vehicle or by hiring a van, it will be cheaper – but it can be time-consuming.

If you own a lot of things or are moving a long distance you’re probably better off paying a removal firm. You can expect to pay around £600 to move items for a small property.

Home insurance: Your mortgage lender will require you to have buildings insurance that covers your new home. It’s a good idea to get home contents insurance as well to protect your belongings.

Separate buildings insurance and home contents insurance on average costs around £197 and £102 respectively, according to the AA. Or combined home insurance will typically cost around £274.

Get expert, first-time buyer mortgage advice

Our expert mortgage advisers will search thousands of mortgage deals made available to us and pick out the one that’s right for your circumstances. Give us a call today for a free consultation on 0800 316 4071 or fill out our callback form and we’ll get in touch with you.

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