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What To Budget For When Moving House

We all know that moving home is never cheap, but many forget to factor in the hidden and less exciting costs such as Estate Agents, Solicitors and Home Removals.

Let’s look first at estate agents, everyone’s favourite industry to knock. If you are a first time buyer then lucky you but for the rest of us estate agents seem to be a necessary evil. Before you instruct an agent first check out what they offer and get used to the idea of bargaining a little. All said and done you’ll probably need to face up to the idea of paying between 1% - 3% on the price you eventually get for your old house. Your agent should also be able to arrange for an Energy Performance Certificate or indeed you can organise this separately.

Solicitors, they are never cheap but are not impervious to competition. So again, get the best price you can by shopping around. As a buyer you need to face up to costs of around £500 - £1000 plus some extra for Local Searches (approx £200) and Land Registration Fee (often between £100 - £500). If you are also selling budget for an additional £400 - £600 but it may well be possible to get a good deal if you are combining both a sale and purchase.


Just as you’ve adjusted your budget for the benefit of estate agents and solicitors someone reminds you that you’ll need the services of a removals company. Once again be prepared to shop around but do make sure that you get two or three companies out to properly assess how much there is to move. Typically you’ll pay around £500 for a small house or flat and upwards of £1200 for a house depending on its size. You may be able to negotiate a better fee if you can make your move at a particular time of the month when removals firms are less busy. Reducing how much needs moving by de-cluttering will also help keep costs down. No use taking things with you that you no longer need.

One of the biggest ongoing costs you’ll ever incur is a mortgage. Most people understand the need to shop around for a good deal these days. Much depends on how much you are able to invest as a deposit as to the deal you get. The more you put in yourself the better the interest rate is likely to be. But you also need to examine your current mortgage if you have one. Are there exit or redemption fees you need to consider, or is your mortgage portable? Even if you stay with the same lender fees of between £100 - £300 are not uncommon. Lenders will nearly always charge you a valuation fee of around £175 on the property you are buying. This fee should not be confused with a full home survey however. It may be best to instruct your own surveyor and way up the cost of either getting a home buyers report at around £300 or paying approx £500 for a full structural survey. This could just be one area where paying the extra will save you thousands at a future date. After all information is power. If something alarming comes to light during the survey you may well want to back out of the purchase altogether or use it as a bargaining tool to get a discount on the price.

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