The Blog

A collection of articles to help you sell, buy and let

The cost of moving house - What you need to budget for

Cost of Moving

Buying a home will be the biggest financial commitment you'll ever make so it’s important to keep an eye on where the money is going. There are lots of additional costs that can quickly mount up and need budgeting for. It’s not just the big things like making the monthly mortgage payments, buying new furnishings, redecorating or carrying out building improvements, it’s the little things that can easily be forgotten. We'll guide you through the process and highlight all those extras that come with buying a new property or selling your existing home so you won’t be hit by unexpected bills. We like driving down costs so we're offering tips on where you might be able to make savings. We want you to be well prepared for your move and able to enjoy the house of your dreams.

Coins next to Piggybank

Deposit for Mortgage

This is the biggest sum you'll have to find. To obtain a mortgage you'll probably need a deposit of at least 5-20% of the purchase price (that’s £10-40,000 on a £200,000 property). Once you own a home, the mortgage is likely to be the biggest monthly bill you face, so getting the right deal is important and small differences can have a massive impact on what you pay out. Generally speaking, the bigger the deposit the better the rate. The lender may want an arrangement fee to set up the mortgage. This can be free or anything up to £2,000 but is typically around £1,000. Later on you'll generally have to hand over 10% of the purchase price to your conveyancer or solicitor when exchanging contracts. First time buyers can get Government help towards a deposit if saving through a Lifetime ISA or a Help To Buy ISA.

Mortgage arrangement fee

Many people use a mortgage broker to find the best deal from a wide selection of lenders. The broker must tell you how much they charge for their services and when you have to pay. Typically, it'll be £100-250 though it can be as much as 1% of the mortgage. The fee can sometimes be added to the mortgage and its best to shop around to see for yourself what mortgages are available by making enquiries at your bank or building society. You'll need to provide details of your spending as well as income and personal circumstances.

In Scotland you need confirmation that you can get a mortgage before making the bid and you may have to pay a ‘booking fee’ of £100-250 to reserve it.

Purplebricks work with the Mortgage Advice Bureau who are one of the UK’s largest mortgage brokers with advisers who can search over 11,000 different mortgages from a wide range of lenders and can help get the right mortgage for you.

Couple analysing paperwork

How legal fees mount up  

There are many legal steps to negotiate when buying or selling a home which a conveyancer (a legal expert who specialises in property) or solicitor will deal with. This includes checking the contract, transferring title deeds with the Land Registry, and making sure there are no problems with ownership, rights of way, access or future developments in the area. The conveyancer will charge for these searches. The estate agent handling the sale or purchase might recommend a suitable conveyancer to carry out the legal work, not everyone has their own solicitor. For a straightforward purchase expect to pay out £500-1500 plus £250-400 for the extras. Ask for an estimate of the fee and what it includes. 

In Scotland the buyer or buyer’s representative (a conveyancer or solicitor) issues a “Note of Interest” to the seller. Closing dates can be set for buyers to make their final offer. We make it easy to upload bids to our online platform. Searches are often done before the final bid is accepted which can be a waste if the sale falls through.

You can also choose a conveyancing service through Purplebricks when selling your home which is a fee of £599 in most of the UK or £896.40 in London and the surrounding areas.

Cost of a Survey

The mortgage company will carry out a valuation on the property to ensure its worth the money they are lending you. The cost of a valuation survey is typically £150-250. This is not a structural survey. It is advisable to obtain a detailed survey on the state of the building before you buy it. There are three different types of survey that you can choose.

Home condition survey – a basic survey. This is a visual inspection of the areas that are easy to see and is suitable for new-build and other modern homes. Typical cost: £250.

Homebuyer’s report – a more detailed survey which looks at the inside and outside of the property. It also includes a valuation. Sometimes you can get the valuation and homebuyer’s report done at the same time to cut costs. Typical cost: £400.

Building or structural survey – the most comprehensive survey and mainly suitable for an older building. Typical cost: £600.

If the surveyor’s reports throws up problems with the property, you can consider whether you still want to go ahead or want to negotiate with the seller about the price. 

In Scotland the seller must produce a Home Report which contains a survey, similar to a Homebuyer’s report, an EPC, and details of the cost of running the property. 

Energy Performance Certificate

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

If you're selling your house you'll need to show the buyer an Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC shows how energy efficienct the property is.  An accredited domestic energy assessor will look at the loft insulation, the boiler, hot water tank, radiators, lights, windows for double glazing and how the building is ventilated and constructed. An EPC uses A to G ratings, with A being the most energy efficient and G the least. It will include tips on cost effective ways to cut bills by improving the homes energy rating. A certificate is valid for ten years. The estate agent can usually recommend one. Our assessors charge just £84 for this service. 

Getting Insurance 

Before qualifying for a mortgage, you'll be asked to take out buildings insurance to protect your new home against damage from fire, floods, subsidence and other unforeseen circumstance and natural disasters. At the same time it may be a good idea to consider contents insurance for your possessions and life insurance to pay off the mortgage should you die before clearing the full amount. 

Paying Stamp Duty

Stamp duty has to be paid when purchasing a property worth over £125,000. First time buyers only pay on properties over £300,000 while those with second homes pay on property worth over £40,000. It can be a significant sum and some buyers add it to the mortgage. Those buying a second or additional home or buy to let properties pay another 3% on top of the normal tax. If you end up owning two properties because of a delay in selling, you still pay the tax but can apply for a refund provided you sell your previous main residence within 3 years. Payment is usually made within 30 days of completion of a sale and is handled by your conveyancer or solicitor. In Scotland where it is called the Land and Building Transaction Tax and Wales, the Land Transaction Tax, the starting rates are slightly different. In Wales it applies to properties over £180,000 and in Scotland to properties over £145,000 or £175,000 for first time buyers.  

Purchase price of propertyRate of Stamp DutyBuy to Let / Additional Home Rate*
£0 - £125,0000%3%
£125,001 - £250,0002%5%
£250,001 - £925,0005%8%
£925,001 - £1,500,00010%13%

These rates apply only to the part of the property price falling into each tier, so for example a property costing £500,000 would be taxable as follows:

  • £0 on the first £125,000 (0%) 
  • £2,500 on the second £125,000 (2%)
  • £12,500 on the remaining £250,000 (5%)