Moving & Removals

You may have budgeted for the down payment and mortgage payments on a new home, but how much does it cost to move house? What are the true costs of relocating in the UK? Unexpected “extras” can add upwards of tens of thousands of pounds to the cost of buying and moving to a new home. To make sure that you are fully informed about the costs of moving house in the UK, read on!

Average overall costs of moving house

On average, for existing homeowners the cost of moving house is £10,000 in the UK. The news is a little more positive for first-time buyers, as the cost of moving house averages around £1,500. 

The cost of moving includes stamp duty, estate agent fees for your old home, conveyancing, valuation and survey fees, home insurance, deposits, mortgage and broker fees, and removals.

Individual Cost Breakdown 

1. Stamp Duty Tax   

What is it? Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax you have to pay to the government when buying a home over £125,000. Stamp duty is by far the biggest upfront cost of buying a new home for existing home owners. The rate of stamp duty you pay is dependent on the price of the property you are buying, and if it is your second home. 

First-time buyers don’t have to pay stamp duty at all on the first £300,000 of a property’s value, providing the property cost is less than £500,000.

Use this handy stamp duty calculator to figure out what fees you will have to pay. 

Due to the pandemic, the UK government has introduced a Stamp Duty Holiday, originally ending in March, which has now been extended until September 30th, 2021. What does this mean for potential homebuyers? Property website Rightmove said an additional 300,000 property transactions in England could get through by the end of June and buyers could save £1.75bn in total. For more information on how the Stamp Duty Holiday might affect you, click here.  

2. Estate Agent  

Agents work on commission and you can expect them to charge between one percent to three percent of the price of your house sale. Remember to add 20 percent VAT to this amount.

Some estate agents now charge a flat fee to sell your property, regardless of the property’s value, which could work out cheaper. First time buyers won’t need to worry about estate agent fees because these are paid by the seller.

3. Valuation Fee 

Although not all mortgage lenders require one, some want to conduct a valuation survey. The purpose is to confirm that the property is worth at least what they are lending you. This can vary from £150 to £1,500. 

4. Surveys 

A survey is a report by a qualified professional to highlight any issues that could cost you money in the future. Surveys aren’t compulsory, but they’re a really good idea.

Surveys range from a basic condition report, which costs around £250 to £300, to a comprehensive building survey, which could cost anywhere between £500 and £2,000, depending on the size of the property. The older or more unusual the property (lighthouse, castle), the more comprehensive the survey should be.

Remember that paying for a good survey could save you money on repairs further down the line.

5. Legal Fees & Conveyancing 

Conveyancing is the name given to all the legal formalities and paperwork involved when you buy, sell, re-mortgage or transfer equity from a property or piece of land. This work is done by a qualified conveyancer (property lawyer) or solicitor, and the charges for these services are known as conveyancing fees.

Conveyancing fees range from £400 to £1,500 and include things like registering a change of ownership with the Land Registry, lender’s fees, as well as Local Authority Searches. 

6. Energy Performance Certificate 

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed when a property is built, sold or rented. You must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. The cost starts at around £60 and depends on the type and size of the property. 

7. Home Insurance 

There are three main types of home insurance: 

  • Buildings insurance: Buildings insurance covers the structure of the building and its fixtures or fittings in the case of damage by fire, explosion, flood, storm, earthquake, theft or vandalism. It will also cover the cost of accommodation while you are unable to stay in your home.
  • Contents insurance: Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing your belongings in your home if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen.
  • Joint buildings and Contents Policies: Both buildings and contents policies offer liability insurance in case you are sued by someone (a guest of passer-by) who is seriously injured by your property. 

While home insurance is not a legal requirement, if you have a mortgage, your lender will normally require that your property is covered by buildings insurance. 

8. Deposit 

You will need at least 5% (and as much as 40%) of the value of the property you want to buy for your deposit. The bigger your deposit, the lower the monthly mortgage payments.

9. Mortgage 

The mortgage you apply for might include a fee. You can pay this by card, cheque, or bank transfer when you apply. You could choose to add it to the mortgage balance instead, although that means you’d pay interest on it until you pay off the mortgage. Fees typically range from about £500 to £2,000.

10. Broker Fees 

All brokers take commission from your mortgage provider. A broker’s fee can vary from around 0.3 per cent of the loan size, to as much as 1 per cent. Some will charge you a fee for advice, ranging from about £300 to £750, and others won’t. Most brokers will offer an initial discussion free of charge. 

Using a broker is really up to you. Most lenders let you compare their mortgage rates on their websites, and online comparison sites make it simple to compare different lenders. When you deal with lenders directly, you’ll still get regulated financial advice, as you would with a broker.

If finance is not your cup of tea, brokers can make this process smoother so you might find paying someone to act on your behalf is worth it. 

11. Removals Company 

To make your moving day totally stress-free you’ll want to consider a removals company to help with your move. A reputable moving company will offer a free consultation so you can discuss what service is best for you. 

To make sure your move is as stress-free as possible from the word go, check out The Complete Guide to Moving House here. 

Here at South London Movers, we offer professional removals throughout London with our award winning service. We’re a friendly team and pride ourselves on our 100% customer satisfaction rate. For more information about the services we offer, get in touch with us today – contact our team

From student moves to whole house removals, national and European removals, piano removals and storage plans, we do it all to the highest standard.