Costs of Moving House
Thursday, 11 October 2012
When you're moving, you expect to part with your hard-earned savings to put down a deposit on the property and secure a mortgage. But coughing up thousands for stamp duty, estate agents' fees and all those other hidden moving costs can really irritate. Before you decide you’re ready to buy and move home, consider these additional costs and factor them into your moving budget.
A survey by property portal Propertyfinder.com showed that the average cost of moving house in the UK has more than tripled over the last 10 years, to nearly £9,500. That figure doesn’t even include costs like mortgage lender and broker fees and surveyors' fees.
One of the biggest charges on house-buyers is stamp duty, which is a tax on buying property and usually accounts for nearly half of all the moving costs on the average home. The amount charged depends on the purchase price of the property, so if you buy a house which costs under £125,000 you won’t pay any tax, but there aren’t many properties which fall into that price category anymore. Buyers usually pay 1% of the sale price on properties worth up to £250,000 and 3% on properties worth up to £500,000. After that, the cost increases along with the increase in the sale price. Sadly, you can’t avoid this tax, so you’ll to include it in your moving budget.
Estate agents fees
These only apply if you’re selling a property as well as buying one to move into, because the seller always absorbs the estate agency fees. Usually the cost is somewhere between 1% to 3% of the purchase price, but in this climate where agents are keen to acquire business this cost is definitely negotiable, so don’t be afraid to haggle. You should study the contract terms carefully before you sign a contract with your selling or buying agent. You will also need to pay for an energy performance certificate which you can arrange through the agent or independently.
When buying a property, expect solicitors' fees to be between £400 to £1,000. On top of this, you’ll have to pay around £200 in search fees (to check the property legally belongs to the seller and other things like flooding, landfill sites and pollution in the area) and a land registration fee (a charge on the purchase of the property related to the buying price) of £70 to £500. Check the prices you're quoted include VAT. If you’re selling a property as well, add on another £300 to £700. There’s less work for the solicitor to do, and you may be offered a package price for both.
Anybody with two bedrooms or more should consider calling in the professionals to help them move house. You can either pay a company to pack all your belongings for you – expensive but a great service if you work long hours and don’t have time to pack yourself – or buy removal boxes, pack yourself and get the experts to load and unload the boxes for you. Removal companies should be booked at least two weeks before you plan to move. To get the best deal for the service, shop around. You can use the comparison service at The House Removals Company website to get quotes from different companies.
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