What is the cost of moving house?

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Moving to a new home after uying a house involves a number of expenses beyond just the purchase price of the property itself.

Based on the information provided, the average cost of moving house in the UK is now estimated to be around £10,255 for an average-priced property of £292,000.

How much should moving house cost you on average?

However, this can vary significantly depending on factors like the property value, location, whether you are a first-time buyer or existing homeowner, and the specific services you require.

The below table gives you an idea of where the costs come from and if you pay it as an existing home owner or a first time buyer.

Cost Category Existing Homeowners First-time Buyers
Stamp Duty £6,500 £0*
Estate Agent Fees £4,686 £0
Conveyancing £2,038 £1,314
House Survey £480 £420
Removals £699 £420
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) £55 £0
Total £14,458 £2,154

*First-time buyers in England don’t pay stamp duty on properties up to £425,000.

What are the general costs of moving?

While the table above provides an overview of the average costs, it’s essential to understand the individual components in detail:

Stamp Duty: This is a lump-sum tax paid on property purchases in England and Northern Ireland. Rates start at 0% on the first £250,000 for existing homeowners and £425,000 for first-time buyers, then increasing incrementally up to 12% for properties over £1.5 million.

Estate Agent Fees: If you’re selling a property, you’ll typically pay estate agent fees of around 1.5% of the sale price, including VAT.

Conveyancing: You’ll need a conveyancing solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal paperwork, local searches, and money transfers. Fees can range from £500 to over £1,500, plus disbursements.

House Survey: A survey is recommended to check for any issues with the property you’re buying. Costs range from £300 for a basic home condition survey to £1,500+ for a full structural survey but Cozee properties cover the cost of a home survey within our estate agent fee.

Removals: Professional removals firms typically charge between £450 and £1,400+, depending on the size of the property and distance of the move.

a man who is paying the cost of a house

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): By law, you must have an EPC for your property before selling it, costing between £60 and £120.

Costs of Moving that may catch you out

In addition to the main expenses outlined above, there are other miscellaneous costs to consider:

Mortgage Fees: If you’re taking out a new mortgage, you may need to pay arrangement fees, valuation fees, and potentially early repayment charges on your existing mortgage.

Redirecting Post: When changing addresses, it’s recommended to redirect your post for a period using the post office, costing £34 for 3 months, £48 for 6 months, or £69 for 12 months.

Storage: If there’s a gap between moving out and moving in after buying a home, you may need to pay for temporary storage, which can range from £25 to £100 per week.

A man who is paying for storage when moving

Packing Materials: If you need to purchase boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing materials, this can add up to around £100.

What are the costs of buying compared to selling?

In the UK, you will have to pay no matter if you are selling or buying a house. This means the cost of selling your old house must be.

The cost of selling your old house

If you’re selling your current property, there are additional costs to consider:

Cost Category Typical Cost
Estate Agent Fees £4,686*
Conveyancing £600 – £800
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) £60 – £120
Removals £450 – £1,400+**
Leasehold Management Pack £300 – £800

*Based on 1.42% of the average property price in England.
**Depending on the size of the property and distance of the move.

The cost of buying a new house

When purchasing a new property, there are several costs to consider in addition to the actual purchase price. Here’s a breakdown of the expenses you may encounter:

Cost Category Typical Cost
Deposit 10% of property value
Mortgage Fees £999 – £1,999
Mortgage Valuation Fees £100 – £300
Mortgage Protection Insurance Varies
Conveyancing £300 – £1,500
Disbursements (e.g., searches) Up to £700
Homebuyer Protection Insurance From £60
House Survey £300 – £1,500+

It’s important to note that some costs, such as the deposit and mortgage fees, are typically paid upfront, while others, like conveyancing and survey fees, are due upon completion of the purchase.

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Cozee are able to help with the sale of your old house and move you into a new one for a 1.5% fee

When should you begin paying the cost of moving house?

While some costs are due upon completion, it’s advisable to start budgeting and saving well in advance of your move.

For example, paying for a removals company in advance can sometimes secure a better rate, as they may offer discounts during off-peak periods or mid-week.

Click here for a for a checklist on moving house

Additionally, you’ll need to have your deposit ready before exchanging contracts, which is typically several weeks or months before the actual move date.

Who pays the cost of moving house, the buyer or the seller?

In most cases, the buyer and seller are responsible for different sets of costs associated with the move. Here’s a general breakdown:

The Buyer Pays:

  • Deposit
  • Mortgage Fees
  • Conveyancing Fees
  • House Survey
  • Removals
  • Stamp Duty (if applicable)

The Seller Pays:

  • Estate Agent Fees
  • Conveyancing Fees
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Leasehold Management Pack (if applicable)

It’s essential to note that while the buyer typically pays the stamp duty, the amount is calculated based on the purchase price of the property. Therefore, if you’re selling your current home and buying a new one, you may need to factor in the stamp duty cost for your new purchase.

Costs of moving into a new house you have bought

In order to learn more about the costs of selling a house or moving house, here is a breakdown of what you can expect to be paying.

Solicitor fees

Solicitor fees, also known as conveyancing fees (find a more in depth explanation of the difference between solicitor and conveyancer fees here), are a crucial expense when buying a new property. These fees cover the legal work involved in transferring ownership and ensuring the transaction is carried out correctly.

a man worried about solicitor fees

If you’re moving house after buying one, you may need to pay conveyancing fees twice – once for the sale of your old home and again for the purchase of your new property. This is particularly true if you’re using different solicitors or conveyancers for each transaction.

Conveyancing fees can range from £300 to £1,500, depending on the value of the property and the complexity of the transaction. It’s essential to shop around and compare quotes from different firms to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

Including Stamp duty and land tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax charged by the government on property purchases in England and Northern Ireland. The amount you’ll need to pay depends on the purchase price of the property and whether you’re a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner.

Here’s a table outlining the current SDLT thresholds:

Purchase Price Stamp Duty Rate
(Existing Homeowners)
Stamp Duty Rate
(First-time Buyers)
Stamp Duty Rate
(Additional Property)
Up to £250,000 0% 0% up to £425,000 3%
£250,001 to £925,000 5% 5% from £425,001 to £625,000 8%
£925,001 to £1.5 million 10% Not applicable 13%
Over £1.5 million 12% Not applicable 15%

It’s important to note that stamp duty is paid on the purchase of a new property, not the sale of your old home. If you’ve recently bought a home and you’re moving into it, you’ll need to factor in the stamp duty cost for your new purchase.

The cost of a deposit

While the deposit is not a direct cost in the same way as other expenses, it represents a significant financial commitment when purchasing a property.

Unless you are using a scheme designed for first-time buyers, such as the Help to Buy scheme, where you can put down a deposit of as little as 5%, you will typically need to save up a deposit of at least 10% of the property’s value.

Saving for a deposit can be a challenging task, especially in areas with high property prices.

For example, in London, the average property price has risen significantly faster than the average salary over the past decade. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the average property price in London was £508,000 in 2023, while the average annual salary was £38,600.

man putting deposit down for house in london

This means that a 10% deposit for an average property in London would require savings of £51,600, which can take years to accumulate for many people.

However, it’s important to remember that the deposit is not a lost cost. Once you have paid off your mortgage, you will have the opportunity to sell or remortgage the property and recoup your initial deposit, assuming the property has maintained or increased in value.

Valuation fee to determine mortgage

Before a lender approves your mortgage application, they will require a valuation survey to be conducted by a chartered surveyor. This survey is essential for the lender to assess the property’s value and ensure that it is worth the amount you are borrowing.

The valuation fee is typically paid by the buyer and can range from around £100 to £300, depending on the property’s value and the lender’s fee structure. It’s important to factor this cost into your overall budget when planning for your move.

Mortgage fees to ‘lock in’ your mortgage while your deal goes through

Once you have found a property you want to buy and have been approved for a mortgage, the lender will typically charge you a fee to ‘lock in’ your mortgage rate while the deal goes through. This fee, often referred to as an arrangement fee or booking fee, can range from a few hundred pounds to over £1,000.

man putting deposit down for house in london

Paying this fee is essential to secure your mortgage rate and ensure that the lender holds the funds for you while the legal processes are completed. If you fail to pay this fee, the lender may withdraw their mortgage offer, and you could potentially miss out on the property.

Costs of moving out of your old house you are selling

If you are moving out of your old house that you are selling, there are additional costs to consider that are different from those associated with buying a new property.

Estate agent fee

When selling a property, you will typically need to pay an estate agent to handle the marketing, viewings, and negotiation of the sale. Estate agent fees are usually charged as a percentage of the final sale price, with the average fee in the UK being around 1.42% (including VAT).

For example, if you sell your house for £300,000, you can expect to pay approximately £4,260 in estate agent fees. It’s important to call a member of an estate agent team as you may be able to find a deal that is customised fo you.

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Some agents may offer fixed-fee structures or discounts for certain circumstances, such as if you are also using them to purchase a new property.

Cost of house cleaning

When selling a property, it’s essential to present it in the best possible condition to attract potential buyers.

This often involves a thorough cleaning process, which can add to the overall costs of moving out on top of the purchase of a new home. Depending on the size of the property and the level of cleaning required, you may need to hire professional cleaning services.

a man trying to cover the cost of cleaning

Professional house cleaning services can range from £100 to £500 or more, depending on the size of the property, the number of rooms, and the extent of the cleaning required. For larger properties or those that have been neglected, the costs can be significantly higher.

Alternatively, you can choose to undertake the cleaning yourself, which can save money but requires a significant amount of time and effort.

Conveyancing fees

Conveyancing fees are the legal costs associated with transferring the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. These fees are typically paid by the seller as part of the selling process.

Here’s a table outlining the average conveyancing fees in the UK:

Property Value Average Conveyancing Fee
£100,000 – £200,000 £500 – £800
£200,000 – £500,000 £800 – £1,200
£500,000 – £1 million £1,200 – £2,000
Over £1 million £2,000 +

It’s important to note that these fees are just estimates, and the actual costs can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the transaction and the conveyancing firm you choose.

Are there any unexpected costs that occur when moving house?

While most of the costs associated with moving house after buying a new house are predictable and can be budgeted for, there are some unexpected expenses that may arise during the process.

Self storage

If there is a gap between vacating your old property and moving into your new home, you may need to consider self-storage solutions. Self-storage costs can vary depending on the size of the unit required, the length of time it’s needed, and the location.

On average, self-storage costs in the UK range from £50 to £300 per month for a small to medium-sized unit. For larger units or longer storage periods, the costs can quickly add up, potentially reaching £500 or more per month.

A buyer chain falling through

In some cases, a buyer in the chain may pull out of the transaction, causing delays and additional costs. If this happens, you may need to pay fees that were initially intended for the failed transaction, such as solicitor fees or mortgage arrangement fees.

a man who's buyer chain fell through when selling

To minimize the impact of a buyer chain falling through, it’s advisable to take out homebuyer protection insurance. This type of insurance can cover some of the costs incurred if the purchase falls through, providing financial protection and peace of mind.

Additionally, it’s crucial to communicate openly with all parties involved, including estate agents, solicitors, and mortgage lenders, to ensure that everyone is aware of the situation and can take appropriate actions to mitigate any additional costs or delays.

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