How Much Can I Afford?

Legal/Conveyancing Fees

You will need to hire a solicitor to deal with the legal aspects of buying a property. As well as the price of your house, the fee will take into account factors such as the amount of paperwork involved, how much skill is required and how complicated the transaction is.

You will also have to pay for the legal work done by your lender’s solicitor. Again, prices vary so ask your lender how much they charge. If you use the same solicitor as the lender to do your conveyancing this may save you money.

Stamp Duty

This is a government tax, charged for properties above £125,000. If your new home is priced between £125,000 and £250,000, you will pay 1% of the property price. From £250,000 to £500,000, it will be 3% and £500,000 – £1 Million it will be 4%. £1 Million – £2 Million is 5% and £2 Million plus is 7%. So, for example, if you are paying £130,000 for your home you pay £1,300 in stamp duty. You may qualify for special exemptions however you should speak to your solicitor about your circumstances.

Land Registry Fee

The Land Registry is a government department which looks after the registers of all registered properties in England and Wales. It charges a fee for transferring the register to the new owner. This fee is charged according to property price.

£0.00 – £50,000 £50.00

£50,001 – £80,000 £80.00

£80,001 – £100,000 £130.00

£100,001 – £200,000 £200.00

£200,001 – £500,000 £280.00

£500,001 – £1million £550.00

£1million plus £920.00

Local Authority Search Fees

Local searches will be carried out by your solicitor/conveyancer to ensure that there are no potential problems such as planning permission on neighbouring properties or plans for new roads nearby. Allow at least £180.00, or more in London boroughs.

Other Search Fees and Disbursements

These include index map, commons, the coal authority, land charge, company searches, bank transfer fees. Allow about £150.00 to cover an average house purchase.

Estate Agent’s Commission

If you’re selling your property as well as buying one, the sum charged by your estate agent has to be taken into account. Usually this is charged as a percentage of the property price, around 1 – 2 per cent on average. If you are selling it yourself, you will need to pay for advertisements.

House-hunting Expenses

House-hunting itself can be a costly business – allow money for eating out, travel and telephone calls, and hotels if you are buying in a different area. Consider whether you will need time off work.

Removal Fees

You will need to obtain at least 3 different removal quotes as prices vary. Remember you will need to give tips. You can do the removal yourself, but this is much more time-consuming and inconvenient. If you are doing it yourself, costs will include van hire (+VAT and insurance), petrol, and return travel from the van hire company when you return it. You will also need about £80 for insurance.

Other Costs

A few more to bear in mind:

Buildings insurance premiums

Contents insurance premiums

Additional removal insurance

Disconnection of services (water, gas, electricity, telephone)

Reconnection of services

Installation of new equipment

Carpet laying

Kennelling of animals

Mail redirection

Change of address notices

Contingency Fund

Leave a decent-sized contingency fund for emergencies.

You do not want to be left completely penniless in case you have unexpected extra costs.