couple buying first houseThis guide will give you an indication of the major costs associated with buying your first house or flat in England. The processes and fees for Wales and Scotland are different.

We will look at the cost of moving home, your deposit and solicitor fees. This guide will help you budget for these costs to ensure that you have saved enough to cover all of these upfront costs.

So let’s start with-

The deposit

The deposit is the amount you put towards the purchase price of the property. This may have come from savings, a family gift or if you are an existing property owner the equity built up in your home you are selling. Equity is the difference between the value of your house and any outstanding debts you have against it like a mortgage.

The amount of your deposit is key. The larger the deposit you can put down the more likely you are to be given a mortgage and the lower your interest rate is likely to be. This is always subject to a mortgage affordability assessment by the lender.

Usually, you need at least a 5% deposit. So if you are buying your first house for £150,000 that would be a £7,500 deposit.

Stamp duty

So what is Stamp duty? Stamp duty is a government tax paid on homes being purchased for £125,001 or more.

If you are a first-time buyer you will pay no Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 for properties worth up to £500,000. However, if you are buying a second property such as a second home or a buy-to-let there is a 3% increase on top of current stamp duty rates.

The easiest way to estimate this cost is to use an online calculator like this one from the Money Advice Service Stamp Duty calculator.

Valuation fee

The mortgage lender will want to have your property professionally and independently valued. The cost of undertaking this valuation will be passed onto you. This may be a direct cost that you will pay or you may not be charged directly, depending on the type of mortgage product you chose. This valuation will establish how much they are prepared to lend you.

The cost can vary between £150 and £1,500 based on the property’s value.

Remember that the lender’s valuation is not a full structural survey. You may what to pay for additional surveys yourself to identify any repairs or maintenance that might be needed. See Surveyors fees in the next section.

Surveyor’s fee

Before you buy a property we would recommend that you have it checked out by a surveyor.

This will help you understand if there are any problems with the property before you buy it. Paying for a survey could save you money on repairs in the long run.

The cost of a survey varies from a basic home condition survey costing around £250 to a full structural survey from £600 or more.

Legal costs

You will need to employ a solicitor or licensed conveyor to carry out the legal work when buying your property. On your behalf, they will undertake local searches, which will cost you between £250 and £400. This is to check whether there are any local plans or problems that will affect your purchase and the value of the property in the future.

You should request a written quote from your solicitor but expect to pay £850 to £1,500.

Electronic transfer fee

This is a same-day transfer of the mortgage money from the lender to the solicitor.

Typically this cost is £35.00.

Estate agent’s fee

The estate agent’s fees are paid for by the seller, not you the buyer.

Removal costs

You could save some money by doing this yourself and rent a van. Alternatively, a removal company will charge £400 to £900. This will increase if you are moving out of the local area or have a lot of valuable items.

How Anstee & Co can help you buy your first house.

To help first-time buyers we have produced a series of videos that can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Why not check out the current best buy mortgage rates available to you from our website. The rates are updated daily. Remember that the lowest rate is not always the most suitable.

We are a firm of Independent Mortgage Advisers. This means that we look at all the mortgages available to you. The advice we off is unbiased.

first house call backThe initial meeting is free and without obligation. Meetings can be arranged in the early evening or at weekends. We can meet at a location that is convenient for you or you can visit one of our offices located at-

  • Kettering, Northamptonshire
  • Towcester, Northamptonshire
  • Stamford, Lincolnshire
  • London, Pall Mall

Alternatively, our mortgage advisers live and make use of meeting rooms in-

  • Market Harborough, Leicestershire
  • Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Northampton, Brackley and Wellingborough in Northamptonshire