The hidden costs of moving
The hidden costs of moving
Buying a home and moving is stressful enough (although we do try to ease the burden). And then there are the ‘hidden costs of moving’ to consider.
Yes, it’s all very well putting together a budget for your deposit and stamp duty costs (if applicable), but what about the other bits and pieces? They soon start to add up. If it’s your first time buying a home, or you haven’t moved in a while, here’s a comprehensive list of expenses to look out for.
We look at the associated costs of moving home for a more realistic view of an overall budget.
How much are you looking?
Figures from MoneySupermarket show on average, here in Britain, we spend around £670 in additional costs every time we move home. This comes on top of other expenditure such as estate agents’ fees, deposits and legal costs. These ‘extra’ costs of moving include everything from buying necessary household items to changing service providers (think utilities, TV and broadband). Plus there’s forking out for removal or storage services at the time of, or before moving.
What should you budget for?
You can use online moving home calculators to get an idea for what you will need and roughly how much it will cost. But in the first, instance we recommend drawing up a relevant list, which will likely consist of the following.
The mortgage arrangement fee
The actual deposit for your mortgage is a cost you will already be aware of, it being by far the largest amount you will have had to save for. Depending on who or where you get your mortgage from, there may well be a mortgage lending fee to pay. This cost can range from free to up to £2,000, often around £1,000.
If you use a mortgage broker, they will charge for their services, so make sure they are clear with you from the start as to how much their fees are. In some cases, you can add their fees to your mortgage. Such fees can vary from being a couple of hundred pounds to as much as 1% of the total value of your mortgage. It very much pays to shop around for the best mortgage deals.
If you’ve moved home before, you’ll be aware of surveys and their associated costs. In the first instance, the mortgage company or lender will carry out a property valuation to ensure that it’s worth the money they are lending you. This usually costs £150 – £250 and should not be mistaken for a structural survey, which is something extra. Detailed surveys are important, they give you a full overview of the state of the building before you buy it.
There are three varying levels of survey you can choose from, from a basic one which is best for new build or modern homes to a full comprehensive structural survey which is recommended for older buildings.
The prices vary from £350 for a basic survey up to £900 for one that’s more detailed. We can advise you on which is more appropriate based on the type of property you are purchasing as well as provide contact details for reputable local surveyors.
If you haven’t bought a home for a while, stamp duty must now be paid when buying a home over £125,000. First-time buyers only need pay stamp duty on homes over £300,000. Meanwhile, those with second homes only pay on a property worth over £400,000.
It’s one to look out for because it can be a significant amount of money. You may want to try and add the amount to your mortgage. Otherwise payment of stamp duty fees kicks in within 30 days of completion of a sale. It’s usually handled by your solicitor or conveyancer.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
You will need to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the buyer, if you are selling your home. It’s produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor to show how efficient the property is. An A-to-G rating is given based on the boiler, loft insulation, radiators, lights, windows, building ventilation and more.
Valid for ten years, the certificate also gives advice on cost effective ways to improve the property’s home energy rating. We can assist you in finding an assessor if you are selling your home, prices are generally around £90 – £120.
Often overlooked, have you made plans for the literal costs of moving? Will you be doing it yourself and hiring a vehicle for extra space? Or will you be seeking the assistance of a local removals company? If you opt for the latter, then make sure to book ahead and budget wisely. Be aware that Fridays are the most popular day to move and get booked well in advance. The last Friday of August and the last Friday before the Christmas holidays are also very popular dates.
Again, we can refer reputable local removal companies to you. Removal costs range from £500 to £2000, depending on the service provided, the amount you’re moving and the distance away. It’s worth noting that a house move during the week often works out cheaper. And why not take time to have a proper clear out as you pack? You then take less and could make extra money by selling unwanted items online or at a car boot sale?
The everyday necessities
In the property you’re leaving and the one you’re moving into, take gas, electricity and water meter readings. Keep photographic evidence of each as well, before letting your old and new suppliers know you are moving. There may be costs to switch suppliers or get out of your contract early. And once you’ve moved in, remember to get the best deal with your new supplier. That will save you paying out for the more expensive variable rates from the start.
Broadband & TV
If you are opting for extra lines or digital services from telephone, television and broadband suppliers, get in touch with them to arrange a date for installation as much as to find out if there will be charges for anything additional.
And don’t forget your insurance! You will have needed to take out building insurance back at the time of speaking with your mortgage lender. But contents and car insurance may be subject to additional charges if you make changes to them.
There are many costs to consider when buying a property, right down to new furniture and soft furnishings. If you are looking to buy a property with us, we can help put you in touch with local services and suppliers. You can browse the latest properties we have for sale here, or if you’re looking to sell your home at the same time, contact one of our professional agents today.