Buying a House > What’s the Real Cost of Moving Home?

Moving on to the next stage of your life is certainly exciting. But the actual process of moving house – of packing up everything you own and moving it to a new place – can be incredibly busy and hectic. In this context, it’s hardly a surprise that the costs can start to mount – so it’s always a good idea to get as accurate an idea of the overall costs of moving home before the big day comes around.

In order to help you with your planning, the buzzvault team has taken a holistic look at the costs you will incur when you move from A to B.


Estate Agent Fees

If you’re already on the property ladder, then the chances are that you won’t be able to buy a new place – and move into it – until you’ve sold your existing house. Finding a buyer for your property can be expensive. People typically go through estate agents, who have specialist expertise in selling houses, and while this approach has a lot to recommend it, it always pays to check estate agents’ fee structures before you enter into any sort of agreement.


Conveyancing and Legal Fees

Acquiring a property is not as simple as finding your dream home and having the cash. There’s an involved process, known as conveyancing, for transferring legal ownership into your name, starting from the point at which you put your offer in through to exchanging contracts. This process requires an extensive series of property searches and checks – to ensure that the property meets both yours and your lenders’ requirements.

The cost of conveyancing depends on a number of factors, from your choice between using a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor to the number of property searches you need to undertake. 


Stamp Duty

The final part of the conveyancing process is the payment of stamp duty, also known as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This is a tax levied on the exchange of properties, which sounds simple enough. Except that recent changes in SDLT legislation have left plenty of people in the dark about exactly how much they can expect to pay.

Stamp duty rules and bands vary on a number of factors, including the value and location of your property, whether you are buying the house as a residence or buying to let, and whether or not you are a first-time buyer.


Home Insurance

If this is your first step on the property ladder, then welcome to the world of home insurance. Most mortgage lenders will require you to take out at least buildings insurance on the property you’re moving into – as the property acts as a security for the hefty loan they’ve just made out to you, they are every bit as keen as you are for nothing to happen to the property.

Buildings insurance will protect the structure of the building against common perils such as fire and flooding. But, as you’re going to be moving all your possessions into the house as well, you are well served to take out an all encompassing home insurance policy – protecting not just the building but your contents as well. Standard home insurance policies generally cost between £200 and £400 a year, depending on a whole host of factors, such as the location of your house and its age, and whether or not you have policy additions, like home emergency cover.

It’s not compulsory to get your buildings and your contents insurance from the same provider. Nor, despite what you may have read, is it compulsory to take up your mortgage provider’s home insurance offer.


Fixtures and Fittings

The chances are that not everything you have in your old house will make it into your new house. Certain things may clash with the style, others may have seen better days, and some you simply may not have gotten round to buying yet.  Whichever the case, having some extra money set aside for fixtures and fittings can make the first few weeks in your new place that much more comfortable. 


Home Removal

Amid the huge sums of money involved in mortgages and property purchases, it’s easy to forget about the cost of moving day itself. But this can be substantial, depending how much you’ve got to move and how far you’ve got to go. 

Other costs you can control include packing and storage costs. DIY packing is naturally cheaper than using a packing service (offered by most movers), but bear in mind the potential drawbacks of doing your own packing.

As for storage, the same principle applies as for removal companies. Give yourself as much time, and as many options as possible.