Costs associated with buying a house
Buying a house is a costly business - along with the cost of house, there are hundreds of associated costs which if you do not budget for can come as a nasty surprise. The costs listed below are based on buying a £200,000 house and simply give an indication of the things you need to watch out for. These costs will vary depending on the state of your house and the quality of goods you wish to purchase. Some costs are unavoidable e.g. stamp duty, whilst with others you can wait until you have more money.
Main Costs associated with buying a house
1. Mortgage - some mortgages have a registration fee which can cost up to £400. This is non refundable so even if your purchase doesn't go through you still have to pay this cost. You can opt to put this price onto your mortgage.
2. Survey - these range from £50 to £1000 depending on the level of detail you wish from your survey. It is unadvisable to go for the most basic house survey. Most people go for the homebuyers report which costs around £300. If this flags up any major issues you can then upgrade to a more thorough survey. If the survey highlights that work needs to be done you should be able to negotiate this off the price of your home.
3. Solicitors Fee - depending on where you are the opening quote will range from £600 - £1000. This will be for the basic service. If your purchase becomes complicated you will be charged for all extra work. The cost of searches is extra.
4. Local, Environmental and Water Search - you will be charged for this by your solicitor and this costs between £250 and £300 depending on the local concil.
5. Bankruptcy search - the solicitor performs this on the house you are buying to ensure that there is no previous history of bankruptcy or finacial difficulties. This costs about £5. (seems small compared to everything else!)
6. Stamp duty - stamp duty is a land tax on the property you are buying and is paid to the government. There can be regional variations but the standard levels are as follows:
- Up to £175,000 - nil (until 2nd Sept 2009)
- £175,001 to £250,000 - 1%
- £250,001 to £500,000 - 3%
- More than £500,000 - 4%
Valid as of changes in Sept 2008 .
So the stamp duty cost will be £2000 on a 200,000 pound house.
7. Money transfer fee- you will be charged a cost of a telegraphic transfer to transfer the money from your mortgage lender to your vendor. This is usually around £30.
Total House Buying Costs
Adding up all of the associated costs of buying a house show that there is nearly £4000 of extra costs associated with buying your house! Don't forget to budget for this!
- Mortgage arrangement fee £400
- Survey £350
- Solicitor £900
- Searches £300
- Bankruptcy Search £5
- Stamp duty £2,000
- Transfer fee £25
Once you have bought your house
Once you have moved in you will need to furnish your house. Your vendor may leave some of their furniture behind and you can negotiate this as part of the sale. You will not need everything on these lists but you can use this list to help you budget. The prices are based on buying brand new so you may be able to save money by buying second hand.
Oven- should be included as a fixture and fitting but if you do need to buy one they cost from £300 for a basic model.
Fridges/ Freezers - If you want to buy a stand along fridge these start at around £130. But you can buy a combination fridge/freezer from £199.
Washing Machine - The most basic model starts at around £250. It is worth researching the drum size, energy efficiency and spin speeds as it may be a false economy to opt for the cheapest washing machine as you may spend more on water bills and electricity.
Dishwasher - this is probably not an essential item and you can wait until you can afford this. These start at around £200.
Microwave - the cost of microwaves is now really low. You can get a cheap model in for £30! This would probably just perform the basics -e.g. heat and defrost.
Bed and mattress - probably one of the most essential items. The prices very immensely . You can buy a cheap bed from as little as £100 ranging up to £1000s. It is worth investing in a good mattress, considering how long of our lives we spend in bed!
Wardrobe - your house may come with fitted wardrobes but if you need to buy one these start at around £50 for a very basic model.
Chest of draws - minimum cost £50
Curtains/blinds - the price of these really vary depending on the size of your windows. It can also depend on how thick you want your curtains to be - if you don't mind that they don't completely block out all of the light you will save a lot of money.
Lounge/ Sitting room costs
Sofas - these tend to be a large expense. You can buy cheap sofas (around £150 - £200) but these tend to fade and wear out very quickly. You can be a good medium range sofa for around £500 but the price can raise quickly into the £1000s depending on the retailer.
Television - this is a personal choice, depending on how important a flashy television is to you. You can a simple 14" tv from as little as £70.
If you are moving into a house which needs lots of work you may need to purchase tools to help with the work. The cost of this can really add up and should be budget for. Here is a list of the types of tools and equipment you will probably need:
- sander + refill sander pads
- paint brushes + rollers
- paint ( the cost of this is huge, a small tester costs about £1.50 and this really adds up if you get carried away buying loads)
- screwdrivers, spanners, hammer
- Hoover - this is a really essential purchase if you are doing lots of sanding. You need to buy a vacuum cleaner with good suction and a large bag size. It is definitely worth investing in the best vacuum cleaner you can afford!
Take a look at our home buying cost summary to help you budget for your house purchase. If you think of anything we have missed off please let us know!
By Hazel Culley
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"Very helpful, I'm a first time buyer so didn't have a clue about what extra costs I would have to budget for and how much. Thanks!"
"I found this website very helpful. Thank you."
"I found your page really useful. I thought it was well set out and easy to read. I would have liked to see a total price, like one of the other comments. Also, I would like to know how much getting connected to the water, gas, electricity would cost."
"Was quite useful in giving a guideline on all the different things to consider."
"As of March 2010, the chancellor has scrapped stamp duty on homes costing £250,000 or less for first-time buyers."
"it should just say the total price after everything has been put in "
"Thank you very much, it really helped me to plan better!"
"Thanks for this quick reference quide, really useful."
"Thanks really helped me when i was wondering what the costs would be"
"This guide was very helpful and easy to understand format..many thanks."
"I know getting my own place will be expensive, but I didn't realise just how expensive. This page has been a real eye opener &great help! Many thanks :)"
"Great, page. Tells me exactly what I wanted to know in one place in a language I could understand. Thanks"
"Very useful. I would like to add "House Insurance" in the list."
" Well done and thank you ... a very useful easy to follow comprehensive guide. I have forwarded the web detials to my son who is a first time buyer as I feel he won't have to look further for key information. I understand though that stamp duty is over 175K until end of Dec not Sept this year"
"I wanted a simple list of the various costs of buying a house and after searching many sights, I finally came across this one. Excellent info and awesome for the impatient! Kudos!!!!"
"very very helpful thank you so much"
"I'm about to buy a flat in Bristol (UK) March 2009 and was provided these costs from the estate agent for a lease hold flat costing 210,000: Purchase Fee £630.00 VAT 94.50 =£ 724.50 Leasehold Supplement £50.00 VAT £7.50 = £57.50 Online ID Check £12.00 VAT£1.80 = £13.80 Bank Transfer Fee £30.00 VAT£4.50= £ 34.50 Searches Etc. (approx)** £50.00 Land Registry Fees £220.00 Stamp Duty Land Tax ("SDLT") £2,100.00 Completion of SDLT Form £50.00 VAT£7.50 = £57.50 = £3,142.00 VAT £115.80 £3,257.80 "
"I found this to be very useful. Although I have saved enough to cover most costs, I know now not to purchase a property above stamp duty level as it adds a big chunk to the cost of purchasing. I also realise I am in a very lucky position, as I have the stuff you need to stuff a home with already - more savings, yeah. Thank you for this."
"Morgage arrangement Fees for someone with a deposit of 15% are now around £1000 to £2000, don't forget on top of this the mortgage companies will charge you for their lenders valuation, (around £300, this is not cancelled out by the survey) There is also often a charge for the mortgage companies' solicitors as well (circa £500) make sure you ask these questions when taking out your mortgage"
"Thank you have updated with the latest rates"
"Stamp duty is now 0% up to £175,000"
"thank you very much. this has been very helpful"
"Very helpful - thanks.... from a first time buyer."
"Thanks, mortgages can seem really complicated, this site is really helpful to break fees down simply "
Claire, North Wales
"This was really useful. It flagged up some items I had overlooked. Thank you"
"Very useful guide on prices. Simple, well laid out and well explained"
"Thanks, very helpful"