Back to Stash

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

The moment has arrived. You’ve found a house you want to call home. It’s perfect in every way. But, apart from the asking price, how much are you going to have to fork out before you can finally turn the key in the door?

Here’s a few of the hidden costs you’ll need to factor in when buying a new place.

Surveyor’s Fee

It might look great to you and have everything where it should be, but it’s vital you get a surveyor to check out the place you’ve set your sights on. The cost can vary from about £250 for a basic survey to £600 for an in-depth report. Paying for the best survey you can afford will save you in the long-run as you won’t be hit by unexpected repairs.

Legal Charges

Not surprisingly, there are a few legal hoops to jump through when buying a property, from transferring the title deeds to finalising your mortgage. A solicitor will guide you through all the small print and charge you anything between £850 – to around £1,500. Ask them to say exactly how much before you commit to them and shop around if necessary.


On top of the legal fees, you’ll have to pay for searches. These uncover any local plans or problems, such as intentions to develop on land near to your new home or change of use of buildings that may be in the vicinity. Searches usually cost between £200-£300 depending on what’s involved.

Electronic transfer fee

Again, on top of your legal fees, you must pay for your new mortgage money to be transferred between your lender and your solicitor at the point of exchanging contracts. It’s usually between £40 and £50.

Stamp duty

If your new house is worth more than £125,000 you’ll have to pay stamp duty. How much is dependent on the value of the property. This is something else taken care of by your solicitor.

Property fraud fee

There have been a lot of sensational headlines about fraudsters targeting homes that are for sale and buyers ending up transferring the money to them – with little or no redress. Your legal representative may want to check on any solicitor or seller they’re asked to work with and will charge a relatively small fee of around £10 to do so.

Land Registry fee

This is what you’ve got to pay to make sure you’re registered as the new legal owner at the Government’s Land Registry. The cost is tied to the value of your property but expect to pay in the region of £50 – £1,000.

Moving costs

One man and a van will obviously cost a lot less than a firm of removal experts but consider the amount of furniture and possessions you have and how long it will take to shift it all. A company will have insurance in place to protect against damage and breakages too.

Phone line / broadband

Having a landline is no longer the essential it once was, but no broadband means no Netflix. Whilst you can’t sort this until the property is officially yours, you can alert the relevant providers or shop around in plenty of time.

Factoring fee

This only comes into play if you’re buying a home with a shared stairway, halls or garden that need to be maintained and cleaned. You may be asked to pay a contribution or deposit to this as soon as you take ownership.

Final bills for your old place

If you’re moving out of a place, you’ll be required to take meter readings for final bills. The likelihood is these will be the first items of mail to land on your new ‘Welcome’ mat!

Building and Contents Insurance

Not so much hidden but required from the moment you take possession of your new home. With some mortgage companies, it’s a condition to have this firmly in place before they’ll release the funds.

A bottle of beer or two

To celebrate the fact, you’ve done it! Happy new home…