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Moving Day: The cost of moving house

For most people, moving house is the single most costly event in their lives. As well as the price of the new property, there are various additional expenses that contribute to the final sum. If you’re thinking about moving house it’s essential that you are aware of all moving costs so that you can budget accordingly.  


The estimated cost of moving house in the UK in 2018 is around £10,000, while this jumps to well over £30,000 in London. From stamp duty to conveyancing, legal feels to surveyor costs, you will need to familiarise yourself with the factors affecting the real cost of moving to avoid any nasty surprises. Don’t get caught short!


Buying a house

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is the tax payable to the government for changing the documents that pertain to the owner of a property. It is paid on residential property costing £125,001 or more in England and Northern Ireland. There is an additional charge of 3% if you’re buying a second property worth more than £40,000.


With the average house price in the capital clocking in at £455,000, stamp duty will set you back over £22,000. Be aware of the cost of stamp duty and don’t get caught out.


Properties in Scotland are subject to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax while those in Wales must pay Land Transaction Tax if the property was sold on or after 1 April 2018.


Property surveyors

Before you make a final offer on a new house you will need to have it assessed by a surveyor. They will flag up any structural problems with the property and are essential to acquire a mortgage in most cases – the vast majority of mortgage providers will insist on a HomeBuyers Report at the very least. The cost of a property survey can range from £250 to £600 pounds depending on the type of survey. It’s important to remember that it is the condition of the property, and not the price of the survey, that should be the biggest factor when choosing survey type.  


Valuation fee

If you are buying a house with a mortgage there is a good chance you will need to have a house valuation. This does depend on the type of mortgage you go for but most banks will need to value your house to establish how much they are willing to lend you. The cost can vary from £150 to £1,500 and will be based on the value of your property. Some mortgage providers may offer a free valuation as part of your agreement or you may not even need a separate valuation if one is provided alongside your home survey.


Selling a house

Estate agents

High-street estate agents tend to charge between 1% to 3% of the final price of your house sale, plus 20% VAT. Estate agents typically work on commission and the percentage fees they apply to house sales do vary. In London, agency fees could set you back thousands of pounds, so this is certainly a cost to be aware of.


Opting for a sole agent will normally reduce the amount of commission you pay but it could restrict the exposure of your house to potential buyers. Likewise, advertising your home on an independent website will avoid estate agent fees but you will have similar exposure problems as well as the aggravation of organising viewings yourself.      


Every house on the property market is now legally required to be on the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) register. An EPC gives your property a rating from A to G based on its energy efficiency and is valid for 10 years. They typically cost between £60 and £120 although the cost does varies dependent on assessor. This may seem like an unnecessary expense but an EPC can help you identify ways to make your property more energy efficient and therefore more attractive to potential buyers. Find an energy assessor to produce an EPC of your property on the official EPC Register website here.    


Buying and selling a house


You’ll typically need a solicitor or certified conveyancer to handle the legal work involved when buying or selling your house. These legal fees normally range between £850 and £1,500 including VAT at 20%. Again, in the capital you could find these fees start to soar. They will also conduct local searches to check whether there are any local plans or potential problems. Conveyancing solicitors generally charge a set fee based on the value of the property you are buying or selling, so the actual cost can vary. If you are buying and selling at the same time it may also be possible to negotiate a package deal with your solicitor.


Physical moving costs

Removal company

The average cost of removal ranges from £400 to £800 but the overall cost will depend on where, when and how much you are moving. There are many removal companies vying for your business so make sure you shop around for quotes and find a reputable firm. Removal firms are likely to increase their prices for weekend moves and it may be more cost-effective to package your own possessions. Also make sure your chosen removal firm is insured so you can rest assured your items are fully protected while in transit.



At IMC we know that moving house can be a stressful and costly time, that’s why we are committed to applying our unrivaled experience and industry expertise to guide you through your journey to buying a new home. For further information on the costs of moving house, or just some friendly advice on tackling the property market, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated team of financial experts.

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