Moving home can be a thrilling experience when the costs of doing so are not ignored. The standard cost for move home in the UK is around £8, 951. This cost can vary dramatically and is also dependent on the area that you live in.  In this article we are going to break down the cost that comes with moving house in the UK. Our aim is to help you avoid unwelcome financial surprises either as a first-time buyer or mover. A PDF copy of this article can also be download here for you to keep as a reference.  

So, what costs do you need to keep in mind when buying a house? This article will focus on the following:

  • Valuation and Surveys
  • Stamp Duty
  • Legal fees
  • Insurance
  • Deposit, Mortgage Costs and Broker fees 
  • Estate Agent fees

Notice: Please consult our glossary of mortgage terms for a quick explanation of the above terms. This article will not define any of the terms found in the glossary, so if anything remains unclear, please refer to the glossary for additional information. 

  1. Valuation and Surveys:

Mortgage lenders often require that a valuation survey be completed in order to determine how realistic the property’s price is. This survey is oftentimes covered by the lender, and is mandatory for the mortgage to be processed. A structural survey, on the other, is an optional but recommended inspection. It involves a comprehensive check on the building’s structure, internal and external fabric, decor and services. These surveys can cost between £500 and £2,000. If you require a structural survey to be done, please contact The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors for help in finding a surveyor in your area.

  1. Stamp Duty:

A stamp duty is a tax that often accompanies house purchases. If the property you are buying is in England or Northern Ireland, you won’t have to pay any Stamp Duty on properties up to £500,000. However, if the property’s price surpasses the latter figure, this tax is applied. Buying a second or additional home, or a buy-to-let property, comes with a 3% surcharge on properties over £40,000. A complete breakdown on how stamp duties are applied can be found on the government’s website. You can also use their Stamp Duty calculator, if you need to calculate the duty that might be attached to the property you are purchasing.

Please note that in Scotland, you will pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) at different rates on each portion of the purchase price. Wales also has its variant of the Stamp Duty tax, which is called Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and is also paid at a different rate on each portion of the purchase price. 

  1. Legal fees:

Sometimes also called a ‘Conveyancing Charge,’ legal fees are payments made to a solicitor or licensed conveyancer for undertaking the legal work involved in the mortgage or remortgage. Legal fees can cost between £800 and £1,500. The amount you pay often depends on the solicitor/conveyancer used, whether your property is a freehold or leasehold, whether you are remortgaging or purchasing, as well as other factors. Usually these fees are paid after the mortgage is completed, but there are instance where they need to be paid upfront in order to cover preliminary work or searches conducted by the solicitor/conveyancer. A word of warning here though: the solicitor/conveyancer you choose must be acceptable to the lender, so be sure to ask this before any money changes hands.

4. Insurance:

There are two insurance policies that are typical to mortgaging, they are building and content insurance.  Building insurance covers any damage to the structure of a building that could affect its value. It usually covers permanent fixtures as well, like fitted kitchens and bathrooms and disburses enough money to rebuild the property if it was destroyed. Please note that this payout does not equate to the overall value of the building. Content insurance on the other hand is a policy that covers you for loss or damage to your personal possessions, valuables and furniture. Life insurance is another type of insurance that’s sometimes factored into mortgaging. It is not mandatory, but can guarantee the repayment of your mortgage after your death. This option is welcomed by some borrowers who want to remove the worry of their loved ones losing their home.

5. Deposit, Mortgage Costs and Broker fees:

Most mortgage lenders require a minimum of 5% deposit for all mortgage loans. For many new buyers 5% is a large sum to find upfront. Consequently, if you’re a first-time buyer and worried about how to come up with your deposit, please contact one of the Percom representatives who will be able to advise you on how to save your deposit or how to get family members to help you.

Mortgage costs or fees often accompany the mortgage you’ve applied for. These are fees that typically range from about £500 to £2,000. They are different from broker fees. Broker fees are fees charged by a broker to execute transactions or provide specialised services. Brokerage fees are based on a percentage of the transaction, as a flat fee, or a hybrid of the two and vary according to the industry and type of broker. All brokers take commission from your mortgage provider. Some brokers may also charge an additional fee for advice, ranging from about £300 to £750. Most brokers will offer an initial discussion free of charge.

6. Estate Agent fees:

Estate agent fees are charged to the seller of the property. Estate agents normally charge the seller, on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis, so if the property doesn’t sell, the customer will not have to  pay a fee to the estate agent. Essentially the agent would have worked for the customer, free of charge. When fees are paid to the agent, it is either as a percentage of the sale price (often between 1% and 3%) or a flat fee. If ever you secure an estate agent and incur fees for their services, it is always advised that you request quotes that detail the value-added tax (VAT) clearly.


There’s lots to think about when it comes to buying a house. Using this article as a checklist can help you to gain a better understanding of everything you need to know. It can also give you the best chance of getting your mortgage application accepted. If you have any further questions or if you need a guided discussion through the mortgage process, please contact a Percom representative today.