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The true cost of moving

Date Published 27 September 2017

We all do it at some stage in our lives, whether it is to smaller or larger accommodation or relocation due to work commitments, we all move home from time to time. This article looks at the financial costs involved with moving from one property to another.

The first step is to invite estate agents into your home to give a market appraisal (or valuation) of your home; how much will someone pay for your property? A typical fee charged by estate agents is 1%+VAT. At this stage it is worth considering asking local solicitors for a quote to handle the purchase and sale of your property. You will need to factor in any stamp duty that you may be liable for. You pay stamp duty on the property you buy, not the one you sell and if you own another property the new stamp duty rules would mean an additional levy would be charged to you.

Removal company's fees vary from firm to firm, taking into account any distance between the two properties, size and number of lorries needed to move you and your family and I have heard of cases of penalties being charged if the removal team are held up for a longer period than agreed. A typical fee would be around £1000. In my mind, this is money well spent if you take into account the cost of hiring vans yourself, recruiting your friends to help move you for the day, cost of boxes and bubble wrap and the energy needed to lift everything in and out of each property and onto the vans and off again.

Once you have had an offer accepted on a property you may decide to have a survey to check the condition of your new home. You wouldn't want any nasty surprises that could be costly. A RICS homebuyers survey typically costs around £300.

If you are obtaining a mortgage, the mortgage company will carry out a valuation survey. This survey will not go into detail of any condition of the property, it is merely intended to reassure the lender that if you default on the loan, they will get their money back and they are not lending too much money to you. There is often a fee attached to submitting the mortgage application which can be around £250-£500.

Solicitors often charge a fixed fee. You may pay more if there is a leasehold property involved as there is extra work involved in terms of the lease and contacting the management company and freeholder. The solicitor will also charge for disbursements which would include identification checks for Anti money laundering regulations purposes, to obtain copies of title documents from land registry and to pay off any existing loan on the property. The standard fee would be around £600+VAT plus disbursements.

For the purposes of this example I shall assume that you sell a house at £350,000 and buy at £550,000 and that you are moving within ten miles and you do not own any other property.
Estate agents fee £4200
Energy Survey needed on sale property (EPC) £89
Stamp duty on purchase £17,500
Solicitor fees for sale £960
Solicitor fees for purchase £1150
Removal costs £1000
Survey on purchase £300
Mortgage application fee £295 (this can be added to the loan)
Total £25,494