The cost of moving home

Get the calculator out and read our guide to moving costs.

Will @ Nested
Property market insight

Sure, if you could click a button and ‘proceed to checkout’, buying a property would be oh so simple. But in reality, moving from one nest to another comes with many price tags attached. So, how much does it cost to move house? Put on the kettle and let us walk you through some of the main costs for movers and shakers.

What are the costs involved in moving house?

Before we deep-dive into each item of spending, here are some of the main costs of moving home in a nutshell.

  • Mortgage costs
  • Your survey
  • Stamp Duty
  • Legal fees
  • Estate agent fees
  • Home insurance
  • Removals and storage
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Capital Gains Tax (if you’re selling, and if applicable)
  • Running costs — utilities and Council Tax

Mortgage costs

Aside from the vexed question of ‘how much can I borrow?’ — which we cover in detail in our guide to mortgages — there are other mortgage costs to watch out for. Before we look at these in more detail, here is a snapshot.

Broker fee£500 on average
Arrangement feeUp to £2,000
Booking feeUp to £250
Valuation fee£200-600 on average
CHAPS feeUp to £50

If you use a broker to secure the best mortgage deal, bear in mind that pricing models vary; some brokers will charge a flat fee, while others will work for an hourly rate, commission, or even take a percentage of your mortgage. You should make sure you’re clear on what the fee structure is beforehand.

Your arrangement fee, sometimes referred to as a product fee, can either be paid as a one-off or added to your mortgage. Not every mortgage comes with an arrangement fee, but you may pay the price through higher interest rates, so shop around and decide whether you’d rather take the hit over the short or long-term.

You may also have to pay a booking fee for the cost of setting up the loan — yes, let the eye-rolling commence — and potentially an account closure fee to close the deal and prevent future exit fees, which again, may be added to your loan or bundled into a one-off charge.

Once you’ve chosen a mortgage product, you’re likely to pay a valuation fee so that the lender can inspect the property and agree to letting you borrow the money. Note, this isn’t the same thing as a survey. As with the other charges, some lenders will waive the cost depending on which mortgage product you select.

The CHAPS fee covers the cost of your lender transferring funds to your solicitor, and more often than not, there is no refund if the deal breaks down.

Every mortgage is different, and there are other potential costs depending on your lenders’ criteria and whether you make the repayments down the line. A penalty for missed payments may apply if you struggle to keep up, while some products have early repayment charges and exit fees, so it’s worth knowing exactly what you’re signing up to.

Your property survey

Just like Goldilocks, when it comes to property surveys you’ve essentially got three types to choose from, minus the porridge.

The HomeBuyers Report, sometimes referred to as as a RICS Level 2 building survey, is the option most people plump for. It’s typically used for traditionally built homes (Victorian or later) and will generally cost between £500 and £700. You can get a basic Condition Report for around £300, but these Level 1 surveys are more commonly used for mortgage valuations, and sometimes homeowners who simply want to know the condition of their current property. For a more thorough report, a RICS Building Survey offers a comprehensive summary of a property’s condition, and a diagnosis of what might be wrong. This can cost up to £2,000.

How much you’re willing to spend on a survey depends on whether you want to inspect every nook and cranny. Either way, getting a survey done is a no-brainer, as we explain in our guide to property surveys.

Stamp Duty

No one wakes up in the morning and wants to pay Stamp Duty, but for the majority of movers, it’s a simple fact on the ground.

Here’s a look at the Stamp Duty rates that apply to most buyers in England and Northern Ireland:

Purchase priceStamp Duty rate
Zero to £125,0000%
£125,001 to £250,0002%
£250,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1.5m10%
£1.5m +12%

There are exceptions. For example, first-time buyers pay no Stamp Duty on the first £300,000, while zero carbon homes have a Stamp Duty threshold of £500,000. For more information on how these rates work and how much you’ll pay in practice, check out our comprehensive Stamp Duty guide.

Legal fees

Spending money on a solicitor, or conveyancer — a solicitor who specifically deals in property law — isn’t mandatory, but it would be unwise not to.

How much are solicitors fees? In total, you can expect to pay as little as £500 and as much as £2,000 on legal fees, depending on the scale and complexity of your property transaction. Each solicitor will have a different fee structure; some will charge a flat rate, others by the hour, and some will take a percentage of the property value, so it’s worth getting multiple quotes before you sign on the dotted line. What do you get for your money?

Here’s a summary of how what your solicitor will charge for:

  • Conveyancing fees — You’re paying for your solicitor’s time and expertise, which comes at a price.
  • Searches and disbursements — Local Authority and environmental searches to see if there are any building control or contamination issues you should be aware of.
  • Bank transfers — Your solicitors handle the transfers between you, your lender and the other party.
  • Land Registry fee — A charge for the cost of registering the property and getting your new title deeds.

You can read our full guide to conveyancing for more information on this stage in the process.

Estate agent fees

If you’re selling a house, you’ll have an added cost — estate agent fees. The cheapest way is to hire a sole agent, which means you can expect to pay 1% to 1.5% of the final sale price + VAT.

There’s nothing to stop you appointing as many estate agents as you like, but while this may increase your chances of selling the property quickly, the amount you’ll pay in commission will be more like 2% to 3% + VAT. Remember that the agent who makes the sale gets the commission, so they need to be incentivised to work on your behalf.

If you use a home buying company to sell your home, you’ll pay a heavy price — up to 25% of the amount you would otherwise achieve. But if you’ve heard of a little moving agent called Nested, they’ll sort you out with a cash advance to get the ball rolling. Just sayin’.

Home insurance

You’re legally responsible for the property from the moment you exchange, not complete, so buildings and contents insurance is one item of spending not to avoid.

Strictly speaking, you’re not legally obliged to get your home insured, but in reality, you’ll struggle to get a mortgage without it. Every insurance company will have different criteria, but as a ballpark figure, you can expect to pay circa £110 a year for buildings insurance, which covers the structure and permanent fixtures and fittings of the property from costly events such as storm damage and floods.

If you wish to cover the cost of replacing your possessions in the event they get damaged or stolen, you can expect to pay approximately £60 a year for contents insurance, though the price will depend on the type of valuables you intend to cover.

Removals and storage

Of course, the cheapest way to move your possessions into your new home is to hire a van and do it yourself. This will only set you back £100 to £200, and is an option if you live close to the new home. Realistically though, a van is only viable if you’re moving into a one or two-bedroom home, and isn’t a good idea if you’re transporting large items of furniture. That’s before we mention the back ache...

So then, how much are removal fees when moving house? It depends on how many bedrooms the new place has, and whether you opt for an additional packing service, where the removal team will unpack items from your cardboard fortress into each room. For a one-bed flat, you’re looking at removal fees of around £550 including packing (£400 without); for a three-bed house, we’re talking £1,050 with packing (£800 without); and for a five-bed house, expect to pay at least £1,500 inclusive of packing, and £1,000 without.

If you need to store your possessions in the time between leaving your old property and entering the new one, you’ll have to pay for storage costs. The quote you receive will depend on factors such as the size of your furniture, the number of containers needed, and the length of time you wish to store for. The average cost of storing the possessions of a two-bed property is approximately £350 for a fortnight, including removals, and disassembly of any furniture that may not fit in the container.

Nested Concierge can help streamline your removals service and take the stress out of connecting other utilities.

Repairs and maintenance

If you’re buying a wreck, or if your survey throws up unexpected costs, you’ll have to factor in repairs and maintenance in your budget. You may be able to negotiate the vendor down from your original offer — read our guide to gazundering and gazumping — but if you’re happy to go ahead, you should get a few quotes from reputable tradespeople, and consider using a building company that can carry out all the work, rather than lots of traders who may tread on one another’s toes.

Every property comes with a different repair bill, but here are some approximate figures for the larger jobs you may have to watch out for:

  • Roof repairs — £100 to £200 to fix a leak on a two-storey house, but a full re-roof can cost up to £12,000 depending on materials and the property size.
  • Insulation — Cavity wall insulation may cost between £370 and £720 depending on the property type, whereas internal wall insulation can cost up to £13,000 and external wall insulation up to £22,000.
  • Damp proofing — A course of injected damp proofing can cost around £2,500, and you’ll want to pay for a specialist survey, most likely for £1,000-plus.
  • Rewiring — A complete rewire can set you back £4,000, or £200 a day for other electrical work.
  • Central heating — A new condensing boiler typically costs £1,500 to £3,000, while the average cost of removing and replacing a radiator is £180.

Capital Gains Tax

If you’re selling a second home or buy-to-let property, you may be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any profits you make at the point of sale. In theory, you don’t have to worry if your property is classed as a main residence. However, if HMRC deems part of your home to be used solely for business purposes, or if you let out sections of the home (not including lodgers) or sell off part of the garden, you could receive a CGT bill. Once you know how much profit you stand to make from a sale, you can calculate how much CGT you need to pay on the HMRC website.

Running costs

Getting the keys to your new home is by no means the end of your spending. You’ll need to budget for various household bills and maintenance costs, including the following:

  • Gas and electricity bills — £1,254 a year (average)
  • Water — £405 a year (average)
  • Council Tax — You can check your Council Tax band online.
  • TV License — £154.50 for a colour TV
  • Service charge and ground rent — If you own a leasehold property, you’ll need to budget for these monthly outgoings.

Plan your budget

Of course, buying and selling a property doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re ready to move and have the right finance in place, it’s worth every penny. Once you’ve nailed your numbers, read our moving house checklist for a taste of what happens next.

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