Moving House

The True Costs of Moving House

Moving to a new home is an exciting journey, but it’s also a big financial commitment that goes beyond way the property’s purchase price and deposit. So, what are the true costs of moving house? To help you plan your home moving budget effectively, we have broken down the various costs when moving house (excluding […]

Moving to a new home is an exciting journey, but it’s also a big financial commitment that goes beyond way the property’s purchase price and deposit. So, what are the true costs of moving house? To help you plan your home moving budget effectively, we have broken down the various costs when moving house (excluding your deposit).

How Do I Know if I Can Afford to Move House?

Determining if you can afford to move involves a comprehensive assessment of your current financial situation. Begin by reviewing your savings and evaluating your overall budget, accounting for potential moving house costs such as conveyancing, surveys and removals. Take stock of your existing mortgage and any outstanding debts that impact your financial stability. Additionally, consider the housing market in your desired location and whether your income supports the cost of living there. A careful examination of your financial health will provide a clearer picture of whether you can comfortably afford to embark on the journey of moving house.

Step 1 – Use a mortgage calculator to get an idea of what you can afford in terms of monthly payments, but bear in mind that online calculators don’t take into account your personal circumstances.

Step 2 – Speak to a mortgage broker who will be able to delve into your financial situation, understand your financial situation, and analyse your financial commitments to give you an idea of what monthly payments will be and advise on the best course of action to give you the best chance of getting your application accepted.

Step 3 – Review any debt, and if it is impacting your affordability think about if there is any debt you can clear before applying for a mortgage.

Step 4 – Consider all costs associated with moving house, from stamp duty and solicitors to cleaning and even renovations.

What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Understand All of the Moving Costs

Recognising the complicated nature of moving expenses is crucial for informed decision-making, ensuring a smoother transition to your new home, without being caught out by unexpected costs. If you don’t know how much it really costs to move home, you could find yourself:

  • Underestimating moving costs can result in unexpected expenses accumulating, potentially stretching your budget beyond its limits.
  • Having insufficient funds may result in delays or disruptions to your moving plans and can even mean your plans may be put on hold.
  • Not having enough budget, so you have to cut corners, may mean that you have to compromise the services you use during the move. For example, it could be the difference between using a removal company and having them do all the work and having to take time to plan and do everything yourself.
  • Being caught out by unexpected costs can increase stress and anxiety levels. This is why it is important to thoroughly plan and anticipate all costs, including potential maintenance cost when you move in. A survey can help you to plan for some of these potential costs.

What Are the Costs of Moving House?

Stamp Duty:

Stamp duty is a tax payable on land and property transactions. The cost of stamp duty varies depending on the property’s value. First-time buyers in England do not have to pay any stamp duty on properties up to the value of £425,000.

Stamp duty land tax rates for England:


0-250k = 0, £250,001-£925k = 5%, £925,001-£1,500,000 = 10%, £1,500,001+ = 12%

First Time Buyer

Property price up to £625k: £0-£425k = 0, £425,001-£625k = 5%

Property price above £625k: home-mover rules apply and no relief can be claimed.

When buying a property in Scotland, you’ll usually have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). First-time buyers don’t have to pay any LBTT on the first £175,000 of the property price, while for home movers, a 2% rate of tax is applicable for purchases over £145,001.

In Wales, Land Transactions Tax is payable on properties over £180,000. There is no exemption for first-time buyers.


Hiring a good solicitor or conveyancer is essential to handle the legal aspects of your property transaction. Your conveyancer will manage the legal process for you when buying a home and their fees will include Land Registry searches on the property you are buying, their own service fees and money transaction fees. Fees vary, so it’s wise to get multiple conveyancing quotes to find the best deal, but you can expect to pay upwards of £800. Some of the conveyancing charges, such as the property searched, may be payable upfront, so always ask this when getting quotes.

Top Tip: A good conveyancer will communicate well with you and help to speed things along so you can get those keys to your new home quicker.

Broker fees:

You don’t have to use a mortgage broker and can arrange a mortgage directly with a lender. However, an independent mortgage broker has access to the entire mortgage market, so they may be able to find you a better deal that saves you money. Your broker will also manage the mortgage application up to the point of the mortgage offer. Typical fees are around £300.


A home survey is crucial to identify any structural issues or defects. Costs can range from a basic valuation survey to a comprehensive building survey and falls into one of 3 categories:

Level 1: This survey is best suited to conventionally built, modern properties that are in satisfactory condition. It will look at the condition of the building, services and grounds. Approximate cost £500 (*on a £250k property, although prices are dependent on purchase price).

Level 2: This is a comprehensive survey on the property’s condition and goes into more detail about likely repairs. For any property that isn’t new, this would be recommended as a minimum. Approximate cost £600.

Level 3: A detailed survey that looks in detail at all possible defects and risks and provides recommendations for remedial work. A must for an old property and one in poor condition. Approximate cost £750.

To find a surveyor, visit The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Top Tip: For all surveys, if the surveyor cannot reach a conclusion, a recommendation may be made for a further survey with a specialist in the field. This might include an asbestos survey or a full damp report, all of which will incur an additional cost.

Valuation Fee:

Your mortgage lender may require a valuation survey to ensure the property’s value matches the amount you are requesting to borrow. This is so the lender has a level of confidence that they will get their money back should default on payments and they need to sell the property. Valuation fees can vary depending on the property’s price. It is not a detailed survey and should not be mistaken for a home survey as it only takes into account the overall value and not the detailed condition of the property. Some lenders now offer free valuations with certain mortgage products, so this may not be a charge you have to pay.

Estate Agents:

If you sell your current home, you don’t have to use an estate agent. You could always use word of mouth, social media, or even your own for-sale board to try to sell your property. However, you will want to factor in the estate agent’s commission if using an agent. This fee is typically a percentage of your property’s sale price (usually around 1.5%).


When moving home, the cost of hiring a removal company will depend on how many possessions you have, the distance you are moving, and additional services like packing and unpacking. Get quotes from multiple companies, ideally recommended reputable comanies, to compare prices. It is wise to get several quotes from removal companies ahead of the move. Costs depend on how many items you have to move and the distance you will be travelling, but the average around £1,000 for a 3 bedroom house travelling 50-100 miles.

Top tip: Sometimes removal companies will give discounts on advanced booking so aim to get a confirmed completion date as early as possible and always get a few quotes.

What Are The Hidden Costs of Moving House?

EPC (Energy Performance Certificate):

An EPC is required for selling your property and will cost somewhere between £60 and £120. It assesses your home’s energy efficiency (with A being the highest grade and G the lowest) and the EPC report will provide recommendations for improvements. It is valid for 10 years and you will receive a certificate from the assessor, with suggestions to improve energy efficiency.


Consider purchasing home and contents insurance for your new property when moving home. This provides protection against unexpected events like fire, theft, or damage during the move. You need to make sure it’ll pay out enough to rebuild the property if it’s destroyed and you will need to have taken out buildings insurance cover before completion on the property, so be sure to start the policy on the date of exchange of contracts. The cost of this varies from property to property, but there are some good online comparison sites to get quotes. Optional insurances including mortgage protection, life insurance and home contents insurance should also be factored in if they are something you wish to purchase. Your mortgage broker or lender can also provide further information on products available.


You may need storage services if there’s a gap between moving out of your old home and into the new one. Storage costs depend on the size and duration of storage needed.

Top tip: The best way to protect and prepare furniture for a home move and to save money on unnecessary breakages is to spend time wrapping everything correctly. Invest in some bubble wrap to protect fragile items that may break easily, such as lamps. Plastic wrap can be used for upholstered items like sofas.

Mail Redirect:

Don’t forget to redirect your mail to your new address. This is something that can be scheduled ahead of your move, so once you exchange contracts, think about planning this. The Royal Mail offer a redirect service that can be arranged online and you can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from just £36.00.

Mortgage Fees:

Your mortgage may come with arrangement fees, booking fees, and other charges. When you apply for a mortgage, products, usually those with fixed interest rates, can incur a mortgage arrangement fee. This is usually between £995 and £1999 and can be paid upfront or be added to the mortgage.

Moving home, involves a variety of expenses, including buying and selling costs. It’s essential to plan and budget your costs carefully when moving home. By accounting for all these costs, you’ll be better prepared and can confidently start your moving journey. Remember, researching and comparing quotes for various services can help you minimise expenses and make the moving process smoother. Happy moving!

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