Hidden Costs To Consider Before Buying A House And Moving

There are few things in life more exciting than buying a first home, our first place together was an Edwardian flat in Streatham. Unfortunately, there are also fewer things more stressful and expensive than house buying, as I know all too well from the last year of selling our second house, a Victorian semi in Nottingham we moved into when L was a baby. And buying our third, a country cottage overlooking the Peak District. I wouldn’t change a thing though, I’m so glad we moved.

What first time buyers sometimes don’t factor in, is that when you buy a house, it’s not just the house itself you have to pay for, there are other annoying costs that you have to consider in your budget. Before you indulge all your wildest moving house fantasies and get real with Rightmove, it is sadly vital that you learn about and prepare for these hidden expenses, so they don’t overwhelm you later.

Here are five people commonly forget about:

  1. Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a government tax you have to pay on houses costing £125,001 or more and is something that can easily add thousands of pounds to the cost of buying a home. Thankfully, first-time buyers don’t have to pay this tax on the first £300,000 for houses worth up to £500,000, which means that, as long as your chosen home costs £300,000 or less, you don’t have to worry about this cost.


  1. Deposit

What some first-time property buyers don’t realise is that your mortgage doesn’t cover the entire cost of your home; You also need to put down a deposit. This deposit generally needs to be between five and twenty percent of the purchase price, and as such, can easily be tens of thousands. You’re a lot more likely to be accepted for a mortgage if you have a large deposit, which is something you should think about if your credit score isn’t great.


  1. Conveyancing Fees

When you’re buying a home, you need to hire a conveyancing solicitor to deal with any legal aspects of the process. When you do this, it’s vital that you choose a solicitor with fixed fees and that you ask for a conveyancing solicitor quote, rather than an estimate, to avoid you paying more than you expected to. Also, make sure that you go to a “no move, no fee” firm, so you won’t have to pay legal fees if the purchase falls through. Nowadays there are lots of fixed fee deals, but the service can be limited and not very localised which can be stressful if your move or home is very complicated or the area is tricky for a non local to fathom.


  1. Professional Survey

Before you even consider putting in an offer for a property, it’s vital that you get it inspected by someone that knows what to look out for. Although this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it could save you a lot of time and money if the house turns out to have a list of structural problems. Unfortunately, as useful as surveys are, they can be expensive, so it’s important that you’re prepared for this. 


  1. Decoration

Your future home may not have any major structural issues, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect and ready to be moved in to. More often than not, houses need at least a bit of work and redecoration before they’re ready, so make sure you remember to budget for this. You can, of course, save some money completing the work yourself, but if you don’t really know what you’re doing, then it’s best to leave things to a professional.

With any new home comes the urge to splurge on new furnishings and accessories too, be warned!

We also found everything that could go wrong or break did in the first year, so have unless you have a very new home, factor in a buffer for emergency investments.

Buying a house is rarely a cheap process, but it’s often more expensive than most people realize. If you want to avoid getting overwhelmed, be realistic and informed with your budget. Or marry a man who loves making spreadsheets, that dear reader, is what I did.

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  • Reply Marcus

    As much as you prepare for moving, there will still be some more hidden costs that arise. I recommend to my clients that put aside a sum of money they can afford for things they may need but at present can’t think of. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and when they don’t need it they can then spend it

    July 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm
  • Reply Tuvya Marcus

    really i agree with it when you preparing for moving somewhere there will still be some more
    hidden costs that you have to face and by the way really useful article and so much to learn
    from here

    August 30, 2018 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply The Traveller


    Just had to comment considering you moved into an Edwardian flat in Streatham, definitely not the easiest! For me having moved up and down the UK, i got caught out pretty early on with the cost of surveying, but not only that, the added cost of not doing a survey.

    Having to deal with damp, sinking sides and burst pipes was a nightmare. But what people dont factor in, is not just maintenance cost, but its refurbish costs and all the added extras.

    This includes the amount of paint needed to coat walls, carpeting as well as removal of the existing carpets and all the underlay underneath.

    Tie this in with the time taken, moving around and living out of bin bags. Its a big project and I recommend everyone doing it, but as put in this article, its one you really do have to watch out for.

    Imagine moving beds and wardrobes from one room to another just so you can paint etc whilst on a deadline for carpet.

    Yes not the best! Anyway, rant over and thanks for the article!

    September 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply EYRIS

    Hi All!

    I think for me the deposit was a huge factor and accomplishment, set aside actually being able to purchase a house! Spending years saving and saving to raise the 20 – 30k that i needed for my first purchase was agonising but well worth it!

    September 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm
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    September 26, 2018 at 2:29 pm
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  • Reply Susan

    Absolutely that should be the high priority for anybody looking to buy houses because these hidden costs turns into debts.

    February 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply April Ebarvia

    Very informative! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    February 25, 2019 at 4:11 pm
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    March 29, 2019 at 3:31 am
  • Reply Kassel Marie Williams

    This is very informative! I am currently thinking of buying for a new house, and the tips you have shared here is very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

    April 1, 2019 at 2:47 am
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    April 1, 2019 at 3:17 am
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    I like the yellow door very much! And also liked the post about the deposit, thank you!)

    July 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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  • Reply Sara Jackson

    Thanks for the great tips because I personally have faced these hidden costs.

    February 8, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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