Guide to Mortgages
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The Cost of Buying a House

Buying a house is a massive commitment and for many of us it is the biggest financial investment we will ever make.

It can be a time of both confusion and excitement!

To help clear some of the confusion surrounding the purchase of a property see the table below which outlines the main costs which are inevitable when buying your new home.

Purpose Approximate Amount
Solicitor: Coordinates the legal transaction of the property. Costs vary greatly between solicitors. Approx £200 - £600 +VAT
Survey: Looks at the property to ensure it is worth the price you are paying for it. You may want to get a more detailed survey done if you are purchasing an older property. Approx £200 - £1000 depending on the type of survey you decide upon.
Searches: Check the surrounding area to see if there are any environmental issues such as flooding, subsidence or any plans for large supermarkets opening up on your doorstep etc. Approx £300
Land Registry: This changes the names on the Land registration from the previous owners to you. Approx £220
Stamp Duty: This is tax payable on the agreed purchase price of the property. Varies according to purchase price. See below table for details.
Mortgage Associated Costs From £0 - £ 500 approx. Some Lenders offer special deals on these costs. See Apply for a mortgage for details on costs.
Deposit Varies between Lenders and the type of mortgage you choose, but generally a deposit of 10% of the purchase price is acceptable.
Refurbishment & or decoration Don’t forget to budget for the essential jobs that must be done, such as Electrical work, Gas Central Heating etc. Get at least three quotes to help you compare.
Furniture & or furniture removal: Of course you are going to need to furnish your new home or maybe provide transport to move your existing furniture to the property. This cost is as much or as little as you make it! Shop around for furniture and for removal quotes. You may even want to consider hiring a van and moving your existing furniture yourself.
Building Insurance: You will want to shop around in advance for this insurance. Once you take ownership of the property your insurance should start, that way you are covered if there was a fire etc. This cost is dependent upon the size of the property, location etc. More information on Buildings Insurance.
Contents Insurance: This applies once you have started to move your furniture and personal belongings in to the property. This cost is dependent upon the type of cover you want. More information on Contents Insurance Cover.
Life Insurance: This policy pays out a lump sum on your death. The idea is to make sure that the amount repaid will at least cover your mortgage. The cost is dependent on how much you are insuring. Ie If you want to cover £130,000 you can expect to pay approx £15 per month. This may already be built into your mortgage, so check your policy. more information on Life Insurance Cover.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (also known as Stamp Duty)

This is a tax placed on the purchase price of the property and is paid directly to the government.

Purchase Price Tax Payable ( % of purchase price )
Up to £125,000 0%
£125,001-£250,000 1%
£250,001-£500,000 3%
£500,001-Upwards 4%

But how long is all this going to take? The process of buying a house could take as little as 3 weeks or as long as a few months! It really depends on the legal findings, the co-operation of the people selling and finance of the property. Most people in the UK finance their home by way of a mortgage. See our complete PDF Mortgage Guide and calculators for more help.

Download the Mortgage PDF Guide here - see our other free PDF guides here

Guide Contents

To Buy or to Rent
What is the process of getting a mortgage in England?
Getting mortgages in Scotland
The cost of buying a house
Different types of mortgages
Self Certified mortgage
Apply for a mortgage
Mortgage FAQ
Where to get more mortgage help

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