Buying your first house :: what it really costs

costs of buying your first house

As some of you may know, last Summer James and I bought our first house. Despite working in an industry that’s linked to house buying I was a little surprised by just how many extra costs there are. So I thought I’d share with you all the extra costs you may need to take into account if you’re buying your first home.

Stamp duty.
Oh man, this one is not nice! A tax, just for buying a house? Ouch! We ended up moving in with James’ parents for a few months before we moved into our house which purely helped us save up for the stamp duty. I don’t know how we would have done it without them, so I will be forever thankful. If you’re buying a house look at the stamp duty thresholds and check out a stamp duty calculator, you may be able to negotiate slightly on price if it will tip you over a threshold.

So not necessarily an unexpected cost, but I found there just seemed to be lots of extras the solicitors charged us for. We arranged a fixed price for the conveyancing at the outset, but somehow there still seemed to be extras. Like sorting out something to do with planning permissions for our conservatory. Or sorting out something to do with a right of way, all costs money.

House survey.
Depending on how old the property you’re buying is may depend on what kind of survey you need to get. We went for a HomeBuyers survey which is the middle one of the three I think, but it was still pretty price for things we already knew. However, they can be worthwhile if they uncover something you didn’t know.

Mortgage valuation.
On top of your own house survey you have to pay for the mortgage company to do a valuation – yet another expense.

White goods.
Your seller may offer you a good price for your white goods (fridge/freezer, washing machine, dishwasher), they may offer you a high price, or they may take them when they moved. Either way, as a first time buyer it’s highly likely you’re going to have to shell out for these. James and I were lucky, we paid £180 for all ours, but some friends paid in the thousands.

Moving van.
We ended up having to hire two because we moved in with James’ parents and our stuff went into storage. But a van, or moving company is going to set you back a couple of hundred unless you have no bulky furniture and can fit it all in your car!

Not a necessity for everyone, but it was for us. Because we left our flat four months before we moved into our house, James and I had to pay for all our stuff to be stored. We found a local storage company that charged us £200/month. It was good knowing it was all locked away safe, but it only just fitted in the space!

Postal redirection.
Because James and I aren’t married I had to pay for two separate redirections as we don’t share a surname. We ended up doing this for six months and this ended up costing us over £100, which is not cheap!

You’ll need to clean your old place and you’ll want to clean your new place. Whether you get cleaners in or do it yourself you’ll still need to pay out.

Packing boxes.
Whilst we managed to borrow a lot of boxes from family, we didn’t have enough so we had to go out and buy more boxes to pack and store our stuff in. Whilst these weren’t too expensive from Wilkinsons, it’s still another cost worth keeping in mind.

So I think those are all the main costs I didn’t really think about having to pay for when we put an offer in on our house. If you have any others to add to the list, please let me know! I hope you find this list helpful!

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