12 common (and hidden) costs of moving home​

The costs of buying a new home can really mount up in the excitement of buying a house. That’s why a budget could help you prepare for expected – and unexpected – expenses along the way. Start planning ahead with our handy guide to house buying costs.

    Published: 24 Apr 2018


    What do I need to pay to move home?​

    Here’s a quick list of some key home moving costs you may run into along the way. Click on each cost to find out more. You can even copy or print the list to keep on hand as moving day approaches.

      Legal fees

      There are a few legal steps you have to follow when buying a new home, from transferring title deeds to finalising your mortgage arrangement. A solicitor or conveyancer will take care of these for you, and for a straightforward house purchase they’ll typically cost around £850-£1,500 including VAT at 20%.

          Two men loading a moving van. Helping each other with box.

          Land registry fee

          This is a fee to update the records the Government Land Registry has about your property and show you as the legal owner.

          The cost is tied to property price and ranges from £50 to almost £1,000. In Scotland, you also need to pay a title registration fee.

            Buildings insurance

            Before qualifying for a Tesco Bank mortgage, you are required to take out buildings insurance, and it’s worth noting that other lenders will have their own criteria when it comes to insurance.

            This might also be a good time to consider home contents insurance or even a combined policy. Building cover alone costs about £80 a year on average. Here’s a guide we’ve put together to help when buying home insurance.

              Stamp duty

              If you buy a property worth more than £125,000 you will also have to pay stamp duty. Your solicitor will take care of the paperwork and the fees changes depending on the house price.

              The money you owe is worked out per bracket, so if you buy a house worth £251,000, you’ll pay nothing on the first £125,000, then 2% on the next £125,000 and 5% on the remaining £1,000.

              If you’re buying a second property, you’ll normally also have to pay an extra 3% on top of the normal rates.

                How does stamp duty work in Scotland?

                In Scotland, you pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax instead of Stamp Duty. These taxes work in a similar way but have different values.

                Here’s a breakdown of how much stamp duty or land buildings transaction tax you could pay.

                  England, Wales and NI

                  Stamp Duty applies to property over £125,000. Figures in this table are from gov.uk and correct as of April 2018. The rates are as follows:

                  England, Wales and NI


                    Purchase price up to £125,000


                        £125,001 - £250,000




                                £925,001 - £1.5 million


                                    Over £1.5 million


                                      Land and Buildings Transaction Tax applies in Scotland to properties over £145,000. Figures in this table are from gov.uk and correct as of April 2018. The rates are as follows:



                                        Purchase price up to £145,000


                                            £145,001 - £250,000


                                                £250,001 - £325,000


                                                    £325,001 - £750,000


                                                        Over £750,000

                                                          Electronic transfer fee

                                                          When you’re buying or selling a house, a large amount of money will change hands within a short period of time. Your solicitor will make sure your deposit or funds get where they need to be, but a same day transfer (often through CHAPs) tends to cost between £25-£30.

                                                              Father and son playing with toy cars.

                                                              Property fraud fee

                                                              Home sales can be targeted by fraudsters and there’s a chance your solicitor will want to double check the credentials of any other solicitor or seller they are asked to work with. That said, this fee is typically very small – around £10 per fraud check.

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                                                                Mortgage arrangement fee

                                                                This is the fee you pay your lender to have them set up your mortgage. The arrangement fee can vary widely and can range from being free or anything up to £2,000, but it is typically around £1,000.

                                                                  Before your lender offers you a mortgage, they will ask for a valuation or home survey. The cost may vary depending on survey type, but they are typically between £150 and £1,500.

                                                                    Moving costs

                                                                    There is also the cost of the move itself to think about. You might want to consider putting some money aside for additional expenses like:

                                                                    • Boxes, tape, marker pens and bubble wrap
                                                                    • Removal company
                                                                    • Removal insurance
                                                                    • Storage, if there’s a gap between move out and move in dates
                                                                    • Temporary accommodation to cover unexpected delays


                                                                    VAT will be applied to a number of different house moving costs, including estate agent fees for sellers and solicitor fees for both buyers and sellers. Your VAT charged will shown on your final statement.

                                                                      Phone line and broadband

                                                                      Moving to a new home means setting up a new phone line and broadband connection. Costs vary depending on your location, whether your property has an existing phone line and your provider, but upfront costs can range from zero to £60.

                                                                        Factoring fee deposit

                                                                        If you’re buying a home with a shared stairwell and gardens, there could be a factoring fee. This is a monthly cost for keeping shared spaces like stairways, halls and gardens clean, tidy and looked after. You might have to pay a deposit of £50 or more towards this when you move in.

                                                                          Estate agency fees

                                                                          For sellers only - First time buyers won’t come up against these but if you’re selling a house, you need to think about agency fees. These could cost you £2000 plus depending on the price of the property you buy or sell.

                                                                            Find out more about buying a home

                                                                            Related articles

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                                                                            Be prepared

                                                                            A useful moving house checklist