What costs are involved in buying your first home?

You might give a huge sigh of relief after saving for that monumental first house deposit and think it’s all over. Not quite.


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There are a few more upfront items, such as a homebuyers survey costs, that you’ll need to bear before you get those keys. Aim to save at least an extra £10,000 (more if you’ll qualify for stamp duty) and if for any reason you don’t need to pay them, it will definitely come in handy for furnishing your new abode.

Stamp Duty

This is the big one, but as a first-time buyer, you won’t pay this if the property you’re buying is less than £500,000.

Above that you’ll pay 5% on the amount from £500,000 to £925,000.

Mortgage fees

There are several fees that may be charged:

A mortgage arrangement fee of up to £2,000
A valuation fee of between £500 and £1,500
Mortgage broker fees can be up to £1,000

The good news is that these fees don’t always apply if you shop around, and some can be added to your mortgage instead of needing to be paid upfront.

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Legal fees

A solicitor will handle drawing up contracts, registering with HM Land Registry and any stamp duty payments. The fees for this vary, but expect to pay between £850 and £1,500.

They will also carry out local searches intended to highlight any problems with the property and the land around it, and check for new developments nearby. These searches usually cost between £250 and £350.

Home survey fees

One of the most important items, a good homebuyers survey cost is a wise investment. It ensures you don’t make any costly mistakes, offering an expert’s advice on the condition of the property you want to buy. There are several types, so what does a homebuyers survey cost?

The RICS Home Condition Report costs around £250 and uses traffic light ratings on critical areas of the property. It’s best suited to newer homes or standard properties, which are less likely to have hidden issues.

A RICS HomeBuyer Report (HBR) starts at £400 and is for conventional properties in a fair condition. It adds any information on structural problems.

If your house is older or obviously needing repair, choose a RICS Building Survey. It will start at £600 but is comprehensive with detailed advice on repairs needed.