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Understanding the Real Costs of Moving House

Understanding the Real Costs of Moving House

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Moving Home: Understanding the Real Costs of Moving House

Moving house is exciting, with the promise of a new chapter in your life and the potential of new beginnings. However, despite all the clichés and anticipation of moving to a new home, the reality is that moving home is costly and stressful. 

We hope, with this article, to help you prepare for the unexpected costs and plan for a smoother transition by explaining the complexities and facilitating informed decisions. If you are looking for a little more personalised help, then The Openwork Partnership has a team of financial advisers on hand to give you the confidence to take charge of your financial future. 

Breakdown of Moving House Costs: 

The cost of moving house in the UK averages at about £11,700. For a sum of money this large, you need to make sure you understand where these costs are coming from and how you can best minimise the impact it will make on your move. 

We have compiled a list of costs that you will be expected to pay: 

Deposit and mortgage fees will be a large chunk of money. Whilst the rest of your new home will be paid by the mortgage and the equity that you get once you sell your old property, the deposit is fully funded by your savings. 

Stamp Duty, also known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland, or Land Transaction Tax (LTT) in Wales. This is a tax that you have to pay when you buy a property. What you pay will depend on your circumstances, where your property is, and the price of the home you are purchasing. 

Legal fees are a necessary cost, as a good solicitor can smooth out any issues and speed up the process. They handle all the contracts and provide legal advice. This could cost between £800–£1500. Make sure to get quotes and check if prices include VAT, land registry fees, and search fees. 

A property survey might set you back between £500–£1500, depending on the thoroughness of the check. You don’t have to have a survey done on your new property, but it could save you money in the long run. Surveys can highlight any potential issues with the house that you might need to pay for and help you lower the asking price. 

Money transfer fees are a cost that people often forget about and can set you back £50. This will usually be added to your solicitor's bill. 

Estate agent fees are also possible if you used an estate agent to sell your old property. They usually charge around 1-3% of the sale price. When choosing your agent, make sure that VAT is included in their fees. 

Other fees you might find are removal costs, post-redirection fees (which start at £33.99), deep cleaning fees (if you are moving from a rental property), furniture costs, council tax increase costs, broadband, electricity, heating set-up costs, and even storage costs if you have a few weeks in between properties. You will also want to buy packing boxes and bubble wrap, find a kennel or cattery for your pets, and daycare for your children so they don’t get under your feet whilst you move. 

Your Moving Home Checklist:

Your moving home checklist can be as extensive or as detailed as you need it to be. 

Here is a basic one for you to get started. 

  • Utilities: Start looking for quotes for broadband, TV, and utilities as soon as you know the completion date.
  • New Address: Think about all the people who need to know your new address, make a list, and inform them. You can also pay to have your mail redirected for up to a year. 
  • Council Tax: What you pay in council tax is likely to increase if you are moving to a larger home. Check using your local council’s website to see how much you will be paying. 
  • Moving boxes: Clearly label your boxes on both the top and the sides so you can see which room they need to go to once you move in. 
  • Pets and Children: Arrange child care or a stay with family so that you don’t need to worry about small hands getting into anything silly. The same goes for pets, the move will be stressful enough and it is better to reunite in a new home when everything is calm and they can explore safely.

Understanding Moving Home Mortgages:

When you buy a new house and sell an old one, there are several moving home mortgage options that you should consider: 

  • You can transfer your current mortgage over to your new property in a process called ‘porting’. 
  • You can re-mortgage the new home with your current lender, paying off the old one using the house sale. 
  • You can find a new deal with a new lender, paying off your existing one with proceeds from the sale.

This all depends on what option best suits you financially. The Openwork Partnership can help you through this process providing you with financial advice and helping you to understand your best mortgage option. 

Saving Money and Making Smart Decisions:

Your financial decisions during the process are incredibly important. Having a strategy and smart financial planning can help you to mitigate any problems down the road. 

For example, if you can afford a surveyor, it is beneficial to put aside money to thoroughly evaluate the property you wish to buy. The best outcome is that no issues are found. However, if issues are found, you can use this to reduce the asking price of the property. You can also plan for work to be done, rather than being caught unawares, which may save you a lot of money. 

You should also be strategic with which solicitor and estate agent you choose. It is a good idea to get quotes and plan ahead. Also, make sure you have a good rapport with whomever you choose, as they will be in regular contact with you. 

Compare all your service providers and plan around your budget. At an average of £11,777, you don’t want the cost of moving house to strain your financial health and cause you to still be picking up the pieces years later. 


There is no doubt that moving house can be a very expensive time of your life. But, with the right tools and the right budget, you can make it less stressful and put less financial pressure on yourself.

Keep yourself aware of any hidden costs and choose your solicitors and your agents wisely. To help you through the process or to give you expert advice on your decision to move house, you should always consult a financial adviser. The Openwork Partnership has a team of advisers up and down the country, check out your options today and plan a healthier financial future.  

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