What is The True Cost of Buying A House?

I’m not talking about the purchase price you agree to pay – that’s the obvious part.

I’m talking about all the extras!

Mortgage Fees

That’s the broker’s fee as well as the up-front or arrangement fee to the actual mortgage company.


Unless it’s a new build property, I would always recommend that you have a proper survey.

There are 3 types of survey:

  • Mortgage Valuation (is the building standing-up – next to useless unless property seriously over-valued but the mortgage company will organise this).
  • Homebuyers Survey (useful without being over the top). You must organise this.
  • Full Structural Survey (really only for very old/period/listed buildings or those with a known history of structural problems). You must organise this.

Get quotes from local surveyors (local to where you’re buying of course) as they know the area and the houses well.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty to pay is:

Purchase price of property Rate of stamp duty Buy to let / additional home rate
£0 – £125,000 0% 3% (not if cost under £40,000)
£125,001 – £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 – £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 – £1.5m 10% 13%


The cost depends on the solicitor and whether you are also selling a property at the same time.

You should get 2 or 3 quotes and my advice is to use a solicitor local to the house your buying (if moving area). Why? Because they will know which areas, roads and properties have issues or are on ancient church land or are built on an old quarry or a known subsidence area etc.


Again, get at least 3 quotes. And again, if you’re moving area, you might want to consider using a removal company local to the house you’re moving to. If there are delays that take it past normal finishing time, there is less potential trouble if the removal men are only 10 or 15 minutes’ drive from home.

Cost Of Updating The Property

Hopefully, before you exchange contracts and preferably at or soon after the survey, you go into the property with a builder or decorator or kitchen company (dependent on need) to get a proper estimate of cost to make the house ‘yours’.

Add it all up and that’s the real cost of buying a house! Good Luck!

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