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Guide to buying costs

So after years of saving and hard work, you have finally made a successful offer on that illustrious first home. Brilliant! But what about all those extra costs you might not have released about?

Nearly a quarter of first-time buyers have no idea how many added costs there are when purchasing a property. Research by Zoopla.co.uk found that 1 in 10 think all the costs will add up to no more than £1,000, which can often just be the cost of conveyancing alone.

At Holters we've put together a number of charges for you to look over, as you will need to allow for these when purchasing a new home. So make sure your sensible and set as side funds for these costs, as you'll see bellow they easily mount up.

Solicitor's fee
This can differ, but you should allow from about £500 to £1,000. Like car insurance get a number of quotes upfront before instructing a solicitor to start the conveyancing.

Some solicitors will do the job for a set fee, while other may charge by the hour.


If you're requiring a mortgage, the lender will send a valuer to inspect and value the property to make sure it's worth the amount they're lending you.

The lender will arrange for the valuer to carry out the valuation, but be prepared you will have to pay for it. Typically, a valuation starts from about £125.


For piece of mind you may want an expect to take a quick and inexpensive ‘walk through' survey. Or, you might opt for a mid-level or even full-blown survey to assess what kind of condition the property's in.

At most a ‘walk through' survey is likely to cost only a couple of hundred pounds, while a more in-depth survey could cost several thousand pounds depending on the size and condition of the property and the level of detail you want in the search.

A lender usually wants a survey carried out, particularly if it is in a tired state, listed, in an area where there are concerns about flooding, subsidence or anything else that could affect the stability of the property.

For a £150,000 property, the average survey would be about £300 to £500, and a more detailed survey more like £600 to £1,000.


Once instructed your solicitor carries out searches for anything unusual or untoward, such as rights of way, environmental, covenants, water, or clauses linked to the use of the property.

Costs for searchers are usually included in the solicitor's initial quotation, unless there's something seriously amiss or time-consuming, estimate from about £300 to £500.

Land Registry

Before exchange of contracts can take place your property has to be registered with government's Land Registry. A small fee is charged, depending on the value of the property.

A fee calculator on the Land Registry website (www.landregistry.gov.co.uk) can help you work out what you will pay.

Mortgage arrangement
You will have to pay your lender (the bank or building society) a fee for arranging your funds for your mortgage. This varies according to the lender, but can be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds.

Removal costs

This is a cost most first-time buyers forget, so you've been warned. Unfortunately we don't all have access to a friend with a van or a small lorry, so allowing funds for a removal company to move all of your content is a must. Prices obviously vary but can usually cost anything from about £50 to hire a small van, right up to several thousand pounds, depending on how many services you sign up for and distance.

Another useful Holters tip to save money is to de-clutter as much as you can before you get an estimate from the removals company. They charge you according to how much stuff you have, so losing a good amount of it before they come around to assess your belongings could save you a good deal of cash.

Stamp duty
Stamp duty is a government purchase tax charged on all purchases of houses, flats, land and buildings. It can be a fairly hefty charge, so it's important to factor it into your budget.

Charged on all land and property transactions in the UK, stamp duty can also apply to buying shares. When you buy a property, you nearly always pay stamp duty (known as stamp duty land tax). The version for shares is stamp duty reserve tax.

The amount of stamp duty land tax buyers pay varies depending on the price of the property. Prices fall within a band grouping, and you have to pay the tax related to that band, as per the table below, (Correct as of April 2013).

Purchase price - Stamp duty rate

Up to £125,000 - 0%

Over £125,000 to £250,000 - 1%

Over £250,000 to £500,000 - 3%

Over £500,000 - 4%

Over £1 million to £2 million - 5%

Over £2 million - 7%

Over £2 million (purchased by certain persons, including corporate bodies) - 15%

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact info@holters.co.uk

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Holters Modern Estate and Letting Agents in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Holters Modern Estate and Letting Agents specialise in selling and renting property across England and Wales. Primarily based in Shropshire but also serving London and the home counties, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Birmingham, The Midlands, Powys, Mid Wales, Gwent, Newport, Cardiff, Monmouthshire and South Wales.

Holters provide a modern twist on traditional estate and letting agency, our aim is to deliver a first class service, a comprehensive marketing package but at a fraction of the cost of your traditional high street estate agents.

When you have a combination of solicitor’s fees, survey costs, stamp duty and the dreaded estate agents bill on top of that, moving home can be a very costly experience. Our vision was to create a modern estate agency which provides a fabulous service whilst saving you money and so Holters was born.