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  1. Blog
  2. How much does it cost to move house - the true costs of moving home
Moving House Tips and Tricks
05 March 2019

How much does it cost to move house - the true costs of moving home

GetAgent Team
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Table of contents

  1. 1. Average cost to move house
  2. 2. Typical moving costs
  3. 3. Legal fees
  4. 4. Removal costs
  5. 5. The little extras
  6. 6. Additional costs to pay to move house when you're buying
  7. 7. Stamp Duty
  8. 8. House Survey costs
  9. 9. Additional costs to pay to move house when you're selling
  10. 10. Estate agent fees
  11. 11. Moving costs summary

Updated 15th February 2022

Selling your home to buy a small cottage by the sea may seem like a dream, but with the costs of moving house rising, it's possible that the little cottage may stay a dream for longer than you would like.

Moving home has a variety of costs attached and these can really add up. So what are the real costs of moving house when you’re buying or selling? Find out more in this guide.

Moving home can be expensive! From estate agent fees, EPC costs, additional deposit for the new property, survey costs, stamp duty, legal fees, removal costs, gas safety checks, domestic disconnections (and reconnections!) and even a change of locks – All of these aspects do not come cheaply!

Average cost to move house

The average cost of moving house largely depends on several factors. Based on the average house price in the UK (£270,027 in 2021) and our research, you could expect to pay the following amount to move home:

  • First time buyers: £23,602.025
  • Second home buyers: £26,814.25

This price includes essential costs such as:

  • A deposit for the home (around £20,000)
  • Your conveyancing fees
  • Mortgage valuation
  • Removal costs
  • Stamp Duty.

Specific costs also largely depend on the distance you are moving, the size of the home, its location (for example, London moves are generally more expensive), and if this is your first property purchase or second.

When it comes to other additional costs, you’ll need to consider those associated with using financial advisors, ordering additional property surveys, or storage fees. These could potentially another £2,000 to your total bill, if not more.

Typical moving costs

These are the costs you'll usually end up paying whether you're buying or selling:

Legal fees are incurred when you're buying and selling property. You can calculate legal costs by looking at 0.5% of the property price you are purchasing. Depending on the solicitors who carry this out, you can expect to pay £500-£2000 for conveyancing. Prices will differ depending on the location, the type of property (freehold/leasehold), and the scope of the work. For instance, if you are looking for conveyancing for a new build property outside of London, you will be looking at lower fees than for a leasehold property in London with the need for a lease extension.

Remember to obtain a full quote upfront from your solicitor, with details on searches and any extra work that needs to be carried out (like a lease extension). Request that they state the total cost, and notify them if any involuntary extensions are applied for. This will protect you against unexpected legal fees if further work needs to be completed.

Removal costs

Removal costs vary. They depend on where you live, the property you live in, how many bedrooms you have, and if you really want to take that grand piano with you! It also depends on how far away you’re moving from your original address. Be sure to get a fixed quote which includes insurance of your items.

Costs for the actual move can vary hugely. If you’re not moving far, you may choose to hire a van for under £100 per day and do it yourself.

  • If you’re travelling long-distance and would like all your belongings packed up for you, then you can expect to pay around £2,000 - £4,000, depending on the size of your house.

  • If you are happy to box up your belongings yourself and are moving relatively nearby (under 30 miles), then you could be looking at £350–£500, again depending on how much furniture you have, and how many boxes you’re taking.

The little extras

After you move into your new home, you can expect some little extra costs to crop up. These could be anything from fixing broken pipes to replacing light bulbs and lamps. You might need to pay to disconnect Wi-Fi or phone lines and reconnect them at your new property (always book these in advance — the last thing you need is to wait weeks for an engineer).

A good way to calculate how much you’ll need to save for moving is, add 0.5% of the property price for legal fees to your projected Stamp Duty, and add 0.5% of the property price for the extras we mentioned above.

Additional costs to pay to move house when you're buying

If you're moving house and buying then you'll need to pay these additional costs:

Stamp Duty

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland.

The tax is different if the property is in Scotland or Wales, and you can find the relevant information linked.

You’ll pay Stamp Duty when you:

Stamp Duty can be one of the highest costs when moving home, as it must be a separate cash amount from your deposit. Based on the price of the house, you’ll owe a percentage in Stamp Duty, and you must base what you offer on how much you have available to spend on this tax.

If you are a first-time buyer, or the property is under £125,000, you won’t pay Stamp Duty. The thresholds for the tax change depend on the price of the property you’re buying, and you can use HMRC’s calculator to work out how much you’ll owe.

As a result of Stamp Duty changing in 2014, you can now benefit from reduced Stamp Duty costs by the percentage owed being divided up by groups.

The Gov.uk website breaks this down nicely:

Although this saves a sizeable cost from the days of yore, it is likely that Stamp Duty will still be your biggest cost when moving home. Take time to identify how much you can offer based on how much you have to spend on Stamp Duty. It's easy to get carried away when putting an offer in on a house, and although it doesn’t matter as much now if you slip into the next bracket, it will still up your costs!

House Survey costs

Surveys are made to value the property, and they must be provided to obtain a mortgage. Usually, the mortgage provider will appoint someone to carry them out, and they can cost from £250 upwards. Even if you are a cash buyer, you may still want a survey done to ensure that there are no issues with the property and that you haven’t paid too much more than the house is worth.

Additionally to a mortgage survey, you may want to get your own report which can be up to £2000. There are three options here:

  • Condition Report – For new properties
  • Homebuyers Survey – For surface level issues
  • Structural Survey – Comprehensive survey which details structural issues and damp problems. OIf there are problems with the property, a structural survey will recoup its own cost in the depreciation of the sale price.

Additional costs to pay to move house when you're selling

If you're moving house and selling your own property, then you'll need to pay these additional costs:

Estate agent fees

You usually won’t incur estate agent fees when buying, but if you contract with an estate agent to sell your home, there will be a charge for their services. Unlike when you purchased your first home – you now have an additional cost: Estate Agent fees. The average agency fee is 1.3% of the sale value for the UK, but fees can range up to 3.5%. These fees do not include VAT so ensure you add this on. Comparing fees and performance early on will allow you to save money upfront while getting the best performing agent.

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On top of this, you'll need to pay for an EPC certificate which is usually an additional £50.00. You will also need to pay conveyancing costs when you finally sell your property.

Does my house already have an EPC?

EPCs are valid for 10 years, and you can use the one purchased by the previous owner.
So, you may have an EPC and not know it!

Moving costs summary

ItemAverage moving cost
Stamp dutyVaries
House survey costs£250-£2000
Estate agent fees (for seller)1.3%
EPC (Selling)£50
Legal Fees£300-£600
Removal costs£100-£4000
Odd Jobs0.5%

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