Moving house is an expensive business. Although it’s exciting to buy your first home, or to be moving up the property ladder, there are a lot of expenses that come with changing your abode. And it seems these have increased even further in the past year.
Research by Lloyds Bank recently revealed that the average cost of moving home in the UK has now reached £12,110, a £486-increase on 2017.
Of course, in some places it’s more expensive than others. It will probably come as little surprise that the most expensive place to move is in London. In the capital, it costs an average of £33,741 when you sell up and move on.
The lowest average moving cost can be found in Northern Ireland, where you’ll need to splash out £6,156.
But wherever you’re moving from or to, it’s an expensive business. That means it’s only natural that you’d want to find ways of reducing the amount you’re paying out on top of the expense of buying a house of course.
Consumer rights organisation Which? recently offered some advice on how home movers can reduce their costs when they’re heading to pastures new.
The biggest cost you’ll face is on stamp duty, which you may be able to avoid by making an offer that’s below the threshold, but you can’t rely on this being accepted, so it’s best to plan to pay the tax and save enough extra money to cover it.
There are, however, other places where you can make savings. The next most significant cost comes from estate agency fees. The advice here is to shop around.
Don’t just compare the level of commission you’ll pay though. Which? recommends looking at the level of service you’ll get too. Choosing a local agent will usually mean you get more for your money, while it’s also a good idea to look at any reviews they’ve received in the past.
The recommendation for choosing conveyancing solicitors in Epsom, or elsewhere, is similar. Checking their reputation is advisable, and once again going for a firm that’s local to your area is likely to be beneficial. For instance, they are likely to have a good working relationship with local estate agents and that could make the purchasing process go more smoothly.
Another expense that you need to factor in is a home survey. Depending on the kind of property you’re buying, you may not need to spend a lot on a very thorough survey. If the home you’re looking at is a new-build or relatively new and in good condition, a low-cost condition report could be enough.
However, it’s well worth spending out on a more comprehensive survey if you are considering buying an older or higher-risk property. It could give you some leverage in your negotiations of the purchase price, or it could help you avoid buying a property that is going to need a considerable amount of money spent on it.
This could be especially important as a first-time buyer, given that this will be the first time you’ve gone through this process. Earlier this year, first-time buyer numbers overtook homemover numbers for the first time in more than 20 years.
Making sure you’re prepared and understand what to expect from a property purchase is therefore advisable to help you make the right decisions about where you can cut costs, and where spending less will prove to be a false economy.