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There’s no doubt about it – moving home isn’t cheap. Budgeting correctly is vital and there are lots of hidden costs along the way that can catch you by surprise if you’re not careful. Here are all the initial costs laid out, so that you don’t overspend.

Mortgage deposit

This is the one you need to save up for. A mortgage lender will generally want a deposit worth 5% to 20% of the property’s value. The bigger the deposit that you’re able to lay down, the more options you’re likely to have. There are now many saving schemes to help people get these deposits – whilst it is a lot of money to save up, there are many options available. A mortgage calculator can help lay out all the costs and answer the question ‘how much home can I afford?’. There are many tool for this online.

Valuation fee

Some mortgage lenders may want to assess the value of the property themselves to determine how much they’re willing to lend you. This ‘valuation fee’ can vary in cost, sometimes costing up to 1.5K. Not all lenders will charge this.


Surveyors are worth paying for before you buy a property to check that there aren’t hidden repairs needed that could cost you later down the line. Their fees generally run somewhere in the hundreds. If you’re buying to rent or renovate a survey will be extra useful for helping you budget later costs. Some sellers may run their own surveys to help convince buyers that their property is sound.

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Estate agents

Agents are used to help sell your previous home and find your new one. You don’t have to use an agent, but they may be useful for opening you up to a bigger market, both when buying and selling. Agents will generally only charge a fee to the seller. This can be anywhere between 1% and 3% of the sale price and can be negotiated. Avoid agents that also charge a buying fee and always look into their track record, including reviews and testimonials.


There’s a lot of legal work required when buying a property involving the change of ownership. A solicitor or licensed conveyor will need to be hired for this job, which again could cost you up to 1.5K depending on the scenario. You can shop around for lawyers and haggle down prices in most cases.

Removals and cleaners

These are optional, but could save you a lot of hassle on moving day. Removals companies help move your furniture from your old home to your new home fast and efficiently. Prices can vary wildly depending on how far you’re moving and how much stuff you have to move. Cleaners are useful for giving the house a spring clean after all the belongings have been moved out, so that it is fresh and presentable for whoever moves in. Cleaning fees will also vary depending on the state of the building – if you need to remove stains in carpets or scrub marks out of floors you may end up paying more.