My First Property

Costs Of Buying A House

As a first-time buyer, you will be all too aware of one of the costs: saving for a deposit in order to get your first home. And of course you'll also be aware that once you've got that and bought a house you'll need a mortgage loan from a bank or building society which you'll pay back, usually over 25 years, in order to own the house.

But what other costs are there typically involved with buying a house? Here we have listed some of the things that you'll need to take into account.

Solicitor's fees: When you buy a house you will appoint a solicitor to sort out all the legal process for you, conduct the various searches that need to occur, liaise with the vendor's solicitor and sort out all the details around completion and exchange of contracts etc etc. So you'll need the money to pay their fees.

Renovation costs: Regardless of how new or old the home is, it is important to get it inspected before moving in. Often people will negotiate with the seller to have the cost of the inspection worked in to the deal, but be sure you are allowed to use the inspector of your choosing. The initial inspection can unveil damages to the home that may have not been obvious to you, such as leaks in the roof, cracks in the foundation, electrical issues, and more. When thinking about purchasing a home, put aside some money that is dedicated to these renovation costs.

Fees around the mortgage: In addition to the mortgage loan itself which of course you'll have to pay back monthly over a period of time, there may be a fee associated with getting the mortgage: some banks charge this mortgage arrangement fee, so take account of it. There may also be a separate fee for the mortgage valuation that they carry out to establish that the property is worth the amount they are lending.

If you get a mortgage direct, then you won't need to worry about a mortgage broker's fee: if you do use one, then that's another expense. Other expenses will include the survey (cost depends on which type you get) and there may also be local authority search fees and land registry fees to consider. You will of course need to take out buildings insurance, and costs there vary considerably.

Stamp duty will also need to be paid in many cases: see our article on stamp duty for information on the rates and how they vary based on price, and also the exemptions for first-time buyers.

If you are buying a flat then you'll probably have a service charge and possibly other charges to pay assuming you are purchasing a leasehold property.

Summary: there are lots of costs associated with buying a house in addition to the two 'big' ones of the deposit and then raising a mortgage (at least you have usually 25 years to pay back the latter!)

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Buying a Bungalow
  2. What Is A Home Report?
  3. How to Get on the Housing Register
  4. Key Questions to ask at a property viewing
  5. Buying a new build


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