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What are the costs involved in buying a property?

Buying a property can come with lots of unexpected costs. Before you start your journey, make sure you’re prepared to cover these payments:

What is a property survey?

A property survey will look at the physical condition of your intended home. It’s not a legal requirement to have a survey, but it’s a good idea. If your home needs repairs after you have purchased, it may be expensive to fix. Knowing about any issues beforehand could give you basis for negotiation, or a reason not to purchase the property. 

There are several types of surveys offering different levels of property inspection.

  • Condition report – the most basic type of survey
  • HomeBuyer Report – a more detailed inspection of the inside and outside of the property
  • Building or structural survey – the most comprehensive type of survey

What is a valuation fee?

Before agreeing to offer you a mortgage, your lender will typically arrange a valuation for mortgage purposes. This is an inspection of the property that will help them determine the maximum amount of money they’re willing to lend against it. 

You may need to cover the cost of this valuation. However, some providers may have no charge. It’s important to understand that a valuation for mortgage purposes is not the same as a property survey. It's prepared for your lender only – you won’t be able to rely on it.

Keep in mind, if you’re agreeing to pay above the value of the property, your mortgage lender may not agree to lend you the amount you need.

What are conveyancing fees?

Your solicitor, or licensed conveyancer, will charge for the work they carry out in respect of the legal side of buying your property. They’ll also pass on any disbursements they incur for Land Registry searches.

Checks and searches are typically charged a set fee. These include: 

  • anti-money laundering checks
  • Land Registry searches
  • local authority searches
  • property fraud checks
  • title deeds
  • any Help to Buy supplements or schemes you have signed up for, such as bonuses from a Lifetime ISA

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

When buying a residential property in England or Northern Ireland, you might have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Buyers in Scotland might have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), while in Wales you may have to pay Land Transaction Tax (LTT)

The tax is payable if the property you're buying is over a certain price. The rate and amount of the tax you'll pay will depend on:

  • the part of the UK you’re buying in
  • whether you’re a first-time buyer
  • whether you’re buying a second or additional property

What are removal costs?

One of the final expenses associated with buying a new property is the cost of hiring a removal company. This is to transport your furniture and other belongings to your new home.

If you’re moving a considerable distance away from your current home, or have a lot of large furniture, this service may be expensive.

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