Costs to consider when moving house and how to manage them

Written by
August 5, 2019

According to, the estimated average cost of moving house in 2019 is £8,885.66, using the average property price of £226,071 as of January 2019 (UK House Price Index).

Other sources have put the figure at more than £10,000 with Which? putting the cost at more than £12,000. The fees can fluctuate depending on the area you live in. Shockingly, Londoners can face costs of over £33,000 to move, largely because of stamp duty.

Either way, these figures are likely to shock many people considering moving. That’s why it’s so important to be sure of any property you’re purchasing, and why you need to make sure you’re prepared and have budgeted for all the additional fees besides the house price itself.

There’s also no point in putting down as large a deposit as you can to receive better mortgage rates if you haven’t considered how much you’ll need for the likes of stamp duty. Not every move will take months, so you don’t necessarily have the time to save up.

How do the costs of moving add up?

The estimated figure includes the major upfront fees. There are others that you may pay along the way, which are detailed further below.

Buying a propertyCostStamp duty£2,021Property surveyors£400Conveyancing£580Valuation fee£227Buying Total:£3,228

Selling a propertyCostEstate agents£3,391Conveyancing£950EPC£80Selling Total:£4,421

General movingCostRemoval company£1,192.67Postal redirection£43.99Moving Total:£1,236.66

Total = £8,885.66.

Stats from:

What are the major upfront costs?

Stamp Duty Land Tax

If you’re buying a property worth more than £125,000, you’ll have to pay stamp duty (unless you’re a first time buyer where you don’t pay stamp duty on properties worth up to £300,000), and this can quickly mount up to many thousands of pounds for a larger property.

Here’s a breakdown of how much it will cost:

Minimum property purchase priceMaximum property purchase priceStamp Duty rate (only applies to the part of the property price falling within each band)£0£125,0000%£125,001£250,0002%£250,001£925,0005%£925,001£1.5 million10%Over £1.5 million12%

For example, if you buy a house for £300,000, the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) you owe is calculated as follows:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £50,000 = £2,500

Total SDLT = £5,000

Property surveyor

Before you buy a property, you’ll need to get it checked by a surveyor. This is vital so you understand if there are any problems before you buy the property. Surveys range from a basic home condition survey, which will cost around £250, to a full structural survey which will cost £600 or more.

Paying for a good survey could save you money in the long run, it could also put you off a property or help you to negotiate a cheaper price

Conveyancing fees

You’ll need a solicitor or licensed conveyor to carry out all the legal work when buying and selling your home.

Legal fees are typically £850-£1,500 including VAT at 20%. At a cost of around £250-£300, they will also do local searches to check whether there are any local problems or plans in the pipeline.

At Zoom995, we can take care of the legal side of moving for your peace of mind. Head to our conveyancing page to find out more.

Valuation fee

The mortgage lender will assess the value of the property to establish how much they are prepared to lend you. The cost can range from a couple of hundred pounds, all the way up to over £1,000 depending on the properties price. Some lenders might not charge you for this, depending on the type of mortgage product you go for. A charge is not always the worst thing if you get a better mortgage rate, however you will have to budget for this as an upfront cost if that is the case..

You should be aware that the lender’s valuation is not like a full structural survey, so it may not identify all the repairs or maintenance that might be needed.

Estate agent’s fee

The estate agent’s fee is paid for only by the seller for its services. It is negotiated when the property is first put on the market.

According to Which?, on average Brits pay £5,729 in estate agency fees. At Zoom995, our customers pay less than 10% of that as we have the cheapest rates around.

We provide the service of a high street estate agent at a simple fixed fee, rather than a percentage rate of the house sale. While most estate agent fees are 1-3% of the house sale plus VAT, our fixed fees start at just £595 (including VAT) and can be paid upfront or after the house sale has gone through, saving you a huge amount at an already financially difficult time.

Take a look at our fees page for more information.


Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is:

  • built
  • sold
  • rented

You must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.

Removal company

These usually range from £300-£1,000, although you could rent a van to do it yourself more cheaply.

Postal redirection

It’s important you make sure you continue to receive your post when you move home. You won’t miss important documents and it will help prevent personal details falling into the wrong hands so you’re less likely to become a victim of fraud.

You can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from £33.99.

Here are the prices for UK postal redirection:

Duration of serviceLead applicant feeExtra person fee3 months£33.99£86 months£46.99£912 months£66.99£10

Other costs

Mortgage fees

These might include:

  • A mortgage advisor’s fee. These can vary from being completely free to £1,000, averaging at around £500, but some offer lifetime deals so you can go to them for free every time you move or need to remortgage in the future.
  • A booking fee of £99-£250
  • An arrangement fee of up to £2,000
  • A mortgage valuation fee (£150 or more)

It’s best to pay these upfront rather than adding them to your mortgage, otherwise you’ll be paying interest on them for the life of the mortgage. You’ll often get better rates for paying these upfront.

Why not use our partner Seymour Robinson Financial for your mortgage needs? Head to our financial services page to find out more.

Electronic transfer fee

This covers the lenders cost of transferring the mortgage money from the lender to the solicitor. Sometimes this is already included. The fee is usually £40-£50.

Costs as soon as you move in

  • Remember when you move you may quickly have to pay for things such as maintenance and repairs (the average being £5,750 for new homeowners), council tax (£1,200-£3,600 a year), home insurance, and broadband.
  • You may also be facing an early repayment fee on your mortgage if you’ve switched mortgage lenders. This can be up to 5%, so check your contract.
  • If you buy a leasehold property, you’ll have to pay ground rent (around £50-£100 a year) and service charges to the person who owns the freehold.
  • You may have to pay cleaning costs if the house has not been left in good shape, and storage costs if you need to move out before you can move into your new property.
  • You may need new furniture for a different house layout.
  • Do you need to budget for extra childcare or kennels for a pet while you move?
  • Will you have the time or facilities to cook or should you plan for takeaways for a day or two?

What can you do to manage moving costs?

These costs can all add up so make sure you include them in your budget. It pays to shop around – never go with the first quote for an item or service you receive. You could also save for a while before moving, especially if you’re upsizing. You may save money in the long run as you’ll be able to accept better deals by paying upfront costs, and you may even be able to save up for a bigger house deposit.

If you’re worried about the cost of moving and its impact on your finances, we’d be happy to chat with you and provide some reassurance. Head to our contact us page and get in touch to speak to one of our friendly team.

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