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Great time to buy a house, don't get stung by hidden costs

Patrick Christys
Apr 12, 2019


It's a good time to get on the property ladder as prices stall and even drop given the current Brexit uncertainty.

But what a lot of new buyers don't factor in, is the additional costs of moving above and beyond the simple asking price of the property itself.

Home buyers can expect to spend almost £4,000 on top of the cost of their new property for legal fees, surveying costs and other removal bills, according to a new survey conducted by online lender MYJAR.

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The price of the average home is now £230,776, but additional costs mean home buyers have to spend far more. 

For those who have purchased a home in the last 10 years, the average bill for unexpected costs is £3,823.88.

But this still seems to shock new buyers, as more than 40% of those surveyed (in a survey of more than 2,000 people) said the cost exceeded their expectations.

One third of respondents said they had to borrow money to cover the unforeseen costs.

Tom Newbould, a spokesperson for online lender MYJAR, said: “The study shows just how much goes into moving house, from the task of cleaning the current home, to surveying the new house.

“Every pound adds up, resulting in what is clearly an unanticipated extra amount for homeowners to pay, showing perhaps a lack of knowledge around the true cost of moving.

“Not every buyer will find this extra cost easy to fund so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you’re not left in a difficult position money-wise. It can already be such a hectic time.”

The average amount borrowed among those polled was £948.74, while more than 20% needed to borrow more than £2,000 in order to afford the extra costs.

Over half of respondents said they turned to friends and family for the unexpected charges, while one third relied on their credit card. A further 27% said they took out a bank loan to manage the extra costs. 

The survey also found that the average respondent spent £331.28 decorating their previous home before moving. One in 10 spend over £1,000 and one in five spend over £2,000.

Legal fees cost £1,614.27 on average, according to the survey. This is almost half of the total price of moving house.

New furniture costs £991.58 on average. And a further 46% of those polled said they spent over £1,000 on furnishings. 

Further costs include a mortgage valuation at an average of £209.44. And an energy performance certificate costs £25.09 on average. 

The survey found that people living in the North West of England faced the most difficulties with unexpected moving costs, with 47% of homeowners spending more than expected. 

While 38% of Londoners surveyed said they were "pleasantly surprised" by the cheap cost of moving. 

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