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Esther Shaw

Cutting the cost of moving home


As anyone buying a new house will testify, the expense of moving can soon mount up. Follow these top tips to save your pennies.

Moving boxes

The average cost of moving home has increased by nearly 60% over the last decade to reach nearly £12,000.

According to the Post office and the Centre of Economics and Business Research, the average cost of having your home surveyed is £607, while removals is £1,034.

On top of this, you will also have to fork out for estate agency fees, conveyancing costs and stamp duty.

Extra costs add up

"Moving house can be both expensive and stressful,” says Kate Rose, head of household services at

"Most people remember to take into account the larger fees such as surveys and stamp duty, but are often surprised at how quickly the other extra costs add up.

"By the time you factor in a removal company, minor repairs to the old house – not to mention new furniture for the new house – the costs can quickly run into the thousands."

But it’s not all bad news, as there are plenty of simple steps you can take to ensure your house move doesn’t break the bank.

Get a good deal on your mortgage

 little house and piggy bank

First off, make sure you shop around to get the best deal possible.

When choosing a mortgage, it’s essential that you consider the total cost – and that means, adding up the rate and fees for it.

It can be tougher to get a mortgage with new rules, and affordability is a big factor, so make sure you consider different mortgage options before making a decision.

Keep down conveyancing costs

When you move house, you will have to instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, but costs will vary, so get a selection of quotes for comparison.

This cost will cover the conveyancing, as well as "disbursements", such as local authority searches and Land Registry fees – plus 20% VAT.

But don’t automatically opt for the cheapest quote, as you need to make sure you’re getting the right service for your needs.

Choose the right survey

 renovation plans and tools

Once your offer is accepted, it’s vital to get a survey - there are essentially three types to choose from.

The mortgage valuation survey is carried out for the lender to ensure the property is worth the purchase price. It will cost around £300 and won’t pick up on any structural defects and faults.

It’s essential to get a private survey as well, where you can choose either a homebuyer survey or a full structural survey.

The homebuyer survey will pick up concerns such as damp and subsidence - it will usually cost around £500.

The full structural survey can cost around £1,000 and is generally only required on large properties that need renovation.

If the survey does throw up any significant issues, you can then use these problems to try and negotiate a little more off the asking price.

Reduce removal costs

If you’re set on using professional removal men, shop around to get the best price you can.

Also, check exactly what you’re getting for your fee, such as whether the service includes packing, as well as insurance for any breakages.

Equally, one of the simplest ways to make save money is by hiring a van and doing it yourself – or by enlisting the help of family or friends.

Get rid of things you no longer need before the big move, it’ll save you time and money.

Review your utility bills

Moving house is a perfect opportunity to compare utility providers and see if you can find a better, more cost-effective deal for your new home.

Don’t forget to take any cancellation fees into account when working out the savings you get with a different deal.


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