The Real Cost of Buying a Home

When buying a house, there are more costs to consider than just the listed price of the property.

When you are looking to buy, you will have a budget in mind of how much you want to pay, but you should also take into account other added costs. There are fees and charges involved in buying a house which many people overlook. While relatively small in comparison to the cost of the house itself, when totalled up, they can have a big effect on your budget.


Before you secure your mortgage, you will need to have a deposit ready. This is typically 5%-20% of the total value of the property. The higher deposit you can afford, the better, as this can result in lower mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage Fees

Mortgages are determined by your salary, deposit size and credit history, but once you have been given a rate, there are other fees on top. Mortgage arrangement fees can be paid upfront or as part of your mortgage, but there are also valuation and broker fees to think about.

Stamp Duty

If your home costs more than £125,000, you will need to pay stamp duty. If the value of your house is below £125,000 however, you will pay nothing. Also if the property is a buy to let investment or a second home, different rules apply. The rate of stamp duty is as follows:

Up to £125,000


The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)


The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)


The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)


The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)



You can work out how much stamp duty you need to pay using this calculator on the government website.

Valuation and Surveying

You mortgage provider can create a mortgage valuation report. This is for buyers to check the condition and value of the property. There are three options for house buyers to choose from, varying in cost and depth. These are:

Mortgage Valuation –This report assesses whether the property is in line with current market values. This is required by all lenders.

Homebuyer’s Report – A more detailed version of a Mortgage Valuation. In this report, visible parts of the home are assessed and recommendations are given on improvements as well as any causes for concern.

Buildings Survey – The most detailed survey. Usually appropriate for older buildings or homes which have had (or will need) alterations. The surveyor checks for damp, assesses the roof and structure, and looks for problems such as rotting or foundation issues. They will also provide you with estimates for any maintenance work needed.


Solicitors aid you in the legal process of house buying. This includes checking local plans and any issues which may prevent you from buying. With solicitors there are a number of smaller fees which may be applied. This calculator can help you to work out the legal fees you could end up paying.

Preparation and Research

These costs are don’t take into account expenses such as removals, insurance and costs for household items. When totalling up all the costs of buying a house, it can seem daunting or even disheartening, but by having a clearer picture of costs, you can prepare yourself and make sure you have enough saved. Research thoroughly and shop around for the best providers and your move will be a much smoother and stress-free process.

If you would like advice on buying a house or purchasing a mortgage, we can help. Please get in touch to discuss your options.