Probably the largest investment you can make is buying your home. Below are some of the ‘cost factors’ that you need to be aware of when looking to buy a property. Also handy links to other information / web sites we feel may be useful to you.
Initial purchase costs
Most lenders now expect you to have a large sum to put down as a deposit, which you will need to have first plus other mortgage costs. Please contact your mortgage advisor to find out how much deposit is required and what other mortgage costs may be involved.
Lender's arrangement fees
These vary by lender, but may include:
Lender's insurance premium
If you have a high percentage loan you may need to pay a one-off fee called a 'higher lending charge'. This protects the lender if you can't repay your mortgage. It depends on how much you borrow and how much deposit you put down. The premium can be high; ask your lender or mortgage adviser. You can usually add it to the mortgage if it doesn't take you above the lender's maximum loan for the property value, but this will increase your interest charges.
If the purchase price is over £125,000 you pay Stamp Duty Land Tax of between one and four per cent of the property value. However, if you are a first-time buyer or the property's in a designated 'disadvantaged' area, you may not have to pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax at all. With some new builds the developer will pay your Stamp Duty Land Tax for you.
Solicitor's or conveyancer's fees
Costs can vary due to property value and area, so check these first with the solicitor of your choice. The costs include:
Land Registry fees calculator
You can also use the Land Registry fees online calculator below:
Removal and moving in expenses
These vary according to:
It's best to get several quotes, and always check that your remover's properly insured.
Monthly Costs after Purchase
Make sure you budget for your monthly mortgage repayments - and also take into account what effect a future change of interest rates would have.
If you have an 'interest only' mortgage, you'll usually also need to budget for monthly payments into an investment to pay off the loan at the end of the term.
Life insurance/mortgage protection cover
You might need to take out a life assurance policy such as 'term insurance' or a 'mortgage protection policy'. The monthly payments can be relatively low and the insurance pays off what you owe if you die before you've finished repaying the loan. Ask your mortgage adviser for more details. (If you have a mortgage endowment policy, this includes life cover.)
You can also take out insurance that pays your monthly repayments if you're ill or out of work - but this can be expensive.
Buildings and contents insurance
Once you exchange contracts for your property you're responsible for insuring it. Your lender can insist that you have buildings insurance - but they can't make you buy their own. But in some cases, lenders insist that you take out their insurance on completion.
Council Tax, utility and other regular bills
Don't forget that when you move, your monthly bills might go up.
Will you have enough to meet your new monthly outgoings?
You can use the Money Advice Service's budget calculator to work out whether you'll have enough to meet your monthly payments. They also offer useful further tips on buying a home. The Money Advice Service is free to use and was set up by the government. It is independent and does not sell anything for itself, or anyone else.