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Understanding the hidden costs of moving home

Thinking about downsizing, relocating or living somewhere new? It’s important to do your homework before you make the move. You need to think about your finances, as you don’t want to overstretch your budget, or use up your savings because you forgot to factor in some of the fees you’ll have to pay along the way.


You might think paying for a mortgage is straightforward, but if you’ve never had one or haven’t taken one out in a long time, you need to consider the following fees:

  • Arrangement fee (£0 - £2,500)
  • Booking fee (£0 - £200)
  • Valuation fee (£50 - £1,500)
  • CHAPS fee (£25 - £50)
  • Mortgage broker fee (£0 - £500)
  • Mortgage account fee (£100 - £300)

Some of these fees and charges have to be paid upfront, others can be added to your mortgage, but this means you’ll have to pay interest on them.

Soon-to-be retirees should note that you may struggle to get a mortgage with certain lenders. Some have maximum age limits, but there are lenders who specialise in mortgages for the over fifties and sixties. If you’re already retired, it’ll be easier to prove to lenders that you’ll be able to afford your mortgage repayments every month.


You won’t be able to get a mortgage without buildings insurance, and you’ll want to make sure your possessions are protected from the get-go by having contents insurance, too. If something breaks as you move into your new home, it’ll take the shine off the day if you’re not covered. You also want to make sure you’re protected from burglaries, just in case.

If you’re a cash buyer, getting buildings and contents insurance is a must-have, too, or you risk losing everything if there was a fire, flood or natural disaster.

Click here to find out more about the home insurance we offer >

Stamp duty

If you’re going to be paying £125,001 or more on your new home, you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty. To find out how much, click here to use HMRC’s stamp duty calculator >

Surveyor fees

How much you’ll have to pay depends on how in-depth you want your survey to be. A basic survey costs around £250, whereas a full structural survey costs from £600. Buying a property without a survey increases your chances of making an expensive mistake, as you won’t know if the property has any issues that need addressing.

Legal fees

Whether you’re getting a mortgage or not, you’ll need a solicitor or licensed conveyor to complete all the paperwork and make sure the sale goes ahead. Their fees will be in the region of £500-£1,500, but you’ll also have to pay for local searches and to register that you’re the new homeowner with the Land Registry.

Removal fees

Unless you’re planning on moving all of your furniture and belongings yourself, you’ll have to pay for a removal company to do it for you. The average cost of moving belongings from a 2-bedroomed home is £600, and £800 for a 3-bedroomed property. And if you want the removal company to pack for you, you’ll have to pay around an extra £250 - £350. 

Storage fees

If you’re downsizing, you might not have room for all your belongings in your new home, so you’ll have to consider selling, gifting or recycling some items. If you can’t bear to part with them, you may want to rent a storage unit. They vary in price depending on your location, the size of the unit you want to rent and the length of time you’ll need it.

So, now you know what to budget for in your big move, your dreams can become a reality. Here’s to your next adventure.