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First Time Buyers: How much does it really cost to move house?

How much does it really cost to move house?

I've got some exciting news. Mr Dollface and I have just bought our very first home, hooray! It's a brand new home, so we have been waiting for it to be built and we are so excited. Prepare to see lots of home related pics popping up on my twitter and Instagram soon, and you'll have already seen me planning the interiors on Pinterest!

Buying a home has not been an easy process and we've found that the people we've ended up dealing with tend to assume all buyers know what the process is. News flash: as first time buyers, we had no idea. Plus, our parents bought houses a long time ago and the process has changed since then.

I've decided to start an ad hoc post series all about buying your first home, what to expect and try and tell you some of the information that you might not know, and cut out all the jargon that completely threw us!

In this post, I'll be talking about some of the costs you're likely to come across (not including the ones you already know about such as the deposit). We had no idea about some of these fees and I wish we had been a little more prepared. Because we weren't made aware until the last minute, we didn't get a chance to do much price comparison or look into anything.

If we had been aware of them, we would have used's easy cost of moving calculator and been a little more prepared!

So here's a few of the extra costs you can expect to encounter!

Mortgage and solicitors fees

If you want to buy a home, you need a solicitor to make sure things are in order. They sort all the legalities, such as your contracts and make sure everything is legit and as easy as possible. They are super helpful but obviously they come with a cost so be prepared and speak to a few solicitors to get quotes before you jump on in and buy a house. Overall our solicitor's bill is around £1500!

Some mortgages come with extra fees and some don't. If you're financially savvy then do your research and take a look at the best deal for you. Some that don't have fees may have higher interest rates etc, so make sure you really do your research. If you're not financially savvy (like me), then you can always use a mortgage broker who will find the best deal for you, but this could incur another fee.

Stamp duty

You can't avoid this one. Stamp duty is essentially a tax on the property you are buying. If your property is less that £125,000 then you're in luck, you won't have to pay this. But anything over that and you'll be expected to pay up. This is usually added on to your solicitor's bill payable on completion.

Here's what you can expect to pay:

  • up to £125,000 - nothing
  • £125,001 - £250,000 - 2%
  • £250,001 - £925,000 - 5%
  • £925,001 - £1.5m - 10%
  • £1.5m _ 12%

Conveyancing fee

I had no idea what this was at all but apparently conveyancing is the preparation of all the house purchasing documents etc. Your solicitor can do this within all the other searches and bits and bobs (yes, I'm using that as the legitimate term) that they do. If you want to maybe save a few pennies, you could shop around, like we all love to do nowadays.

We chose to do this through our solicitor who built this into our overall cost, but if we had decided to look elsewhere for this,'s calculator reckons it would have cost around £355.

Survey fees

Apparently before you move into your house, you need to get it surveyed. This basically is a comprehensive check that the property is ok to live in structurally and the land is all okay so you don't move in and then your home gets swallowed into a sink hole or washes away in a land slide. 

Again, our solicitor built this into our fees, but's calculator reckons it would have cost £325!

Removal costs

We have to move out of our rented house this week, even though our new home isn't quite ready but don't worry, Mummy Dollface is taking us in for a couple of weeks. All fine and dandy, I thought. Until I realised I've got a whole lot of stuff that needs somewhere to live, and it definitely won't fit in my mum's garage!


So now, we are having to move all our stuff into storage for a while which is fine because we managed to get a great deal and it wasn't until yesterday that I looked at all the boxes and thought
"How the hell am I getting all of this to the storage unit?!"

I drive a teeny tiny (but very cute) Vauxhall Adam, and hubby drives an Astra. These two vehicles are not really built to move the entire contents of a 3 bedroom house. Rookie error: cue panic!

We're currently looking at borrowing a friends' van, bribing some pals with a few crates of beer and making a million trips to move things. But as soon as we have a moving date I'm going to look at actually hiring a proper removal van or even some people to help.'s calculator offers a price comparison service, so I'm going to be getting some quotes in and and trying to make the moving in process a little smoother than the moving out process! From the initial calculator, they reckon removal costs will be around £485, but I think this might include packing up etc so it might be cheaper for us since we've already done that! I'll keep you posted!

There's a few of the things I wish we had known about or thought of sooner during the home buying process as it would have made things a little less stressful and maybe even financially better! Were you surprised by any extra costs when you bought your first home? Or maybe you're a first time buyer who didn't know about some of these either! Let me know in the comments.

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  1. First I have to congratulate you for getting a new home, how exciting and I look forward to see more photos. I am loving the idea of a post series like this perfect for people that are first time buyers. My mum bought a house without solicitor and we ended up with paying overly price and had no clue that house needed a lot of restoration and it was a leak in the ceiling. I think this post can save a lot of people from the same experience xx

  2. There's so much to think about when buying a house. Usually more than you realise.

  3. Congrats on your new home. I did a post for Reallymoving too and that’s how I came across yours. I’m not quite at the moving in stage yet but I am so excited! Enjoy your new home! Lovely blog btw!

    Christie xo

  4. Many congrats on your new home! I bought mine about 4 years ago and was completely in the dark about what it entailed so this will be so useful for other first time buyers.

  5. I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news. Thank you very much for such an interesting post. Keep working, great job! In my free time, I like play game: imgtaram. What about you?

  6. I appreciate your work on the blog. This is extremely helpful info!
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