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Cost of moving house

Don’t be surprised by the cost of moving home – plan it all out in advance so you know what to expect.

Cost of moving house

When most people consider the cost of moving home, they’re usually thinking of the one big expense – the property itself. But often it’s the remaining costs people underestimate, or even completely forget about.

If you’re saving to move into your first home, or just gearing yourself up for your next big home move – take a look at our top tips so there are no big surprises.

Average Costs of moving house

The average costs of moving house in 2018 was £9,812 - this was 6% higher than in 2017. These costs will vary by area and are dependent on a lot of different factors such the solicitor you hire and the price of your house. You'll also find yourself paying less if you're a first time buyer, you're only buying or only selling a house. 

Stamp Duty 

Stamp Duty is likely to be the biggest single fee when you’re buying a house. It’s a government tax that you have to pay whenever you transfer ownership of a property. The tax is calculated in brackets: 
Purchase price bands (£) Percentage rate (%)
Up to 125,000 0%
125,001 to 250,000 2%
250,001 to 925,000 5%
925,001 to 1,500,000 10%
Above 1,500,000 12%

First time buyers don’t pay anything for the first £300,000 on properties that are worth less than £500,000. Find out how much stamp duty you need to pay with our online calculator

If you’re buying a second property then you’ll have to pay an additional 3% on top of the brackets in the table above. You can see the full breakdown of how Stamp Duty works on our complete guide to Stamp Duty


You deposit will vary depending on the cost of the property and what percentage or that price you can afford. Generally, you need at least 5% to be able to purchase a house, this means that you would need £12,500 if you were buying a house worth £250,000. The higher your deposit is, the less you will need to borrow for you mortgage. 

Mortgage Fees

There are few different costs that pop up when you’re handling your mortgage, the three main costs are: 

  • Booking Fee – normally around £100 to £300
  • Arrangement Fee – This can be anywhere up to £2000
  • Mortgage Valuation Fee – This varies depending on the size of the property but is normally between £150 to £800. 

It’s worth noting that the mortgage valuation is different from a structural survey or homebuyer report so it won’t give you a good idea of the property’s condition.

Home Survey Costs

A home survey is used to get an idea of the condition of the property and whether any repairs or maintenance is required for the property. There are few different kinds of surveys but the most common are the Homebuyer Report and the Structural/Building Survey

  • Home Buyer reports are less thorough and on average costs start at around £300
  • Structural/ Building Surveys are much more detailed and are generally more expensive with costs ranging from £500-£1300. 

It’s definitely worth getting a home survey done on the property you plan to purchase, otherwise you may end up paying more than the survey would have cost on unexpected repairs and maintenance.   

Legal Fees for buying a house

There are a number of different costs that you’ll have to pay when dealing with a solicitor, but these tend to break down into two categories; Legal fees and Disbursements. 

Legal fees will vary based on the complexity of the case and the value of the property, on average the costs can be broken down like this: 

Property price band  Freehold  Leasehold 
Up to £125,000 £414 £740
Up to £250,000 £431 £753
Up to £375,000 £457 £786
Up to £500,000 £493 £812
Up to £750,000 £664 £917
Up to £1,000,000 £939 £1,061
Up to £1,250,000 £1,426 £1,554
Up to £1,500,000 £1,390 £1,502
Overall £446 £760

Disbursements are made up mainly of paperwork which requires a small charge to be completed. The main disbursements you have to pay are these: 

  • Bankruptcy search (£2-£4 per person taking out the mortgage)
  • Land Registry office copies: (£4-£8) 
  • Electronic ID verification (£2-£18 per person taking out the mortgage)  
  • Local authority searches (£100-£200)
  • Water and drainage search (£30-£40 plus VAT)
  • Environmental search (£30-£35 plus VAT)
  • Telegraphic transfer fee (£25-£45 plus VAT)
  • Mortgage handling fee (£60-£80)
  • HMLR final search (£3-£7)
  • Land Registry Charge (£20-£910)

You can see a complete break down of solicitors fees for buying a house with our complete guide and you can compare quotes for up to 4 conveyancers by using our quote form


One of the last major costs you’ll likely have to pay is for house removals. This generally varies from £250 to £650 and tends to be figured out by how much they’re moving, how far they’re moving it and how long they’re busy for. 

We have a full breakdown of the costs for removals on our guide. You should always compare removals firms to make sure you get the best price

The costs of buying a house

For a buying a house valued at £250,000 you can expect to pay around £3,190 in basic fees, this is excluding removals which will vary depending on how much you're taking with you. The fees are split up like this: 
Conveyancing £360
Survey (Homebuyer report) £330
Stamp Duty Land Tax £2,500
Total: £3,190

These costs were calculated using the basic fees charged by our partners on reallymoving so there may be additional costs if you need extra conveyancing searches or a more in-depth building survey

The costs of selling a house

For selling a house valued at £250,000 it costs around £5,380 in basic fees excluding removals. With an estate agent's fee of 1.5% the costs are split up like this: 
Conveyancing £360
Energy Performance Certificate £60
Estate Agent's Fee £4,500
Total: £5,380

One of the main things people don’t seem to question is the estate agent’s fee for selling the property. This is one of the main costs in the process and you can haggle. Don’t assume the fee is fixed!

Alternatively, you could pay an upfront fee with an online estate agent, rather than going with a high street agent, but be aware that often you have to do a lot of the work yourself. This includes loading up information online, viewings etc.

An energy performance certificate may or may not be required, depending on how long you have left on the current one as they last 10 years. 

The costs people usually forget

Everyone works out the cost of the house, and maybe they’ve thought about conveyancing costs and removals. But what about the disbursements that come with your conveyancing? Will you require any extra searches?

Some of the often forgotten about costs are: 

  • Maintenance and Repairs – Your survey should have highlighted any issues that may have already existed but small issues always pop up here and there. 
  • Home Insurance – Your mortgage provider will normally require you to get buildings insurance to make sure you’re covered in case of any unexpected damage to the property such as subsidence or fire. 
  • Council Tax – This will depend on where your property is and how much it is worth.
  • General running costs – Utilities such as gas, electric and water are going to be your main costs after the mortgage repayments so it’s good to plan ahead for these. 
  • Leasehold Costs – If you don’t own the freehold on your property then you’re going to have to pay ground rent on your property. 

The cost of moving as a first time buyer

As a first time buyer, the whole process can feel a bit overwhelming, and prices can be unexpected. But don’t despair! As a first time buyer you’re likely to get a Stamp Duty break, if your property is under £300,000. Even if it’s over, but still under £500,000 you’ll get a discount on your Stamp Duty. That’s one less thing to worry about.

First time buyers usually don’t use a removals team and just call in friends and family to help transport items.

How to work out your moving costs

It’s easy to work out your moving costs using our Moving Cost Calculator – you put in the value of your property and the distance you’re moving, and we’ll work out the rest. Also, our calculator uses our prices on reallymoving so they already take into account the cheaper prices we can find by using comparisons. It’s great because there are no nasty surprises – you can work out all your costs in advance.

The additional costs

There are some costs that aren’t completely necessary but might make life easier. For example, you may want a professional cleaner to clean your previous property before you leave (especially if you were renting and want your deposit back). You might also want your new property cleaned before you arrive.

On the day, many people get a locksmith out to change the locks on their new property to ensure they feel safe. You may also want another pair of keys cut.

You will have had a valuation from your removals team, who will have visited and assessed how much stuff you have, how long it will take to move and give you an approximate cost. However, there can be cases where you end up paying more for removals. For example, if there is a hold up with the exchange, you may be left waiting for keys. Or you may be in a chain, waiting for the people in your new property to leave. You will be charged for the removals team’s time, so try and limit opportunities for this. Also, making sure you have fully packed and are ready to go when the team arrives will stop unexpected charges.

If you have items that need to be disassembled or reassembled, mention them early on, as there may be an extra fee for this.

How to make sure you don’t pay more than you should

It seems obvious but compare everything! Compare the mortgage deals available, check with different lenders. Compare your surveyors, conveyancing solicitors and removals.

Ensure you get a home valuation from a removals team so they can give you a detailed and accurate quote. If you require extra packing services, let them know in advance.

Moving home doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive process – just give yourself lots of time to book the services you need and compare services to make sure you get the best deal possible.

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