The 5 Minute Guide to moving house without breaking the bank

The Momentum UK Team 6 February 2014

Moving house can be a stressful time, as well as a costly one. Finding the right home and getting the best deal on your rent or mortgage is time consuming enough, so it can be easy to forget about the costs associated with the actual process of moving. Here’s our 5 Minute Guide to saving money on your move.

Remember the hidden costs

Whether you’re buying or renting, there will be plenty of fees and costs which you will need to factor into your moving budget, to avoid a nasty shock later. If you’re buying, these could include:

  • Mortgage set-up fees: usually £99-£250
  • Mortgage arrangement fee: £0-£2,000 - this can sometimes be added on to your mortgage, but if you decide to do this you’ll need to pay interest on it
  • Valuation fee: usually £150-£1,500 depending on the value of the property - with some mortgage deals the lender will pay this for you
  • Mortgage account fee: usually £100-£300 - this is separate to the arrangement fee
  • Legal fees: typically around £500-£750, paid to a solicitor. Remember to budget for VAT on top the amount quoted to you
  • Stamp duty: you will need to pay some level of stamp duty if the property is worth £125,000 or more, starting at 1%. Use our stamp duty calculator to work out how much you’ll need to budget for
  • Surveys: the type of survey you need will depend on the age and type of property you’re buying. The simplest start at around £250, but for older properties you could be looking at over £600
  • Estate agent fees: usually around 1-3% of the sale price, plus VAT

If you’re renting there will be fewer costs to pay, but you will have to pay a deposit to your new landlord - usually a month’s rent - and if you’ve gone through a letting agent you will have to pay them a fee.

The move

When it comes to moving day, it can be easy to end up paying more than you need to for the sake of convenience. Here are some tips could potentially save you money on your move:

  • Buy second hand boxes or pick them up for free - this can much better for the environment, and boxes can sometimes be picked up very cheaply online, or offered for free at supermarkets or other shops.
  • Streamline your stuff - getting rid of the things you don’t need or want before you move will save you money on moving and storage. You could even make a bit of extra cash by selling on unwanted furniture
  • Ask friends and family to help you move - if you haven’t got lots of bulky furniture, you may find that you can manage the move with a few helping hands. Treating your helpers to a drink and a takeaway afterwards should be a lot cheaper than using a removal company!
  • If you need new furniture, try shopping around for second hand bargains. Factories sometimes sell ex-display pieces at a discount, and sites like offer pieces for free
  • When setting up your utilities at your new home, shopping around and comparing tariffs can help ensure you get the best deal you can. It can also be a good idea to make your new home as energy efficient as possible to save money in the long run
  • If you’re renting, make sure you do a full inventory check with your new landlord, keeping a detailed record of any existing damage. You should also take photos of any potential problems you spot straight away to avoid any issues arising later

If you work out all the costs in advance and get organised early, you may be able to take some of the stress out of your move, and concentrate on enjoying your new home.