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What is the real cost of moving house?

Moving home is a very expensive undertaking. In addition to the cost of your new home, you have to consider a whole host of extra expenses such as transport and removals, packing materials, and purchasing any items your new home is lacking. All these expenses can soon add up. Then, there are the fees for agent and legal services, stamp duties and more. When you total it all up, it can get quite expensive.

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Removals and packing costs
Thankfully, there are ways to cut some of these costs. Choosing an affordable removals company is the first step. Often, a DIY move can actually cost more than calling in a company. When you carry out your own move, you have to pay for the transport hire and insurance, for the packing materials and any necessary moving equipment, and for the tools needed to take down furniture and large items. Then there is the time cost: carrying out your own move will require a couple of days away from work, at least.

If you call in a removals company, you pay the quoted price with no hidden extras. You get the transport and labour, the job gets done more quickly, and you benefit from the expertise and efficiency of your skilled home movers.

Agents, solicitors and brokers
Buying and selling a house comes with a whole load of extra costs that you might not have anticipated. Conveyancing - the act of transferring property ownership - usually requires a specialist solicitor, which can cost anywhere up to £1,500 plus additional fees for property searches and purchase verification.

Estate agents and letting agents will also require a fee for setting you up with your new home. For renters, the fee can be as high as the initial deposit. An estate agent will typically take a 2-3% cut of your house sale and a percentage fee for sourcing your new home and arranging the transfer.

Stamp Duty Land Tax is also likely to be applied if your property is worth more than 125,000 at the time of purchase. This government tax rises according to the property's value. Finally, you might be landed with costs for the surveyor and the valuer, if you used these services to ascertain your buy or sell price.

These are the hidden costs of buying a home, and there is not much you can do to reduce these expenses. However, you can mitigate some of the cost by choosing a commission-free online agent, or arranging a property conveyancing package with your solicitor that covers valuation and stamp duty payments.

Cutting costs
Make good use of internet resources. There are lots of services which aim to cut out the middle man and bring down property sale costs. Some house sellers opt to sell by themselves, without an agent's input, to save on fees. Always consult a solicitor before taking this route, as property sales are a complicated business and you might not be prepared for those complications. Compare quotes between providers, and look for offers where commission is reduced or dropped entirely.

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