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Costs of buying a house

When buying a house it is important to factor in all the upfront costs, mortgage costs and on going costs involved in buying and running a property. Below are the key costs that you need to include in your budget, when establishing what you can afford.

  • Upfront costs
  • Mortgage costs
  • Ongoing costs

Upfront costs


The deposit is the amount you put towards the cost of purchasing your property. To get the full choice of deals having a large deposit amount is important. 40% is generally the optimum deposit, giving you some of the best rates that mortgage lenders will offer. With Help to Buy you can purchase a house with as little as a 5% deposit. Generally the more deposit you can afford the better the deal.

Use our budget planner to estimate how much you could afford to spend on monthly mortgage repayments.

Stamp duty

In England and Wales buyers don’t pay stamp duty on the first £125,000. For property between £250,001 and £925,000 buyers pay 2% on the portion of the price between £125,001 and £250,000, then they pay 5% on the portion of the price over £250,001.

In Scotland the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Rate applies. Buyers don’t pay tax on the first £145,000. They pay 2% on the portion of the price between £145,001 and £250,000 and then they pay 5% on the portion of the price between £250,001 and £325,000.

Valuation fee

This is charged by the mortgage lender to assess the value of your property to determine how much they are prepared to lend you. Depending on the value, the cost can be between £150 to £1,500. Some lenders may not charge depending on the mortgage type.

Surveyor’s fees

You’ve found a property you love but you need to know that it is in good condition before you commit to a purchase. Without a survey you may not be aware of costly work that needs to be done.

Legal fees

You will need a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to carry out all the legal work involved in buying a property. They will also do local searches.

Electronic transfer fee

Typically costing £40-£50, this covers the lender’s cost of transferring the mortgage money from the lender to the solicitor.

Removal costs

These costs will vary depending on how much you have to move and over what distance. Generally removal firms charge more for moving at weekends.

Mortgage costs

There are hundreds of mortgages available and a number of different product types. Read our guide on mortgages to find out how different mortgage types work.

Review our latest mortgage deals

Ongoing costs


Your mortgage lender will require you to take out buildings insurance in order to protect their interest in the property. It is also prudent to take out contents insurance to protect your belongings. To protect your family you'll require life cover to ensure that the mortgage is paid off should you die before the end of the loan. Other protection policies are available to help protect your investment.

Council tax

The amount you will pay in England, Scotland & Wales is based on the valuation band your property falls under, it’s location and whether or not you are entitled to a discount. Northern Ireland properties are taxed on an individual basis.


Ask the current homeowner what they spend on utilities: electric, gas and water to help you estimate your monthly utility costs. Also factor in costs for line rental, calls, broadband, and tv.

Maintenance and repairs

Your survey should have highlighted any expected costs involved with necessary repairs, but you will need to budget for regular decorating and property maintenance.


Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.