It’s easy for your mind to wander when you’re buying your first home.  It is an exciting time, and also a steep learning curve.  You may have read many articles on what to expect, and asked family and friends for advice, but the experience will be uniquely yours, as every property purchase is different.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re working out your finances are those hidden costs that you may not expect.  Every penny counts, as you will no doubt have grand plans for how you’re going to furnish and decorate your property.  So to ensure that your interior décor dreams aren’t whittled away, make sure you understand the hidden costs you will incur when buying your first home.

Survey/Valuation fees

Many people get confused about the survey, as there are two kinds of survey/valuations costs that you could incur.  First, your mortgage lender will want to undertake a survey to assess the valuation of the property you are looking to purchase.  The fee for this can vary and sometimes may be FREE, so make sure you check when you are agreeing your mortgage what their rates are.  This valuation is on behalf of the lender so they know the property is suitable for them to lend on. It will be quite a limited report and some lenders don’t even divulge it to you!

If you’re buying an older home or one that may have had major work over the years, it may be worth investing in a property survey undertaken by a RICS chartered surveyor, for example, a Homebuyers Report.  Although this is an additional cost, it could save you much heartache and financial stress down the line, should they find any serious issues.

Legal/conveyancing fees

When you buy or sell a home, you need to instruct a solicitor or a conveyancer to act on your behalf for all the legal aspects.  Again, fees can vary, but it is always worth getting a recommendation.  You want someone who is thorough and will push the purchase through rather than causing unnecessary delays.

Many purchases fall through due to delays within the sales process; we don’t want yours to be one of them.  We are happy to recommend companies that our clients have worked with successfully over the years.

Searches

Your legal representative will also undertake a number of searches on your behalf, and each one of these comes at a cost.  Ask for a breakdown of these as soon as possible, so you know in advance what you will need to pay and when.

Mortgage Fees

Your mortgage lender will not only require a deposit, there will also be a booking fee and arrangement fee, on top of the cost of the survey/valuation.  In the majority of cases, this fee is generally added to your mortgage. These fees can range from zero to thousands. We would recommend you speak to our own Whole of Market Mortgage Advisors so you know you are getting the best deal. You can contact them here.

Stamp Duty

This is a Government Tax that is payable upon completion of your purchase. The amount you pay will depend on the purchase price of your property. The % amount payable can range from 0% to 5% as a first-time buyer.

To see if you would be liable to pay Stamp Duty please use this link to the Government’s Online Stamp Duty Calculator: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

New home

There are so many other little costs when buying your first home, and all these can quickly mount up.  From setting up your utilities and council tax to installing Sky, broadband, and purchasing the various insurances.

Our gift

We often find that first-time buyers are scared to ask too many questions, but don’t be.  There are no stupid questions when it comes to property; it is a huge investment and it’s important that you understand the process.  We can sometimes lose you in jargon or race ahead in the belief that you know what’s occurring.

Our advice and experience are free for you to tap into, so if you want a greater understanding of the entire process, you’re concerned about delays, or simply feeling a bit overwhelmed, we’re here to give you a straight and tidy answer.

Don’t fall into the trap of hidden charges, come and talk to our team and soon you will be on the right path to moving into your first home.