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The Cost of Buying a Property


There are various additional costs and fees which can be incurred when arranging a remortgage or taking out a mortgage to buy a new home.

The first of these is the mortgage arrangement fee. This a fee which is charged in some instances by the mortgage lender. Usually an arrangement fee is only payable on a "special" deal such as a fixed or discounted rate, although some banks and building societies do charge arrangement fees on all types of mortgages and remortgages. If an arrangement fee is charged, it will usually be no more than 1% of the amount you are borrowing and can either be paid up front or added onto the loan.

There are also legal fees which are paid to your solicitor or conveyancer. These are made up of the solicitor's own fee (typically 300-500) plus "disbursements". These are fixed amounts that the solicitor pays to others on your behalf, for example fees to the land registry, local authority search fees, etc. Some mortgage lenders offer packages where they will meet part or all of these costs.

To obtain a fixed fee low cost quote for conveyancing, please click here.

Stamp duty is a Government tax on the purchase of a property. The level of tax varies depending on the purchase price. For a purchase price of up to £125,000 there isn't any stamp duty to pay. For a purchase price between £125,001 and £250,000 the level of stamp duty is 1%. This rises to 3% for properties from £250,001 to £500,000. Property sales of £500,001 or more attract stamp duty at 4%. Stamp duty is not normally payable on a remortgage, except in cases where an additional name is being added to the title deeds.

Finally, there are the mortgage valuation and survey fees. There are three types of survey: a Basic Valuation, a Homebuyer's Report, and a Full Structural Survey.

A Basic Valuation is usually the minimum that is required by the mortgage lender before they will proceed with the mortgage or remortgage. This type of survey gives very little information about the state of the property and so is not normally recommended for older properties. The cost of a Basic Valuation is usually around 100-500. Again, this is something which the lender will sometimes pay, for example as part of a special deal for remortgages or first-time buyers.

A Homebuyer's Report provides more detail about the overall condition of the property, and will highlight any problems that require attention. The report follows an industry-wide format and covers areas such as: the heating, wiring, evidence of damp, subsidence, condition of the walls and roof structure, etc. Costs for this type of survey are typically in the region of 300-600.

A Full Structural Survey is the most comprehensive type of inspection, covering every aspect of the property from the foundations upwards. It is also the most expensive - often around double the cost of a Homebuyer's Report.

Normally, a Basic Valuation is sufficient if you are simply arranging a remortgage on your existing property. When it comes to taking out a mortgage to buy a new home, the type of survey you opt for will depend to a large extent on the type of house or flat you are buying.

For more information, please fill in our mortgage enquiry form and we will put you in touch with a mortgage broker from our panel of experts who will be able to tell you more about the types of survey that are available.

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