The cost of buying a house

Make no mistake about it - buying property is expensive, however modest your new home. A mortgage is not the only expense.

These include:

  • deposit
  • mortgage arrangement fee
  • valuation fee
  • legal fees
  • Stamp Duty or land transaction tax, depending on where in the UK you are. Our calculator has the latest rates here.  
  • removal costs

And don't forget once you're in your home, there'll be regular ongoing bills you'll face as a homeowner, on top of your regular mortgage payments, such as:

  • council tax
  • energy bills
  • house insurance
  • repairs and decorating
  • furnishings

Here is a guide to how much you're likely to pay out as part of the house-buying process.

David Hollingworth
September 11, 2023

How much deposit is required for first time buyers?  

Finding a deposit is the biggest hurdle for first time buyers. You'll need to have saved at least 5% of the price you're paying for your new home before you can apply for a mortgage. For a house worth £150,000, that means saving £7,500 just for the minimum deposit.

If you're able to save more and can afford a bigger deposit, you'll probably get a better mortgage deal. See our choice of first time buyer mortgage deals.

If you're struggling to save enough for a deposit, the Government's Shared Ownership scheme may be able to help.

How much is Stamp Duty for first time buyers?  

In England, Stamp duty, or to give it it's full name, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax which is usually payable when you purchase a home costing more than £250,000. In Scotland it's called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), and in Wales it's Land Transaction Tax.

However, under changes announced in the 2022 mini-budget, first-time buyers in England no longer have to pay stamp duty on property purchases up to £425,000. If you’re buying your first home costing up to £625,000, you don’t have to pay Stamp Duty on the first £425,000, but must pay it at a rate of 5% on anything above that.

If you’re purchasing a property costing over £625,000, you’ll have to pay Stamp Duty at standard rates. These rates increase depending on how much your house costs to buy. Between £250,001 and £925,000 it's 5% and it increases to 12% for properties worth over £1.5 million.

You can find what the stamp duty rates for the different parts of the UK are and work out exactly how much you'll pay with our Stamp Duty calculator.

You can also speak to one of our mortgage advisers.

They're happy to answer your questions and give any help they can. There's no commitment and no charge. Our service is fee free.

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