The cost of buying a house

Make no mistake about it - buying property is expensive, however modest your new home. A mortgage (homepage link) is not the only expense.
Before you can take possession of your house, there are extra one-off charges and fees you'll come up against. When working out your budget, you need to be sure you have money ready to pay them.
These include:

  • deposit
  • mortgage arrangement fee
  • valuation fee
  • legal fees
  • stamp duty
  • removal costs

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

  • 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.

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.
People who can manage to save only 5% can get extra help from the government. Look at the government's Help to Buy scheme which is designed for people in your situation - whether you're a first time buyer or already in a house and wanting to move up the property ladder.

How much is stamp duty for first time buyers?
When you buy a house, you'll have to pay a tax called stamp duty or, to give it it's full name, Stamp Duty Land Tax  (SDLT).
This kicks in for properties costing more than £125,000. In Scotland, it's called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
Above that, you'll pay increasing tax depending on how much your house costs to buy. Between £125,001 and £250,000 it's 2% and steadily increases to 12% on £1,5 million properties.
For a £150,000 house, you'll pay £500 stamp duty - that's 2% on the difference between £125,000 and £150,000.
You can find out more in our guide to stamp duty for first time buyers. And you can work out exactly how much you'll pay with our stamp duty calculator.

You can also speak to one of our mortgage advisers. They are happy to answer your questions and give any help they can. There is no commitment and no charge. Our service is fee free.

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