Home buyers spend £4,000 on extra unexpected costs

Michael Lloyd

April 12, 2019

moving costs

Home buyers can expect to spend almost £4,000 on top of the cost of their new property – for legal fees, surveying costs and other removal bills, online lender MYJARhas found.

While the price of the average home is now £230,776, additional costs leaves the purchaser having to spend far more, with the average bill of unexpected costs reaching £3,824 for homebuyers moving in the last 10 years. More than 40% of those who took part said the cost exceeded their expectations.

Tom Newbould, a spokesman from online lender MYJAR, which commissioned the research, said: “The study shows just how much goes into moving house, from the task of cleaning the current home, to surveying the new house.

“Every pound adds up, resulting in what is clearly an unanticipated extra amount for homeowners to pay, showing perhaps a lack of knowledge around the true cost of moving.

“Not every buyer will find this extra cost easy to fund so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you’re not left in a difficult position money-wise. It can already be such a hectic time.”

The research also revealed one third had to borrow money to cover the unforeseen costs.

On average £948.74 was the amount borrowed, with 21% even requiring more than £2,000 in order to afford the extra costs.

Over half turned to friends and family for the unexpected charges, while one third relied on their credit card. A further 27% took out a bank loan.

In preparation to sell, homeowners spent on average £331 decorating their previous nest, with one in 10 spending over £1,000 and one in five forking out over £2,000.

Legal fees alone came to a grand total of £1,614, almost half of the total price of moving house.

New furniture cost on average £991, with a further 46% spending over £1,000 on furnishings from cushions to dishwashers.

However, cost saving tips from respondents included ‘buy second hand furniture’, ‘accept furniture offered by the seller’ and ‘buy furniture one by one’.

Another popular hack was revealed as ‘do as much as you can yourself’, which explains why 30% didn’t spend anything on removal companies.

Before even moving into a new property, further costs include a mortgage valuation at an average of £209 and £25 on an energy performance certificate.

Those in the North West were most caught out, with 47% of homeowners forking out more than expected.

While on the other hand, 38% of Londoners were pleasantly surprised at their seemingly cheap cost of moving, the OnePoll study found.

Newbould added: “Finances always need careful consideration and planning.

“When it comes to something like moving house or preparing to have a baby, individuals should take some time to sit down and look at their current income and expenditure, and the likely amounts further down the line.

“Big costs and commitments like these most certainly require a degree of financial education as a background, and people may lack this.

“However, just like any costs, big or small, they should be thought through and meaningful. We don’t want to start unnecessary spending.”

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