For most of us, buying a home is the biggest and best purchase we will ever make with a lot of thought and planning going into the decision.
For this reason it is important to consider all of the information available on the property and to be aware of any additional costs to the actual purchase price. You should incorporate these costs into your budget before making any offers to avoid any surprises.
We have highlighted some of the most common additional costs below:
1. The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which replaced UK stamp duty in Scotland in April 2015, requires a one-off tax to be paid on property purchases over £145,000. The rate of tax to be paid increases with the value of the purchase. You can view the different bands and access an LBTT calculator here.
2. Along with any LBTT payments, your conveyancing fees are one off inevitable costs when it comes to buying a home. Conveyancing involves legally transferring home ownership from the seller to the buyer. Cost can vary between firms and is also dependant on the value of the home you are buying. Contact your local GSPC solicitor for advice on fee levels.
3. Many buyers enlist the services of a mortgage advisor to help them fully understand the terms of their mortgage and ensure they are getting the best deal. This can potentially add a few hundred pounds onto your costs.
4. Having invested thousands of pounds in your new home, it’s important to get building insurance in place at the correct time and you should check with your solicitor when you are legally responsible for the property. Once you’ve moved in, you will need contents insurance to cover your belongings in the event of damage or a break-in.
5. Whether your new home needs a bit of freshening up, or you just want to put your own stamp on it, you will most likely want to do some redecorating once you’ve moved in. You will also need to factor in the cost of any new furnishings and white goods.
6. If you already have your own furnishings, you will still need to consider removal costs. Depending on the amount of furniture and your circumstances, you can rent a van and do the hard work yourself which is less expensive, or hire a company that provides the van and the labour which can reduce stress.
7. Remember that once you’ve moved in, you will need to factor in a number of monthly outgoings in addition to your mortgage repayments. Your gas and electricity are all necessities along with water and council tax, while you will also need to consider additional services such as television and broadband packages.
8. If you are moving into a property with areas shared by other tenants, you may need to make monthly payments to a property factor for maintaining these communal areas. On top of a regular maintenance fee, there may be additional costs from time to time for building repairs.
9. While a careful reading of the home report should help avoid any unexpected repairs, boilers are famously temperamental and you may be hit with a large repair, or even replacement, bill a few months in. You should always aim to have an emergency fund to cover such incidents or consider boiler and central heating cover.
10. If your previous property was in a quiet residential area or benefited from a driveway, it may not occur to you to consider residential parking fees in your new property. Be prepared for potential fees by ensuring you enquire about parking availability and costs at any viewings.