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First time buyers

Costs of Buying a House


Buying your first home is exciting, but can be expensive. This guide is intended to help you get to grips with the costs involved in buying a house, so you're not faced with any unexpected surprises. Striking a balance between quality and cost of services and suppliers is key here, so try to devote a bit of time to shopping around and finding what's best for you.

Upfront costs

Before you look to buy a house, make sure you’ve saved up enough money for the upfront costs. Some of these will depend on the value of the property you’re interested in, so it’s worth doing your research to ensure you’re prepared.

At Crest Nicholson we have a clear buying process that lets you know what fees are expected and when – and our Sales Executives are with you every step of the way for advice and guidance.


The average deposit is usually between 5% and 20% of the total price of your new home.

So, if your first home is £300,000, your deposit will need to be between £15,000 and £60,000 (or more, if you want).

The more deposit you can afford to pay, the better your chances of getting a mortgage with a lower interest rate.

Get a quick idea of how much you could be eligible to borrow using MoneySavingExpert’s mortgage affordability calculator.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SLTD) is a tax paid on residential properties in England or Northern Ireland costing over £125,000. As a first-time buyer, you won’t pay any Stamp Duty costs on the first £300,000 of a home worth up to £500,000.

Work out what you’ll pay with our Stamp Duty calculator.

Valuation fee

Your mortgage provider will need a clear idea of your home’s value to work out how much they are willing to lend you. This fee can depend on the lender, type of mortgage, and property value.

Legal fees

As part of buying a home, you’ll need a solicitor to take care of all the legal work involved, including handling contracts, offering advice, transferring funds, and so on. 

Be sure to take your time choosing a solicitor you’re comfortable with, as they’ll play a key role in making the process of buying a house run smoothly.


Securing a mortgage

One of the major steps in the buying process is finding a mortgage arrangement that suits your budget. On top of that, you may also have additional booking, arrangement and evaluation fees to consider.

Arrangement fees tend to be the most expensive, costing up to £2,000, while the other fees are more in the region of a few hundred pounds.


Ongoing costs

It’s one thing to buy your home, but you’ll also need to make sure you can comfortably maintain it. Before you commit to buying a house, it’s a good idea to conduct a bit of research into the ongoing costs. You don’t want to find out too late that running the house is much more expensive than you thought. 


Your mortgage lender will normally require that you have buildings insurance to protect your home from fire, bad weather and other damage. You should also consider getting contents insurance to account for all your possessions inside the house, too.

As ever, look around to get a deal that provides good value for money as well as all the cover you need.

Council Tax

The amount of Council Tax you pay will depend on:

  • your circumstances (e.g. if you are the only occupant)
  • which band your property belongs in
  • the needs of your council to fund its services (e.g. rubbish collection, emergency services, etc)
You can find out the Council Tax for your property using the links below:

Costs of moving home

Now that you’ve established the expenses involved in buying your first home and maintaining it, it’s time to move in! 

Be sure to put time and money aside to prepare for this exciting stage, as there can be a surprising amount to consider.

House removal costs

This is something you could do yourself by renting a van or calling in favours with friends and family. However, many of us need an extra helping hand moving our furniture and possessions from one house to another. 

When searching for removers, get a few quotes and check reviews to make sure you’re happy with who you’ve chosen.

Whoever you hire to help with moving house, make sure they’re insured. Depending on the type of policy you take out, this can cover items lost or damaged in the move, electrical and mechanical failure, and so on.

Storage costs

If you need storage to tide you over during your move, shop around. Prices will largely depend on how long you need the space for, so try and estimate this as best as you can. 

Mail redirection costs

While you might be organised and have updated everyone who needs to know your new address, there’s a chance you could forget something important.

The Royal Mail’s redirection service is a helpful way to prevent your details falling into the wrong hands and ensuring all mail gets passed onto you.

Additional considerations

Will you need a hotel for the night? Are you going to be able to cook right away or should you factor in meals out?

It doesn’t sound like much, but depending on the move, these costs can all contribute. Making sure you have a pot of money for those ‘just in case’ scenarios is usually a good idea.

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