Searches and Surveys: Other costs to consider when buying a house

Oakheart Property
Buying your first home is an extremely exciting milestone to reach. It’s likely that you’re already dreaming of the moment that you receive the keys to your very own home. Becoming a homeowner is a huge achievement and one which you should be incredibly proud of. Saving up for a deposit and finding a property that's within budget and ticks all of the boxes is often not an easy task. However, it is an extremely rewarding one. Whilst it may be easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of house viewings and decor plans, it’s important to ensure that you have considered all of the costs associated with purchasing a property. 

Here at Oakheart Property, we’re focused on doing everything we can to make the home buying journey as straightforward and stress-free as possible. From searches and surveys to fees and furniture, our team has compiled a list of some of the costs you’ll need to consider when buying a property. 


Saving up for a house deposit often takes time and dedication. A higher deposit can increase your eligibility for a mortgage and can affect the interest rate. Generally, you’ll be expected to provide a deposit of at least 10% of the value of the property you’d like to buy. In some cases, mortgage providers will accept a 5% deposit. It’s important to consider all of the options available. We’d recommend seeking advice from a trusted, experienced mortgage broker who will be able to guide you through the process. 

Stamp Duty

If you purchase a property or land over a certain price, you will be required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). If you’re a first-time buyer, you will currently pay no Stamp Duty on properties costing up to £300,000 and discounted rate for properties up to £500,000. We understand that working out the cost of Stamp Duty might feel a little confusing, our Stamp Duty calculator does all the work for you. 

Searches, Surveys and Solicitors 

Before committing to the purchase of a property, it’s important to get it checked by a surveyor. This will shed some light on any problems that the property may have. Generally, the cost of a survey will vary depending on the type of survey you choose. You might opt for a basic home condition survey or a full structural survey. You can discover more about this in our recent blog on the different types of house survey
You’ll also need to budget for conveyancing fees. Conveyancing is the legal process involved in purchasing a property. The fees associated with conveyancing relate to legal fees and the disbursements. Your conveyancing solicitor will conduct various local searches on the property and will register change of ownership with the Land Registry. Generally, conveyancing fees will vary depending on the value of the property you’re buying, whether it’s freehold or leasehold, and the searches that are completed. Conveyancing costs can vary significantly, so it’s worth getting a few different quotes.  

Mortgage Fees 

It’s important to be aware of any mortgage fees that you may be subject to. This might include a mortgage arrangement fee, a booking fee or a valuation fee amongst many others. Lenders should clearly display all of their costs and fees. However, a mortgage broker will also help to ensure that you are clear on all associated costs. 


Your mortgage lender will usually require you to take out buildings insurance. Buildings insurance is designed to protect your new home against fire, flood, subsidence and other issues. Some lenders also require you to take out a life insurance policy too. For added protection and peace of mind, we’d also recommend considering taking out contents insurance. 

Moving In

Once you've received your keys and you're set to move in, it's important to be aware that there will usually be costs that you need to be prepared for at this stage of the journey too. Here are some of the costs that you may need to factor in... 


Removal prices can vary significantly, so it’s crucial that you shop around and get a range of quotes. It’s also important to research each company and check out reviews. Moving can be a stressful process and an unreliable removal company has the potential to increase and intensify stress levels. 


If you’re a first-time buyer, or you simply want to upgrade your current furniture, then you should consider the cost of this too. Furnishing a property can sometimes be pricey. You might find it beneficial to consider searching for second-hand items or getting creative and even making, or upcycling, some items yourself. 

Redecorating and Refurbishing

If you’re planning on embarking on a home development project, you should think about the costs that will come with this too. If you’re keen on saving some money, then you might want to consider doing some of the work yourself. If you have no time, or interest, to do this, then we’d consider ensuring that you get a range of quotes. 

Monthly Outgoings 

Check out the price of council tax and be clear on your monthly payments going forward. You’ll need to add up your monthly mortgage repayments, utility bills and other regular outgoings.  

These are just some of the costs associated with buying a home. It’s crucial that you factor in all of the costs when setting your budget. If you’ve already worked all of this out and you’re onto the next stage of the home buying process, then check out our recent blog discussing the things you’ll need when moving into a new house!

If you’re looking to purchase a property in Colchester or the surrounding areas, then get in touch with a member of our friendly team. We have a team of experienced sales and lettings agents across Essex and Suffolk who will be more than happy to support you through your entire home buying journey. 

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