The Price Isn’t Right – The True Costs Of Getting On The Property Ladder

Study uncovers the true costs upfront involved with buying a property

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Interactive tool to find out the moving in costs of buying a home

It’s common knowledge that buying a house can be the most expensive outlay in anyone’s life, but it’s still very easy to miscalculate just how much goes into it. Deposits, mortgage payments, and estate agent fees are obvious, but have you considered how much house surveys cost, the packing materials, or even just fixing cracks? Those alone can cost you up to nearly £1’500, along with other additional fees, can represent 45% of the total upfront cost.

New research by finance experts, TotallyMoney, has looked into all the costs involved in purchasing a home. Through a new interactive tool on the TotallyMoney website, soon-to-be homeowners can enter their desired location, price range and the number of bedrooms they’re after. The tool then calculates the estimated overall moving in price, from the cost of solicitors to movers, the price of broadband setup to the insulation restoration.


  • TotallyMoney study uncovers the true costs upfront involved with buying a property
  • Upfront costs in London can reach as much as £107’277 – while in Bradford they’re only £21’393
  • The UK average upfront cost is £32’026 – over half of the average property price

Unforeseen circumstances

Some unforeseen costs won’t put too much of a strain on your wallet. Others, on the other hand, can be an extremely inconvenient surprise.

Stamp duty isn’t a problem for everyone, if your desired home is under £125’000 you won’t be required to pay as a first-time buyer, also if you’re a first-time buyer and the property is listed up to £500’000 your stamp duty can be reduced. If it’s not your first purchase or you’re buying a property which is more expensive, the price can rise considerably more.

When it comes to small faults like fixing leaks, cracks, and rewiring electrics, soon-to-be homeowners believe they can have the repairs and other works done once they move in. But once you’re in, cosmetic fixes can often take a precedent, in the effort of making a house a home. With average costs of £120 and £60 for leaks and cracks and as much as £2,750 for rewiring electrics, it all can start to add up.


Even if you don’t want a full building survey, and opt for a homebuyers’ report to identify if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other hidden issues inside and outside, it can still put you out a shocking £786 depending on the property. However, Harry Albert Lettings & Estates, a letting agent in Leicester, highly recommends a full building survey be carried out on any property, though with new builds, this won’t always be necessary unless you want to be extra cautious. 

When buying your home with the aid of a property solicitor or conveyancer, their costs can reach anywhere between £850 – £1’500, which can be a sizeable fee to pay as to enter your new home. Conveyancers carry out the necessary legal work to complete the sale as do some property solicitors who provide conveyancing services to property buyers. Thus, acting for buyers, sellers, and lenders, both pulling the strings behind the scenes to finalise the transaction and getting you into your home.

When To Buy

Property prices tend to increase as the year progresses, meaning it’s better to buy sooner rather than later. This is particularly true at the start of the year, as prices increase dramatically each month from April through to August, with the average increase in April being about £2’380.

If you’re looking to buy your new home in August, you might be better off waiting until October – on average, property prices drop by about £80 in September, and then a further £240 in October. It’s not a significant change when compared with the hundreds of thousands that go into a property, but it can offset some of the costs of moving in and setting up.

Where To Buy Cheap

You might not be able to save much on the costs of the property itself, but you can always make sure you’re buying in the cheapest locations available.

  1. Bradford – Bradford boasts the cheapest average property prices across the country at an average of £135’489, and the upfront costs come in at only £21’393 if you need every option.
  2. Sunderland – Sunderland is a small step up from Bradford, and an average property will set you back £146’202 before you start looking at additional costs. In 2017, prices were lowest in March, when they were only £109,082. The total upfront cost is £22’777.
  3. Stoke-on-Trent – Potential buyers in Stoke-on-Trent can look forward to prices of £152’795 on average – as well as upfront costs of only £23’628.
  4. Leicester – Our hometown of Leicester allows first-time buyers to get on the property ladder with a two bedroom semi-detached home for, on average, £197’176 with upfront costs of just £13’902, with a 5% mortgage deposit.



London, at the other end of the scale, not only offers a £693’143 average property price, but upfront costs can tally up to £107’277.

For more information on the hidden costs involved in buying your first home, and to keep a checklist of how much your dream property will set you back, check out the full research on the TotallyMoney website here.

For those of you who are already on the property ladder and now want to invest in properties, give Harry Albert Lettings & Estates a call on 0116 321 4970 to talk through how they can help you achieve your property investment goals.

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