Buying a house is likely the most expensive purchase any of us will make in our lifetimes. It takes far more than missing out on a few flat whites and avocado toasts to save up for a deposit, especially in the South East, but there are some ways to cut a few costs when buying a new home.

Estate agency fees

If you are selling your home, you will undoubtedly need an estate agent – although off-market sales are possible, traditional estate agents play a vital role in selling your home. Estate agency fees can vary, so it is worth doing your research.

Traditional estate agents charge commission on the sale of your property, which can be a set fee or a percentage of the house sale. Online agents, such as Purplebricks, often charge an upfront fee. Whilst this is typically less than a traditional estate agent, if your house does not sell with an online agent you may find yourself out of pocket.

If you’re moving into a new build, part-exchange might be an option for you – often this can be done without an estate agent and could potentially save you hundreds of pounds.

Stamp Duty holiday

In a bid to get the housing market up and running again after the Covid-19 crisis, the government has implemented a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday. This is ideal if you’re looking to manage your budget and have spare cash to invest in your new home. First time buyers are generally exempted, but for everyone else moving home stamp duty can thousands of pounds to the cost of a house, so there really is no better time to move.

Mortgage advisors

Thanks to price comparison websites it’s easy to find a mortgage that could suit you, but did you know, you might get a better off-market deal with a mortgage broker? Often brokers are given preferential rates by lenders with some mortgages offering a free homebuyer’s survey too.

Whilst mortgage brokers typically charge a couple of hundred pounds for their services, they will ensure all mortgage applications are completed properly, minimising any holdups in the conveyancing process. They will also be on hand with any questions you have about your mortgage and can help with re-mortgaging your home should you wish to make any changes such as conversions or extensions.

Sell unwanted items before you move

Removal costs can spiral if you underestimate how much stuff you will need to move, from the size of the van to the number of packing boxes required. But if you sell or donate unwanted items before the move, you could save and make some serious money.

If you have already had an offer on a house accepted, go round with a measuring tape and see what furniture will fit, and get rid of any that is too large or the wrong shape. Or, if you are about to put your house on the market, start boxing up now and if you find that by the time you move you haven’t missed or needed the item, you are probably safe to put it up for sale on eBay or drop it off at the local charity shop.

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