Beyond the deposit: costs of buying a house

Let's talk about extra costs. The expenses you might have to pay on top of any deposit when you buy your first home.

Try not to be deflated if you’re finding out about them for the first time though. Although they can be a pain, it’s better to find out about them now so you can budget for them. It may be that not everything on the list will apply to you, but you may have to pay some of these costs.

So – what’s on the list?

Mortgage fees

Mortgage fee/arrangement fee/product fee

Some lenders will charge you a fee for securing your mortgage product or Decision in Principle. They'll usually give you the option to pay it upfront or add it to the balance of your mortgage. If you add it to your mortgage, you'll have to pay interest on it and it could increase your overall mortgage repayments.

How much could it cost?

Could be up to £2,500.

Mortgage broker fee

Some brokers charge a fee to give you whole of market mortgage advice. When you use a broker to help you find a mortgage, you’ll either need to pay for them out of your own pocket, and/or the mortgage lender will pay them in the form of commission.

How much could it cost?

Typically up to £500.

Mortgage booking fee/application fee/reservation fee

Some mortgages have an application cost that tends to be not refundable. So you won’t get it back if you don’t end up taking the mortgage or if the property purchase falls through.

How much could it cost?

Between around £100 and £300.

Completion fees

At Skipton we sometimes charge a completion fee for setting up your mortgage once your funds are released to the seller, or once your remortgage is complete. You can pay this fee upfront to avoid incurring any interest, or add the fee to your loan on completion

How much does it cost?

The completion fee is product-specific and may vary between different mortgage deals.

Valuation fees

Some lenders will charge you for carrying out a valuation on the property to check if it’s worth what they’re going to lend you. The cost is usually determined by the value of your property.

In Scotland it is the seller’s responsibility to obtain a Home Report and Skipton, like many lenders, will request a transcript of this for mortgage purposes. There will be no cost for this.

How much could it cost?

Typically around £300, but could be as much as £1,500.

No charge for valuation with a Skipton mortgage

We won't charge you for a standard valuation for mortgage purposes when you take a mortgage with us, as long as the property’s worth less than £1.5m. Please note this is not a survey and it doesn’t guarantee the property is free from defects.

Stamp duty

England and Northern Ireland

First time buyers don’t have to pay stamp duty on properties under £425,001, and they pay no stamp duty on the first £425,000 of properties that cost between £425,001 and £625,000 (unless the property is a buy-to-let). If you're not a first time buyer, stamp duty kicks in on properties over £250,000 (for main residences only - different rates may apply for additional properties). The cost is based on a tier system where you pay different stamp duty rates for different property values. For more information visit the government website.


In Scotland you pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which is similar to stamp duty in that the rates are tiered. First-time buyers don't have to pay LBTT on the first £175,000 of the property. Home movers pay LBTT on property prices from £145,001 as long as it is your only property. Different rates may apply for additional properties, for more information visit Revenue Scotland.


In Wales you’ll have to pay Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on properties over £225,000 whether it’s your first property or not (different rates may apply for additional properties). It’s another tiered system like stamp duty, so the cost will depend on how much your property costs. For more information please visit


There are a few types of survey you can get and they all come with a different price tag. That doesn’t mean you need to pick the most expensive one. It’s best to choose the one most appropriate to the condition of your property.

Some lenders will arrange these surveys for you, however Skipton will only instruct valuations for mortgage purposes, which check if the loan amount you require is appropriate and the property is deemed suitable security for lending purposes. If you wish to arrange one of the following surveys, this would be arranged by you independently of the mortgage application process.

Connells offer a discount on surveys to Skipton mortgage customers. This survey will be independent of Skipton and not used for mortgage purposes. Connells is part of The Skipton Group.

RICS Home Survey - Level 2

This one is for properties that are in reasonable condition. It aims to identify structural issues like subsidence and damp and it could reveal problems you can’t see just by looking around. Where applicable, your report will contain suggestions for repairs, which you could use to negotiate down the price of the property.

How much could it cost?

They can start from around £400.

RICS Home Survey - Level 3

A building survey is the belts-and-braces option and can be good for older buildings or ones that are very large or slightly unconventional.

How much could it cost?

They can start from around £630.

Legal costs

Conveyancer/solicitor/legal costs

A solicitor (aka conveyancer) will take care of all the legal paperwork when you buy a house. You may need to make payments to the solicitor as you go along for the various bits of work they do for you.

How much could it cost?

Between £800 and £1,500.

Search fees

Your search fees cover the costs of your conveyancer carrying out searches on your behalf, such as with the Local Authority and Land Registry.

How much could it cost?

The exact search cost will vary depending on your council. For the local authority, environmental and water searches, you should expect to pay around £250 to £300. The Land Registry search is around £4 to £8.

Electronic payments


Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), is the electronic payment method your lender will use to send funds to your solicitor.

How much could it cost?

Up to £50.

Did you know

With Skipton CHAPS payments only cost £20

Moving costs

There are a few ways you can do this. The cheapest way involves rallying your mates and borrowing a van. It’s practically free, but might set you back a few pizzas. If you can’t find a van, you could hire one. Or you could pay for an actual removal firm that will do all the legwork for you.

How much could it cost?

Doing it yourself = free(ish). Van hire = from around £65 per day. Removal firm = between £350 and £2,750 depending on the size of the property, how far you're moving, and if you need packing materials/packing to be done for you.

Top tip!

Ask at supermarkets if they’ve got any spare cardboard boxes for packing. You can usually get these for free.


If you have a lot of stuff that you can’t fit into your new home, you might end up putting some of it in storage. The price of a storage unit will depend on its size, so get a few quotes before choosing one.

Pet/kennel costs

Cats and dogs are likely to get under your feet on moving day, so if you can’t get a friend to look after them you might have to give them a couple of days’ holiday.

How much could it cost?

Boarding kennels can cost around £22 and catteries can cost around £12 per day.

Leaseholder fees

Leasehold is when you own the right to live in the property for a set number of years, but don’t own the building it's in or the land it sits on. This is usual when buying a flat or an apartment, but some houses are leasehold too.

Leaseholder charges vary and usually include things like maintaining communal areas, which could include electricity bills and repairs, or for things like ground rent.

How much could it cost?

Prices vary from property to property, so check before signing that you can afford your mortgage and the leaseholder fee.

Estate Rent Charge

An estate rent charge is typically used on freehold residential developments to provide a mechanism for developers/ management companies to secure contributions to the costs of maintaining communal areas.

Land registry fees

The Land Registry is responsible for transferring the legal title of the property into your name and the cost will depend on how much your property’s worth. Your solicitor will deal with the Land Registry, so you’ll actually pay through your solicitor.

How much could it cost?

As an example, properties valued at between £100,001 and £200,000 will cost around £200. That cost rises with the house price. If you do this electronically through your solicitor it could cost significantly less.


Buildings insurance

As soon as you exchange contracts, you’ll need to have buildings insurance in place (usually a condition of your mortgage). It could cover things like burst pipes and putting your foot through the ceiling, but check your policy carefully because they don’t all cover the same things.

Contents insurance

This covers your belongings and can include things like money, jewellery, garden furniture and even the contents of your freezer. Again, price and type of cover varies, so you’ll need to get quotes and check closely what your policy covers.

How much could it cost?

All dependent on the level of cover you need, so get a few quotes. We offer buildings and contents insurance which is provided and underwritten by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited (LV=).

Home Insurance

Life insurance

Life insurance could pay off your mortgage if you die. So it’s useful for looking after dependants who would be left behind if something happened to you.

How much could it cost?

This is another one where you’ll need to get a few quotes to find insurance that's right for you. We offer Life Insurance and Critical 3 with Life Insurance, provided by AIG Life Limited.

Please note:

This list is not extensive and there may be other fees which you may be required to pay, this article is designed to highlight some of the most common.

All figures quoted are intended to be a rough guide only.

The Skipton Home Conveyancing service and standard valuation are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Get in touch

We want to help you get into your first home and might be able to help you find ways to make your savings stretch.

If you’d like to talk to us about how to plan for additional costs, call us or drop us a line by web chat.

0345 850 1711