Tag Archives: Moving House Cost

Where can you afford to live?

Thinking of Moving House? Not sure where you can afford to live? Well the BBC have put together a very handy calculator to show you where your budget could take you. By entering in some basic details like the size of house, your available deposit and your monthly mortgage budget the tool will show you where you can afford to live in the country. It will also show you whether it would be cheaper to rent or buy.

Afford to LiveAs we all know the affordability of housing varies greatly across the UK and also depends on your preference to rent or buy. The calculator factors your selections and produces a result based on data compiled from the Land Registry, Bank of England, surveyors and landlords. The house prices and rental data are taken from the period October 2014 to March 2015.

The results from the calculation are presented in graphical form, using a map of the UK, highlighting all the local authorities where you could afford to live.  The mortgage calculation assumes that you have a house deposit of 5%, thus the calculator will be pessimistic if you have managed to save up a deposit greater than 5%.

House prices vary greatly across the country but also within areas. Factors such as education catchment areas, transport links and job opportunities. Remember that this calculator uses the averages for each local authority, you may find that there are variations within each district which would make the area more or less affordable. This calculator is a great broad guide but each house in the country is priced differently and so do not give up hope if your dream area appears too expensive.

Remember to get professional financial advice to check that you can truly afford the mortgage you want. This tool does not replace the need for sound finical planning when making a large decision like buying a house or flat, a change in the interest rate can dramatically affect your monthly mortgage payments. Also bear in mind that there are extra costs, other than mortgage payments, to consider when moving house. Please read our ‘Cost of Moving House’ article to learn more.


First Time Buyers on the Rise

The number of first time buyers has risen to its highest level in the UK since the beginning of the recession in 2007. According to Halifax the number of first time buyers topped 326,500 in 2014, an increase of 22% compared to the previous year. Experts say that this increase has been the result of an improving economy and governmental polices such as the Help to Buy Scheme. Good signs if you’re looking to move house in 2015.

House Price Affordability for First time Buyers

First Time BuyerAlthough house prices have continued to rise, first time buyers are finding house purchases more affordable. They are benefiting from low mortgage rates and reduced deposit requirements, Halifax say average deposits have reduced by 7% last year.

Whilst house prices have on average increased by 9% first time buyers now spend 31% of their disposable income on mortgages, down from 47% in 2007. Overall mortgage affordability has improved since the recession and is helping first-time buyers to get on the ladder. More people entering the market means more movement everywhere, more home moves and more house removals. Good for us all.

It is an interesting to see that the average age of first time buyers has risen from 28 in 2009 to 30 in 2014, with the average being 32 in London. The average house price paid by first-time buyers rose 9% to nearly £172 000 and about 80% of those using the Help to Buy scheme are first time buyers. This obviously means that people are either renting  or living with their parents for longer. Hopefully we will see a reversal in this trend allowing more people to move into their own homes earlier.

The data produced by Halifax has shown that the growth in the number of first-time buyers has steadily increased for the last 3 years. All of this points to growing confidence in the current housing market and the overall economy, first time buyers are essential for a healthy and properly functioning housing market.

This is all good news if you’re looking to move home in 2015. With more potential house buyers entering the market, there will be more house moves all round. We are here to help with any aspect of your house removal if you do plan to move house in 2015.

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Calculating Stamp Duty Tax – Cost of Moving House

In the budget George Osbourne fundamentally changed the way Stamp Duty is calculated and charged. If you’re buying or selling a property make sure you understand these changes as they can make or break your house purchase. The good news is that the changes will save money for most of us in Kent, Surrey and the South East, those living in London will feel the pinch though.

Stamp Duty Banner - Colin Batt Removals

So here is how it works, bear with me as there are lots of figures here.

Stamp Duty – The Maths

From 4 December 2014 Stamp Duty is calculated on the portion of the property sales price that falls into each band. You only pay the rate of tax for the portion of the house price that falls in each band. So you pay 0% for all of the sale price that is below £125 000, 2% for the amount that falls between £125 001 and £250 000, for the sale price between £250 001 and £925 000 is charged at 5% and so on, see the table below for more. So not only have the rates changed but you only pay tax on the portion of the property sale in each band. Simples!

Stamp Duty Tax Rates Table - Colin Batt Removals

Stamp Duty Tax Rates and Bands

Worked Example

It is probably easier if we work through an example. Let’s say you have just agreed to buy a loverly 4-bedroom house in Canterbury, Kent for £450 000 your Stamp Duty will be calculated as follows. For the first portion up to £125 000 there will be no Stamp Duty to pay, for the portion falling between £125 001 and £250 000 the fee will be £2500 and the final £200 000 will incur £10 000. This means that the Treasury will charge you £12 500 for a house purchase of £450 000.

Now that is a lot of money but the good news is that under the old scheme we would have been charged 3% on the whole house price, which would have meant a stamp duty bill of totalling £13 500. So most of us moving house in Kent or the South East will be better off under the new regime, although it may take a while for us to fly get our head around the new tax law. In fact the Government has said that nobody buying a house under £925 000 will be out of pocket.

For more information regarding stamp duty on house purchases check out:


There is also a handy tool here to calculate the stamp duty land tax, all you have to do is enter the price of your new home and voila.


Stamp Duty Logo-Colin Batt Removals

How Much does it Cost to Move House?

House prices have risen remarkably in Kent and the South East recently and so it is more important than ever to understand the other fees involved in moving home. When you buy a property the cost to move house is more than the price you pay for the property, there are many more fees and charges that you need to budget for. These fees can quickly add up and so you should account for them before you agree your sale and mortgage. To help you with this we have compiled a list of charges you should consider when moving house, everything from mortgage fees to house removal costs.

Removals in Kent

Colin Batt Removals Kent House Move

All house price figures were obtained from Zoopla using their Zed index and are accurate as of 21 October 14.


Zoopla currently estimates that the average house price in Kent is now in excess of £278,000 and has reached the previous highs set before the economic crash in 2008. This means that the deposit requirements for your mortgage are also increasing. Listed below are the average prices and illustrative deposits you may need for a variety of example properties currently available in Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury.

Location Property Average Price 20% Deposit
Maidstone Detached £456,047 £91,209
Canterbury Flat £188,076 £37,615
Ashford Semi-Detached £233,222 £46,644

Mortgage Fees

You will be acutely aware of the costs and long-term financial responsibility a mortgage brings – with the added bonus of your own home! What you may not be so mindful of is all of the other fees mortgage providers charge you. There is obviously the interest on your loan but there are additional fees they may charge to set up your mortgage. Some of these can be added to you loan but doing this will obviously increase your monthly payments and the overall cost of your loan. The mortgage fees vary between lenders but can include:

  • Valuation Fee £150-1500
  • Set-up Fee £99-300
  • Arrangement Fee £0-2000

Stamp Duty

Properties bought for more than £125,000 will incur a stamp duty fee paid to the exchequer on completion of the property sale by the buyer. This fee is charged on a sliding scale dependent on the property sale price. These are set by HMRC and can be viewed at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sdlt/intro/rates-thresholds.htm. For an average priced property in Kent (£262,028) the stamp duty fee is 3% of the purchase price and so would cost £7860.

Purchase price

SDLT rate

Up to £125,000


Over £125,000 to £250,000


Over £250,000 to £500,000


Over £500,000 to £1 million


Over £1 million to £2 million


Over £2 million


Over £2 million (purchased by certain persons including corporate bodies)


Legal Fees

These are the fees incurred by the solicitor or conveyancer on your behalf for the legal work required to complete the sale.  The fees vary whether you are buying or selling (clearly you are usually doing both). The charges are usually between £300-£700 for selling and £400-1000 when buying. If you are purchasing a property the solicitor will also usually instruct all the relevant searches on your behalf (such as those to check appropriate planning permission, flood risk, chancellory etc) and these will amount to approximately £200. There is also the Land Registration Fee to pay and this usually varies between £20 and £455 depending on the property price. In total the legal fees for both selling and buying a property can vary between as much as £1000 and £4500.

When choosing you solicitor, surveyor and estate agent (see below) use a reputable firm and use firms recommended by your friends and colleagues – a cheap initial price can actually turn out to be very expensive. As always, obtain several quotes before you decide and always negotiate.

Estate Agent Fees

As with the legal fees these vary from agent to agent. The fees can vary anywhere from 1% to 3% of the final sale price. Your estate agent can also usually organise an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for you as this is a mandatory item for sale. The EPC will cost around £100 and so for an average price property in Kent the estate agent fees and EPC combined will set you back £2720-7960. Remember both the estate agent fees and the EPC charges are only paid by the seller.


A house purchase is the most expensive outlay you are ever likely to make as such it is always advisable to get a qualified surveyor to inspect the property. A home buyers report will highlight any major defects within the property and a full structural survey gives you in-depth detail on the state of the house you are considering buying. Either report could well save you thousands of pounds and a lot of heart ache in the long run. A home report will set you back around £300 and a structural survey start in the region of £500.

House Removal

Your house removal costs are completely dependent upon the amount of furniture and belongings you have to move, how far you are moving and whether you plan to do the packing yourself. Additional charges could be incurred for moving bespoke items such as pianos or fine art. Just like any other purchase do your research and use a firm recommended by your friends and colleagues. You can also use independent sites such as ReferenceLine to get a feeling for the company’s reputation.

We recommend you get three independent quotes from member of the British Association of Removers (BAR). Members of the BAR agree to abide by a strict code of practice and all members are fully insured. The BAR provide an online estimator for you to get a rough idea of how much your move may cost but always get an on-site survey before you choose your removal company.  We also provide an online form to provide you with a removals estimate, see the link to the right.




Buying a house is an expensive business with lots of additional costs to move house in addition to the actual purchase price. Careful budgeting is key as is shopping around, but do use recommended companies. After spending all that money on your dream home don’t start your first night there stressed having tried to save a few pounds by using a disreputable removal company. They are, after all, moving all of your worldly belongings so it may cost you more money in the long run.

For more house moving advice check out our helpful hints page on http://www.colinbattremovals.co.uk/house-removals/helpful-hints/