*Moving Costs* With the current climate, budgeting for the move has never been so important so, the following is a guide to help you work out the costs of moving home. *Stamp Duty Tax* This is a tax on buying property and the amount charged depends on the purchase price of the property. *Stamp Duty Fees Payable* Up to £125,000 - Zero Over £125,000 to £250,000 - 1% Over £250,000 to £500,000 - 3% Over £500,000 to £1,000,000 - 4% Over £1,000,000 to £2,000,000 - 5% Over £2,000,000 - 7% *Solicitor's Costs* When buying a property, you can expect solicitors' fees to be around £400 to £1,000 so, it is definitely worth shopping around and asking friends and family for recommendations. Make sure you ask for a fully inclusive quote as, on top of the solicitors fee, you will also have to pay a search fee (to check the property legally belongs to the seller and, other issues such as flood risks, landfill sites and pollution in the area) and a land registration fee (a charge on the purchase of the property related to the buying price). If you are selling a property as well, you can expect to add on approximately £300 to £700 for this as well. There is less work for the solicitor to do, so ask for a package price for both. *Mortgage Lender Charges* Lenders sometimes charge exit fees, or early repayment charges so, make sure you check with your current lender. If you are taking out a new mortgage, you'll need to factor in arrangement fees (which could be £1,000 plus). *Surveyor's Costs* Most mortgage lenders will also charge you a fee for a mortgage valuation, but remember this is not a detailed survey; it simply checks the property is valued correctly. Therefore you may want to consider paying an additional fee for a homebuyer's report, or a full structural survey which will throw up any serious defects. Either could save you money in the long run, especially in older properties. Surveyors' fees vary but as a guide a homebuyer's report can start at around £300 and full structural survey at around £500 (depending on the size of the property and its state of repair). To find a surveyor, contact The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at www.rics.org. *Moving Tips* • Try to avoid moving on Fridays, Bank Holidays or, at the end of the month. • Be honest about how much needs moving. If they need to bring in another van on the day, it will cost you much more. • DIY removals will be much cheaper but you'll need to factor in your time, van hire, petrol, stress and unforeseen hassles. • De-clutter before you move! There is no point in moving your belongings then discovering you need to take them to a charity shop at the other end. • Shop around for prices from removal companies with the British Association of Removers and only hire a company that carries out an on-site survey. • Get at least three quotes and check that all your belongings are insured while in their possession. • Start to research the options and de-clutter as soon as you begin looking for your new house so, you can move quickly once you have accepted an offer. *Insurance* Premiums for your buildings, contents and car insurances may go up if you move to a different area. Your provider will inform you when you switch. If you want to research the area you are moving to in advance of making an offer on a house, look at UpMyStreet.com which, includes information on policing and crime for all areas of the country. Contact your providers four weeks before the move to allow yourself time to read any amendments. *Council Tax* If you are moving to a more valuable house or to a different area, your payments may increase. Find out what your new council tax payments are from the local authority. Make contact well in advance of the move - four weeks is ideal. *Mail Redirection* Try as you might, there's bound to be someone you forget to inform about your change of address. Setting up a mail redirection costs from £8 per surname, per month - information can be found at www.postoffice.co.uk. *Phone* Notifying both your landline and mobile phone providers is free. Often you will be able to keep the same landline number; if not BT offers a Caller Redirect service for which you will have to pay. Contact your phone companies at least two weeks before the move date to ensure the service is stopped at your old address. *Utilities* You should be able to take over the existing supply at your new address simply by notifying the supplier, giving three or four weeks' notice - failure to inform them in time means they may charge you for providing gas or electricity in your old home after you have left. Remember to provide the companies with your meter readings on the day you leave and when you arrive at your new home. For peace of mind, it's also a good idea to get an expert to install the cooker, check the electrics and heating system for safety. *Don't forget to notify:* • Doctor, dentist, optician • Financial companies: bank, credit card, investments, savings accounts, loans, life assurances, pensions, shares. • TV licence • Deliveries: milk, newsagent. • Schools and colleges. • Electoral register. • Memberships and subscriptions: gym, health club, mail order and internet companies, loyalty cards. • Other insurance policies such as life and pet. • Employer and Inland Revenue. • Passport agency. • Social security, child benefit.
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