First-time buyer

Taking the first step onto the property ladder

July 12, 2023
Information published was correct at the time of writing

Overlooked costs to prepare for before you start looking for your first home...

When buying a home for the first time, it is important to consider all of the costs associated with this major purchase. In addition to the initial purchase price, there are certain fees that may come up during the process that can add thousands of pounds on your total bill.

These include taxes and fees that are not always immediately visible but add up to significant amounts when added together. According to research, first-time buyers in the UK can expect to pay an average of £35,839 in hidden costs when purchasing their first home[1]. However, this figure can soar up to £46,844 in the East and a staggering £76,747 in London.


The research highlighted first-time buyers in the UK need to consider a minimum savings amount before taking the first step onto property ladder. The study factored in various costs such as a solicitor/ conveyancing fees, surveyor fees, average furniture prices, leasehold cost, stamp duty fees, removal van fees and the deposit.

Mortgage fees can very greatly from lender to lender. It is important to ensure you get the right deal as well as checking for additional fees or charges for which you may be liable.

Common mortgage-related charges may include arrangement fees and product fees – both of which could add a significant amount to the overall cost of buying a property.


Solicitors’ and conveyancers’ fees are another area to consider when making your calculations. The cost of a solicitor, for example, will vary depending on the region and complexity of the transaction and could add hundreds, if not thousands, to your total expenditure.

Surveyor fees can also take you by surprise. A survey is important to asses the condition of a property before purchase; however, it can be an expensive part of the process so it’s important to factor this into your budget too.


Additionally, don’t forget about moving costs as van hire or a removal company – even if you choose to undertake some or all of the physical labour yourself. When you become a homeowner for the first time, it’s important to remember that there will be more costs involved than just the purchase price of a property. You should also consider any potential charges or fees related to council tax and utility bills.


Council tax is based on the value of the property and will need to be paid after moving in, while energy bills may vary depending on the type of heating system installed.

It’s worth doing some research into energy providers and their corresponding tariffs before buying so you can factor this cost into your budget. Additionally, especially if you are buying an older property, check whether the building requires any safety checks or certification.


By keeping these hidden costs in mind when budgeting for a property purchase, you can make sure there are no surprises later down the line.

Remember that buying a home isn’t just about the initial financial outlay; it’s important to factor in ongoing costs such as maintenance and repairs into your calculations too.


Some older properties may require more attention than others so it’s wise to plan ahead and make sure you are prepared for any potential upkeep costs in the future.

Owning a property is one of life’s biggest decisions and investments, so it pays to be well-informed about all the associated costs before making a commitment. With careful consideration for the involved fees and charges, you are sure to have a smooth transition to becoming a new homeowner!

Don’t forget, our professional friendly advisers are on hand to support you and can help you explore all of your options.


[1] LifeSearch – Hidden costs in first-time home buying – 01/11/22.

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