Fairy Godmover

House buying costs and when to pay them

House buying costs and when to pay them

The average cost of buying a home in England & Wales is ~£4,000 plus your deposit and any stamp duty, but the costs can vary a lot.

We've made a timeline showing approximately how much each cost will be, and when you have to pay them.

Jump to a section in the timeline using the buttons below:

Please note, all the timings shown below are approximate!

Before you have an offer accepted there are only minor costs like the cost of travelling to viewings.

💰Offer Accepted💰
Week 0
Treasure Chest full of gold coins

Prove you have a deposit

You will need to prove you have a deposit to the estate agent at this stage to allow the sale to progress, even though you don't need to pay the money yet!

You'll also need proof of deposit when applying for a mortgage (see here), and you'll need to send proof of where you got the money from to your conveyancer too (see here).


Week 0
Knight holding a shield with a house crest

Home Buyer's insurance

This insurance can reimburse you for the costs of conveyancing & survey if the sale falls through (as 1 in 3 sales do) and it wasn't your choice.

Read more here.


Week 0 - 1
Wizard holding an invoice scroll

Upfront Legal Costs (if applicable)

Some conveyancers ask for money at the start to cover their initial costs.


Week 0 - 2
Gnome in a fancy suit holding an invoice scroll

Mortgage fees (if applicable)

When applying for a mortgage you might be asked to pay an arrangement fee, valuation fee, and booking fee. Some mortgages don't charge any of these fees. Arrangement fees can sometimes be added onto the mortgage rather than paid upfront. Read more here.

Lenders or your mortgage broker (if you use one) might also charge you fees later on when you accept the mortgage, which you can read about here.

£0 - £2,500

Week 2 - 8
A steampunk gnome surveyor


You'll get a survey done soon after your offer is accepted, or after your mortgage offer has been confirmed by your lender. Even for new builds, getting a snagging survey is a good idea.

Read more about surveys here.


Week 8 - 12
A house with a magical spell of protection over it

Buildings Insurance

For a freehold property, you'll need to take out buildings insurance starting from the date of exchange.

Read more here.

Avg £225 per year

Week 8 - 12
Horse drawn cart carrying a large amount of gold coins

Deposit Transfer

Before exchange, you need to transfer at least your deposit to your conveyancer. Remember that withdrawing money is not always instant, and that your bank account will have daily transfer limits.

Read more here.


Week 8 - 12
Horse drawn cart carrying a large amount of gold coins

Stamp Duty

Your conveyancer may request you transfer any stamp duty land tax to them before exchange. Otherwise, you'll need to transfer it around the date of completion. Stamp duty is a tax based on your property value. For first time buyers, you won't pay any stamp duty if your property is £425k or less.

You can see the thresholds the Government have set here.

Stamp Duty

Week 8 - 12
Wizard holding an invoice scroll

Legal fees & disbursements

Your conveyancer may ask you to pay their legal fees & other remaining legal costs ("disbursements") before exchange, or they may wait until completion. They will send you a "final statement of account" telling you what these costs are.

Read more here.


(minus upfront legal costs)

🤝Exchange Date🤝
Week 8 - 13
Dragon guarding a house and sitting on a pile of gold coins

Insurance for your mortgage

Some lenders will require you to take out life insurance starting from your completion date. Other lenders may not require it, but having some insurance in place to cover mortgage payments in case you die, get sick or lose your job can be a good idea.

Read more here.

£5-50 per month

🏠Completion Date🏠
Personal to you
Two medieval knights in armor carrying a sofa

Repairs / redecoration / furniture (if applicable)

After completion, you can get any repairs or redecoration started before you move in all your belongings.

You can also get new furniture delivered - read more about what you might need & when you should order it here.

Personal to you

1-2 Weeks before move
Knight holding a box which says fragile on it


Moving costs will vary a lot depending on if you hire a van, hire a man with a van, or get a full removals service. You will need to pay either at the time of booking, or a week before the move date.

Read more detail here.


1-2 Weeks before move
Witch holding a broom and casting a magical cleaning spell


Getting your new home professionally cleaned can ensure a fresh new start. It's easier to clean an empty home rather than one filled with furniture.


0-1 Week before move
Wizard casting a spell to make envelopes fly through the air

Mail redirection

Royal Mail can forward post sent to your old address to your new home for 3-12 months for a fee, so you don't miss any important mail while you update your address.

Read more about where you'll need to update your address here.


0-1 Week before move
Chest with a magical lock keeping items secure

Contents insurance

Getting contents insurance, starting from moving day, is a good idea. It covers the cost of replacing everything inside your home if there was a flood, fire, or burglary.

Read more here.

£50-140 per year

🚚Moving Day🚚

Running total: £0

Fairy Godmover Waving

Let's plan your next steps!

Hello, I'm your Fairy Godmover 👋 I'm here to guide you through your home buying process. Let me make you a checklist of everything you'll need to do, and guide you step by step.