Buying Costs

It’s worth doing your sums before embarking on any renovation project. There are more costs than you might otherwise imagine.

House-buying fees
Stamp duty bands
Renovation costs

House-buying fees

Your buying costs include more than just the cost of the house. For example, the typical fees on a purchase of £250,000 are as follows:

Survey: £400
Legal: £400
Mortgage arrangement fees: these vary hugely, say £800
Land Registry fees: £220
Local authority search: £110
Stamp Duty: £2,500 (see below)
Total: £4,430

Stamp duty bands

Stamp duty is charged by the government on all house purchases. The levels for this have not changed significantly for many years, and certainly have not kept apace with recent house price increases.

Stamp Duty bands:
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 1%
(except for first-time buyers, who are exempt until March 24, 2012)
£250,001 – £500,000 3%
£500,001 upwards 4%

These apply to the WHOLE amount, and not just the amount above the stamp duty bracket. For example, buying a house for £275,000 will cost you an extra £8,250 in stamp duty.

If the property is in an area designated by the government as ‘disadvantaged’, the 1% rate only applies for residential properties bought for over £150,000.

Renovation costs

You also need to estimate the cost of actually restoring the property in question. This can vary massively depending on whether you are intending (for example) to put plastic bath in for £2 off ebay, or a circular copper bath for several thousand pounds.

Here is a list of the estimated costs of some renovations:
Loft conversions: £20,000 – £40,000
Extensions: £900 – £1,400/m2
New bathroom: £6,000 – £12,000
New kitchen: £6,000 – £25,000
House rewire: £3,000 – £5,000
New heating system: £4,000 – £8,000

Projects usually run over-budget, so it’s best to include a contingency budget of at least 10% of all your estimated costs for when things do not go according to plan.

Don’t forget you will also have ongoing living expenses, especially if you are giving up work / renting a separate property while work is carried out on your project.