Things You Pay For When Buying a House
These are set fees and include:
- Conveyance - covers all the relevant paperwork involved in the transaction.
- Stamp Duty - this has been abolished in some countries, but the lawyer will advise if applicable to your house.
- Property search - detailed search in land register and local authority register - this will show up any proposed developments in the area as well as ensuring ownership of the house by the seller.
In the UK these Legal fees for a 3 bedroom bungalow can average $1500 (£1000) depending on purchase price and stamp duty.
In the USA these costs vary from state to state but on average legal fees are typically 2% of house price.
Estate Agents/ Brokers / Real Estate Fees
Agents or brokers arrange mortgages, receive deposit and forward this along with the money to buy the house to the lawyer/attorney. They charge 1-2% of the price of the house in UK for this service, but you could pay up to a whopping 6% in USA.
Removal or Moving Fees
Shop around for the best deals, try to choose a removal or moving company to pack/unpack breakable items such as glassware, crockery, pictures, mirrors and so on. This will save you money in the long run. Most companies are reasonable. Depending of course on how much household goods you are taking with you. Expect to budget $800-900 (£500-£600) for this cost. A $75 (£50) tip should be included.
Home Survey Report/ Building Inspector
This is carried out by a qualified person who inspects the house for energy efficiency and produces a report, recommending any changes to be made to increase the energy efficiency of the house heating, insulation, or structural problems.
Average cost of home survey report is $530 (£350).
Mortgage Insurance- Optional
If you have a down-payment, you will not need this insurance. This covers losses if you can’t keep up the payments and the mortgage lender has to sell the property at a loss. Costs vary but expect to pay $2280/$151,900 ( £1500/£100,000) borrowed. Some lenders will add this to the mortgage loan. Best way to avoid paying this premium is to select a lender who does not apply this, although they may charge a higher interest rate in lieu.
Absolutely essential, start coverage from midnight on the day you take possession of your house.
Insurance companies give contents insurance discounts if both buildings and contents are insured through them. Expect to pay $760 (500/year) for homeowners insurance, premiums best paid through escrow accounts.