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Setting Your Budget as a First-Time Home Buyer

When investing in property, whether as an experienced buyer or a first-timer, you're strongly encouraged to have a smart way of working your budget as a lot of fees are involved from getting a mortgage to associated services.

As everybody says, buying your own house and stepping onto the property ladder can quite costly, although the big picture can be worth the while. What you just need to do is carefully plan everything according to your current situation, get your research work done, and calculate, so you can have an idea how much you’re letting yourself into.

When estimating home-buying costs, do not fail to factor in at least an extra 10% of the total costs just to make sure you won’t come short of funds. Besides the property’s price, you might also want to consider related expenses while the transaction is in the process.


To give you a proper heads up, conveyancing may cost from a couple of hundred to a thousand pounds depending on two things: how much your solicitor charges in basic fees and the disbursements as they carry out tasks for you. In order for you to properly set your budget, make sure you search and ask for a few conveyancing quotes to compare and choose from.


From roughly 1% of the mortgage amount, this is normally charged upfront or taken out of your monthly repayments – depending on your agreement with the lender. To be sure, seek proper advice from a financial expert, your trusted bank’s representative, or a reputable mortgage broker.

Mortgage Indemnity

This covers you in case your loan value happens to be higher than the property’s. This actually secures the lender in case you’re unable to pay the mortgage off.

Estate Agent Fees

If you’re selling your property to afford this one you’re buying, you’ll need to have the house sold through an estate agent who would most likely get their fees at 

a certain percentage of the sale proceeds.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

No one is exempt from this except when the property is lower than the set amount bracket. Stamp Duty generally ranges from 1% to 7% of the final selling price.


This is going to take a huge chunk of your expenses, especially if you have heavy stuff to move like furniture. You will have to foot a hefty sum for the moving truck and the staff to assist you.

Renovation and Remodelling

Maintenance and repair work may be covered by the seller during negotiation, but remodelling the property is something you have to set thousands of pounds for.

What else should you expect?

As soon as you have moved, you will need to set your budget for the recurring household expenses such as utilities, council tax, home insurance, ground rent & service charge (if you bought a leasehold property) and car park (generally paid once a year to the local council.

Conveyancers Can Ease Your First-Time Home Buying Worries

Buying a house in the UK, whether this is your first time or not, requires you to go through the conveyancing process. Whilst it isn’t mandatory that you hire a legal expert to carry out the process for you, it is strongly recommended that you instruct one because of the amount of tasks and paperwork you need to get sorted before you can actually own the house.

Basically, conveyancing is defined as the legal process of transferring the property ownership from the seller to you, the buyer. To ensure that this process is carried out properly, the Law Society has the Conveyancing Quality Scheme in place, and property lawyers or licensed conveyancers are generally accredited members of this program. This sees to it that they comply to current regulations and standards of quality.

When you instruct a conveyancer to help you with your home buying venture, they would typically help you through the following tasks and processes:

Make arrangements with agencies and the authorities to check if the property has any pending legal or financial obligations.

Give property advice regarding the costs involved in the whole buying process, including but not limited to Land Registry fees, conveyancing searches, Stamp Duty, and survey costs.

Draft, verify and make modifications on the contract based on the agreed terms of the sale/purchase.

Coordinate with the mortgage lender about the property’s value and how the transaction moves along.

Act on your behalf throughout the transaction especially when paperwork is involved.

Assist in the registration of the property in your name at the Land Registry.

When should you hire a conveyancer?

Although it’s not a common practice, it is often best to have a conveyancer by your side even before you make an offer to the seller. Why? You might need all the proper advice you can get in terms of decision-making. More so, it should give you a good headstart in terms of sorting out the necessary documents.

If you’re going to hire a conveyancer, you might also want to consider someone who is approved by your mortgage lender because your solicitor might be asked by the lender to do some work for them related to your purchase. If you have a couple of conveyancers in mind, check with your lender if they are in the approved panel.

Also, you might want to ask your friends and relatives if they have worked with a brilliant one lately. This will save you time going through a list of potential conveyancers. Alternatively, you can have a look at the list of Law Society members and see if they are accredited members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

Budget wise, it will be helpful if you ask for quotes from different conveyancers to have a few to compare and choose from. Just be sure that you are carefully looking at the list and see if the costs are properly itemised, and that no cost is hidden from you. Better yet, as soon as you receive the quote, get in touch with them to discuss the details. This will help you at least set an approximate budget for their fees.