Renters are ‘unfairly’ losing some or all of their tenancy deposits

Real price of getting on property ladder revealed with new tool

First-time buyers – including both owner-occupiers and first-time investors – are sometimes in the dark about the additional costs of buying a home, so Totally Money has broken it down.

Investing in bricks and mortar is a fantastic way of getting the most out of your money in the long-term, but it’s vital that buyers go into it with their eyes wide open in terms of all the additional financial implications that can be involved.

From stamp duty to solicitors’ costs and surveys, whatever you’ve agreed to pay for the property can soon escalate before you’ve even got the keys, and after this point any early repairs, maintenance or renovation work can also add to the final bill.

Be aware of the costs

Now, Totally Money has carried out a study looking in detail at the costs involved when buying a property, and created an interactive tool that can be used to calculate a rough outlay for buyers. While the tool is aimed at first-time buyers and therefore bases the stamp duty calculation on the latest structure brought in last autumn, property investors can also use the tool as a way to help them better estimate their returns – although seeking a professional opinion is always advisable.

Regionally, additional costs can vary massively. In London, the study revealed that they can total as much as £125,195, while at the other end of the scale in Bradford the add-ons come to around £24,895. The UK average is £38,777, which sounds like a lot but is something most well-informed buyers will have factored in.

Joe Gardiner, Totally Money’s head of brand and communications, said: “Buying your first home is an exciting step in your life, but it’s also an expensive one – and often more expensive than you initially estimate. We conducted this research to help first-time buyers make sure they are aware of all potential costs before they have to pay them.”

Crunching the numbers

Using the tool, buyers first choose the city in which they’ll be buying, the cost of the property, deposit amount and number of bedrooms. There are then a number of additions that can be made to the total, including repairs and renovations such as a new boiler, insulation, or fixing cracks, moving costs, and set-up fees for things like broadband and TV licence. Once everything is taken into account, the tool provides you with a complete breakdown – which is obviously an estimate but can at least put the whole bill into perspective.

While it should not put anyone off buying a property, as both a secure place to set up home as well as an investment for the future, buyers should always be aware of what will be expected of them financially before embarking on any purchase, in order to avoid issues further down the line.

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