The Cost of Moving Home

If you’re hoping to buy your own home, you’ll need this comprehensive guide to the costs involved in buying a house or flat and moving home. Always remember when you’re saving money for a deposit, you might need to stash away more than you think. There are lots of extra expenses involved in the home-buying and conveyancing process, from solicitor fees to removal costs.

Adding it all up, you can see that for a property costing just over £200,000 the average total of these fees would be around £3,000.

These costs will vary depending on the home you’re buying and other circumstances. Luck plays a role too, especially with surveys – if a major issue is discovered, you may have to start all over again.

On top of your deposit, you’ll need some extra cash ready for the following:

Surveyors – before you can get your mortgage, your lender will want to value the property, and you’ll need to pay or this. Valuation surveys tend to cost around £200 – £300. However, unless the home is a new build, you should also arrange your own survey to reduce the chance of nasty surprises later. A HomeBuyer’s Report can cost between £250 and £1,000 (depending on size of property) and a more detailed building survey can cost up to £1,500.

Mortgage fees – when you take out a mortgage, you’ll have to pay certain fees to the lender depending on the type of mortgage deal. Fees may be as low as a couple of hundred, but could run into a few thousand – so check with your mortgage adviser.

Mortgage term life insurance – if you have a partner, dependents, or a co-holder of the mortgage, it’s highly advisable to take out mortgage term life insurance. This means that if you die before the mortgage is paid off, the insurance will pay off the debt in full.

Conveyancing fees – the conveyancing process ensures your home purchase is fully legal and watertight, and is usually carried out by a solicitor. Fees for this are typically between £850 and £1,500. Your conveyancer should also conduct a range of ‘searches’ to prevent any unpleasant surprises like mine-shafts under your property – these searches cost around £300.

Stamp duty land tax – How much you pay is worked out through a tiered system. You pay 0 per cent on the first £125,000, 0.2 per cent on the next £125,000 – £250,000, and 5 per cent from £250,000 to £925,000, and the tier continues with more tax for properties over higher thresholds. N.B. stamp duty relief is available for first-time buyers, so you may have a lower bill or none at all.

Adding it all up, you can see that for a property costing just over £200,000 the average total of these fees would be around £3,000.

These costs will vary depending on the home you’re buying and other circumstances. Luck plays a role too, especially with surveys – if a major issue is discovered, you may have to start all over again.

Removal costs, furniture and decoration

Most people moving home use a removals company, which will cost between £500 and £1,000. If you’re a first-time buyer and don’t yet own much furniture it’s possible to do it yourself – but then of course  you’ll want to buy some furniture! You can expect to spend around £2,000 on furnishings and an extra £1,000 on white goods such as fridge, washing machine and cooker – as a minimum. But you can save by buying second hand, looking at sites like Freecycle, and seeing if friends and family have items they no longer need.

Depending on the state of the property you’re buying, you may also need to factor in costs such as redecoration and/or home improvements too.

What about selling costs?

If you’re not a first-time buyer, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of selling your current home. The main one here is the estate agent’s fee, which comes directly out of the money your home fetches (usually between 0.5 per cent and 3 per cent).

You’ll need to shell out for your home’s EPC rating certificate upfront, which costs between £60 and £120. If you’re selling a second property (i.e. not your main residence) then you may also have to pay capital gains tax if its value has risen.

Can I put these costs on my mortgage?

The short answer to this is yes, you can add many of the costs of moving to your mortgage. However, in most cases you should resist the temptation to do so, as you’ll pay much more over time – and you can usually get better value finance deals elsewhere. Talk to your mortgage adviser to find out more about this.

Need help saving up a lump sum for buying a home? Then see our page on deposits.

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**By Nick Green. Nick Green is a financial journalist writing for Unbiased.co.uk, the site that has helped over 10 million people find financial, business and legal advice. Nick has been writing professionally on money and business topics for over 15 years, and has previously written for leading accountancy firms PKF and BDO.

Picture by Skitterphoto at pexels

Expat Jobs

Finding a job abroad can prove rather tricky if you’ve not arranged something prior to going; or been out-posted by your job, or  sponsored. It’s the dream to retire upon a pension, and to have the means to live without concern for your next meal.  And as Christians, not everyone’s been called to a Church ministry. The majority of Christians have secular jobs in which to work and earn a living, as the Lord needs His witnesses everywhere. There are many factors to why a person would move abroad, but first and foremost, as a child of God, we’re called to be the witness in the vicinity the Lord has placed us, and a light in the darkness, by how we live. We’re to show Jesus to an unconverted world by how we conduct ourselves, even before we open our mouths to preach the gospel, be it in the workplace, our community or our homes. As the Lord’s ambassadors, we’re forever being watched.

Be Independent

Don’t rely on your host country to have work for you, if you’ve not arranged this beforehand. There’s a shortage of work due to current events, and many of their nationals are fleeing to find a better life abroad, the grass is always greener on the other side… but as Christians if we’re seeking to live an obedient God fearing life, it would’ve been something  that we prayed about earnestly; asking for God’s guidance, wisdom and discernment, to ensure that it’s His will for our lives, to relocate.

Finding your niche

A person needs to be resourceful and come up with legal ways to make a living with the gifts the Lord has giving them. It’s thinking of ways to offer a service that’s beneficial to someone else, be it near or far. Do you have a special skillset? What’s lacking? Sometimes you might actually need to take a course or teach yourself, and nowadays tutorials are readily available online for free. Can you teach English? Sit down and list all the things you can do naturally and usually take for granted, as this is your area of gifting. How can you use it to bless others, if you’re not doing so already? If you’re not sure of what it is, because usually we’re blind to these things, ask the Lord to reveal what He has gifted you with.  What do others praise you for, and you turn round and say, “It’s easy!” and then look at them sideways, because you genuinely find it easy to do, and then they declare that it’s not something they can do? That is usually your gift, to be nurtured, and expanded upon.  

Utilising your Gift

How can you utilise that gift to make multiple streams of income? For example, just say you can fix a car, that’s a niche area.  As well as doing your regular day job fixing cars, you can expand that business by milking it. You can teach others what you know and charge for it, either in person or via an online course or little snippets of “how to…” fix this or that, do an oil change etc. To you this isn’t rocket science, but to someone who doesn’t know how to do these things, it’s a blessing. Places like YouTube and udemy, along with many others, opens up this possibility. As long as you have more knowledge than someone else in a subject, you can teach it! For example, you have your language in your mother tongue, which you can teach. Plus, if you know another language, you may not be fluent in it, but what you do know… you can teach it. Why?  Because you have more knowledge than someone else, who hasn’t begun learning it. You could also become a digital nomad, where you can work anywhere. 20 Digital nomad jobs you can do from anywhere / Working nomads

Sit down and think and get creative. If you’re good at admin stuff, or have a hobby maybe you can offer that service on fiverr? Again you don’t need to be an expert, you just need to have more knowledge than someone else, and that person will be your target audience. Offer what you CAN do, and what you already have! Do you have a spare room or empty garage? Rent it out. Do you own a car? Utilise that asset.

13 ways to find a job in the Balkans 

Pray for the Lord to guide you to the job He has ordained for you. Think positive knowing that God will open a door of opportunity for you. You have to step out in faith believing. Change your mindset knowing that you can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you, gives you wisdom, grace and guidance. Ask for this daily and when you receive it, don’t forget to give thanks. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, and not one of entitlement. The Lord always sends people or leads us to people who can help us, I’m living proof of that, a whole another story… Trust that the Lord works everything for good, and we know He does all things well, knowing that He has a plan for our lives. He had a plan and a purpose ordained for you from the foundations of the Earth. Ask for His will to be done in your life. Remember according to your faith, be it unto you and whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!

Knowing who your God is

The Lord knows your needs and will make provision for you. If He cares for the sparrows, how much more you? As I always say, the Lord meets our needs, not or greeds, the Bible says, give us this day our daily bread. Sit down and get a game plan together and think outside the box. Think smart! If you don’t have wisdom, ask God for it, He’ll give it freely! “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11)

Prayer: I thank the Lord that you have come to know Him as your Lord and saviour. May He bless the works of your hands, and meet you at your point of need, be it physically, mentally or spiritually. May He give you abundant grace, guidance and wisdom in all that you say and do.  May He drawer you closer to Him, nurturing a pure and simple devotion unto Him, and give you His peace, knowing that He is sovereign and knows the beginning from the end, and that He is on the throne and has overcome the world! Amen

Article by Lori McPherson  /  Photo by Ono Kosuki

Helpful Tips for Emigrating Abroad Post Brexit

Starting fresh abroad

At midnight between December 31 and January 1, the clocks marked not only the beginning of the new year but also the final end of the United Kingdom’s European Union membership.

As it can be appreciated, the idea of living and working abroad has always been appealing for so many reasons, and Brexit has definitely triggered that motion for people to consider starting a new life abroad. People have moved from the UK to other EU countries and vice versa with the idea of leading more prosperous lives in a different country. But this is the aspect in which the decision to leave the EU will probably have the most significant impact.

UK expats could find it more difficult to work in the EU if host countries ask them to comply with more restrictive rules related to permits and setting up businesses. Those UK citizens interested in working in the EU may lose their automatic right to do so and be asked to apply for Blue Cards. Check how the new rules effect your stay in host country of choice.

Pre-Brexit, British people were entitled to live and work anywhere they wanted to in the EU without a visa. You could’ve travelled wherever and whenever you like, you could’ve lived in any of the 28 member states for as long as you choose and you would’ve had the same employment rights as if you were a local.

After Brexit, it is very likely that each member state would impose the same visa rules that they do on other non-EU countries. In other words, they are entitled to, if they want to, ask you to have a visa and satisfy any other imposed condition.

If you are already living abroad, it’s extremely unlikely that you will  be asked to apply for a visa. However, you might see your automatic right to healthcare and other benefits withdrawn: More info here.

It is expected for the UK government to start a series of negotiations to secure UK citizens living abroad their continued right to work, reside, own property in other EU states and to access public services such as medical treatment in those states.

Alongside the EU membership will also end many benefits for UK nationals, including the benefit of travelling to the rest of the European Union Member States with only an ID.

Starting from January 1, 2021, when the transition period for the UK to leave the EU ends, all Brits travelling to any of the EU countries, excluding Ireland, will need to carry their passports with them and present them at the EU port of entry.

A British passport will be valid to travel to the EU with it, only if it meets all of the criteria listed below:

  • Is valid for at least another six months on the day its holder travels to EU
  • Is no older than 10 years on the day its holder travels to EU

If a passport is burgundy or has the words ‘European Union’ on the cover, it will be valid until the day it expires.

The government has also warned Britons who hold passports with extra months added from the previous passports, that the extra months will not count.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra month may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed,” the government points out.

The government advises all Brits planning to travel to the EU after December 31, to check whether their passports meet the criteria given above. If not, govt advises it nationals to apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected.

The new rules will apply for travel to and between the EU Member States, Schengen Area countries and microstates, excluding Ireland. These countries are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican), Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Aside from their passports, UK nationals are already going through other changes as a result of Brexit, including joining third-country lanes at airports, and not those they have used until April 12, as they are reserved solely for the citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

For short-term trips to the EU, Britons will not need to apply for a visa, as both the EU and UK have agreed to permit each other’s citizens to enter for short-stays with only their passports. Yet, Brits showing at the EU ports of entry must make sure they also have the following with them:

  • Proof of return or onward trip
  • Sufficient financial means to support stay in the EU
  • Proof of health insurance covering the whole EU territory

Moreover, by the end of 2022, Britons will need to obtain an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), before travelling to the EU.

The latter is a travel system that has been established in a bid of the EU to know who will enter its territory before travellers even arrive at the borders, and will be obligatory for the passport holders of over 60 world countries that so far have benefited from the visa-free entry to the Schengen Area for short-term stays, including UK nationals.

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**Courtesy of the http://www.schengenvisainfo.com / Photo by César+Mirna Choto from Pexels

John Mason International Movers

Leaving the UK and moving abroad can prove to have its challenges. Whether you are planning on leaving the UK for a fresh start, or for a career change, a commonality between both is the process for removals. John Mason’s International removals service includes full export packing, loading, shipping, customs clearance, delivery and unpacking. If you’re looking to leave the UK, we can also provide you with storage and pet relocation, to ensure your animals arrive to your chosen location safely.