At Bray & Bray the people who carry out the legal aspects of buying a house for you are experienced lawyers who have chosen to specialise in residential property and that alone.  When making a decision as important as buying a house, we think that our clients deserve a professional service from a real property expert, each and every time.  It’s important to you, so it’s important to us.

As residential property specialists, we know a lot about moving house!  With many first-time buyers taking advantage of government schemes and new builds in Leicestershire and the surrounding areas, we thought it would be useful to collate a list of things that you’ll need to budget for when buying your first house.


Unless you can afford to buy a property outright, you’re going to need a mortgage, and for that you’ll need a deposit.  Most mortgage providers will require you to put down around 10% of the value of the property in a deposit, so make sure that you have saved this amount and can afford to spend it all in one go when buying a house.

Mortgage arrangement fee

Some mortgage providers won’t charge you an arrangement fee, but if they do it generally brings the cost of your monthly mortgage repayment fee down slightly.  The amount of the fee can depend on the value of your house, but they usually range between £500 and £2000.

Valuation fee

This is the fee paid to a surveyor who will value the house that you’re thinking of buying on behalf of your mortgage provider to make sure that it’s worth what you’re intending to buy it for.  If you were prepared to pay more than the market rate for a house because you really wanted it, your mortgage provider wouldn’t have the same sentiments.  This is because if you weren’t able to keep up with your mortgage payments, the house would be repossessed and your mortgage provider would need to know that they could sell it for a similar price to what you had paid for it.

Again, the valuation fee tends to depend on the value of the house that you are buying and is usually anything from £250 to £1000.

Legal fees

These are the fees paid to solicitors like us, who will make sure that the purchase of your house is done properly, so that it is legally yours either for as long as you want it (if it’s a freehold property) or for as long as your lease allows (if it’s a leasehold property).  We make sure that every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ is crossed so that you don’t have any nasty surprises about your house and its associated property after you’ve paid all of your life savings to buy it.

Conveyancing fees also tend to depend on the value of the house that you’re buying and can generally range from £750 to £1,500.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is the tax that the government charges you to buy a property worth £125,000 or more.  To work out how much stamp duty you would have to pay for the house you want to buy, visit:

Don’t worry about paying this directly to the government, your solicitor will look after this for you.

Surveys and searches

These form part of the work that a solicitor will take care of for you.  A survey and relevant searches will show you whether there is anything to be concerned about with either the house itself, its location or other parts of the property, such as gardens and driveways.

According to the Money Advice Service, the average repair bill for new homeowners is £5,750 but this can be avoided if the proper surveys and searches are carried out and any repair issues identified before you agree to buy the house.  If there is a repair that needs carrying out, it’s possible to negotiate with the sellers of the house to see whether this can be  deducted from the amount you were willing to pay for the house before you knew it needed repairs.

Furniture and white goods

If you’re moving out of rented accommodation, or from living with your parents or friends, it’s a good idea to make a list of everything that you use on a daily basis.  Something like a fridge is not the cheapest of investments and it’s not something you’re likely to be able to borrow from someone else.  Similarly, items small and large from curtains to washing up bowls need consideration – it all adds up!

Gardening and outside equipment

From lawn mowers to a shed to store a lawn mower in, maintenance of the garden will be your responsibility, so you will need to budget for equipment and storage space to enable you to take care of this too.

Bills and utilities

If you know someone else who has a similar sized house to the one that you’re buying, particularly if it’s of the same sort of age and energy efficiency level, see if they will tell you how much their bills cost.  It could be that you need to budget a small or large amount per month for bills such as electricity, gas and water and you may find it beneficial to shop around before signing up with providers of these.

Similarly, other bills will include council tax, a television licence and any extras like satellite television or a telephone line.


Your mortgage provider will insist on home insurance as standard, so that you’re not left with nothing and no way of paying them back if something serious happens to your house.  Other insurance to look into includes contents insurance to cover the items and possessions within your house (and the lawnmower in the shed that you’re going to buy) and also life insurance, so that your mortgage will be paid off if anything happens to you.

Solicitors for buying a house

If you have any questions about buying a house, we are more than happy to help.  Our clients tell us that they use Bray & Bray for conveyancing time and time again because the job is always done properly, by a qualified residential property expert.  If you’re moving house and a great professional service at a reasonable price is important to you, contact our conveyancing solicitors at any of our offices below: