Whether you have found the home of your dreams or not, you will want to know how much it costs to move house, before working out if you can afford the property in mind. House moving is not always as stressful and undertaking as it's portrayed, but it does come with expenses that can quickly mount up. From something as simple as bubble wrap (trust us, you'll need a lot more bubble wrap than you think) to hiring movers, moving house can add a sizeable cost to an already expensive purchase.
Using a house moving checklist can help you plan for you move – but how much will you need to budget for? And what are the ways you can save on moving house? We've asked property experts to comment.
How much does it cost to move house in the UK?
The big question is whether you're moving between rented flats or between owned houses. Moving between flats doesn't have to cost much, especially if you're not moving very far. A local moving van can be hired for £150–£300 for a day, which is plenty for most one- to three-bed flats. Typically, they'll help you load the furniture on and off the van, too, making the process easier. You'll also need to factor in the cost of a deposit on the new place (up to five weeks' rent) and the cost of hiring a professional cleaner (£150–£400 a day depending on the size of your property), unless you want to spend the last day of your tenancy furiously cleaning.
Overall, expect to pay £1,000–£3,000 if you're moving between rental flats.
Colby Short is the co-founder and CEO of GetAgent, a comparison site that helps people sells their homes at the best price.
Moving house where purchase of the property is involved, on the other hand, can quickly go up into the thousands. Colby Short, co-founder and CEO of GetAgent (opens in new tab), explains: 'Moving home can be an expensive process, with it costing an estimated average of £7,000 for moving home essentials, such as conveyancing, mortgage valuations, removals and stamp duty costs, as well as optional costs including financial advisors, mortgage brokers, property surveys and building insurance.
'The cost of the new home itself, plus estate agent fees are not included in this estimate, with average estate agent fees usually ranging between 0.75% to 3% (+ VAT). The final fee depends on the location, type and value of the property.'
'Other considerations that may cost you during the moving process include mail redirections, storage, packing materials, professional cleaning costs and care for your children or pets while moving. With all of these factors in mind, it’s clear to see how the cost of moving homes can really add up.'
How can I save money on moving house?
Although moving house inevitably will cost you money, there are things you can do to make your overall moving spend a bit less. Brean Horne, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet (opens in new tab), offers up some guidance on how to save money when moving house:
'Moving to a new place is a great opportunity to declutter your home. Take some time to look through belongings and decide how much you really need to take with you to the new property, and what you can either donate to charity or pass on to friends or family members who might be able to get better use of items you no longer use.'
Want to offset the cost of moving with some of this stuff you no longer need? 'You might even be able to make some extra money by selling stuff online through sites like Depop (opens in new tab), eBay (opens in new tab), Facebook Marketplace (opens in new tab) or Vinted (opens in new tab). This could help you raise funds to cover other moving expenses, such as removals or arranging home insurance for your new home.'
2. Sort out your bills
'Before moving home, inform utility companies and other organisations such as energy and water providers, to let them know you’re changing address with plenty of warning. This will help to settle any outstanding balances on your bills, and avoid being charged for utilities that you haven’t used.
'Be sure to take metre readings for gas, electricity and water on the day you move out and also from your new property as soon as you move in and keep them for future reference in case there are any issues with bills. Both your previous and new companies will use these readings to calculate your final bill as accurately as possible, without having to spend any extra money on usage.'
3. Don't forget to transfer other accounts
Don't forget about other accounts and services you may need to transfer to you new address. These can include:
- Your bank and credit card companies
- Your employer
- Insurance companies
- TV licensing
- Electoral roll
- Local council (for your council tax payments)
It's not just about not paying twice for your TV license. Not updating your details can negatively affect your borrowing ability in the future.
'Ensuring your address is updated across your accounts can help manage your credit score. Out-of-date details can negatively affect your credit score because they make it harder for lenders to confirm your identity. This can increase the chance of your application for new credit being rejected.'
Cost to move house UK: a case study
You may still be wondering, 'but how much does it really cost to move house in the UK, in real terms?' We've asked Ava Kelly, Digital PR & Content Strategist, at Love Energy Savings, business utilities and price comparison retailer, to give us her own real-life example. Ava is moving house at the moment and here's what she told us:
'Hiring a van / truck and moving yourself rather than with a removals company can save a couple of thousand pounds, which is what we are doing in two weeks' time. Recruiting friends and family to lend a hand lifting and building heavy furniture has been a godsend.
'Estate agents' fees are very high but can usually be negotiated down. For example, if you're buying a house with a partner and you both are selling houses, negotiate down the commission the estate agents will receive if you list both properties with them. This can bring their fees down from 3% to as low as 0.75%.
'Solicitor fees are another big expense, but shop around. Many online conveyancers offer deals far lower than local solicitor branches. You don't need to actually meet your solicitor to get work completed, and items like ID verification can be done via zoom calls so don't miss a bargain you could get with an online firm.'