Move house for less – Save money on conveyancing

It’s shocking. According to research by reallymoving.com, the average cost of buying a home has increased by 84% since 2009. Ouch.

In October 2009 the average cost of moving house was £1,844.60 including a Home Information Pack. But back then we didn’t have to pay Stamp Duty on properties valued under £175K and VAT was lower, at just 15%. 

By March this year the average British property price had risen by almost £10,000 and it cost 85.4% more to move house, on average £3,418.60. How come? The first time buyers’ Stamp Duty holiday ended on March 24th 2012 and VAT now stands at 20%.

No wonder the housing market is still sluggish.

The cost of storage and removals hasn’t increased much. Interestingly, conveyancing costs haven’t risen significantly. Perhaps because the legal profession opened up to all comers in October 2011 and as a result competition is fiercer. You can’t reduce your VAT burden. Stamp Duty is unavoidable. But conveyancing is one area where you can slice a chunk off your moving costs.

A quick scout around Google returns a site offering fixed fee conveyancing from £450, cheap conveyancing from £199. Note the word from, which is only used in a marketing context when there’s a very good chance the actual cost will be much higher!

There are also plenty of conveyancing comparison sites where you can search for the best quote.

Alternatively you can buy a leasehold / freehold DIY Conveyancing kit from somewhere like conveyancingkit.com. Theirs cost £69 / £130 respectively. But if you fancy going the whole hog there’s the excellent Which Guide to Doing Your Own Conveyancing, packed with sensible advice from an organisation you can trust, available from good high street book shops and Amazon.

Tomorrow we’ll chat about DIY estate agency, another way to cut your home moving costs dramatically.