First time buyers in the UK are failing to count the cost of home ownership

First time buyers in the UK are failing to count the true cost of purchasing a home with legal fees and insurance catching them off guard, new research suggests.

Some 40.6% of new home owners don’t take unexpected fees into account and bank transfers, searches and mortgage set up costs were among the biggest shocks for one on four buyers.

The research from Pegasus Personal Finance also found that 24.3% weren’t aware of land registry fees, 16.7% unaware of stamp duty and 14.7% not knowledgeable on solicitors’ fees while one in 10 admitted a lack of knowledge on interest rates.

Some 13.5% of home owners, assumed to be those with variable rate mortgages, admitted they haven’t prepared for an increase in interest rates should they unexpectedly climb from a seven year low of 0.5%.

The firm points out that excluding stamp duty, unforeseen fees could amount to a sizeable £1,850 according to recent data from the Money Advice Service.

On top of this one in five did not account for an increase in utility bills as a result of moving to a larger property, while the same number were surprised to see their car insurance costs increase. And 24.6% underestimated removal charges while 13.9% viewed furniture and decor as a surprise expense.

‘The results of this study showed some real eye opening insights and surprisingly displayed a lack of thorough understanding when it comes to the cost of buying a property,’ said Jonathan Le Roux, director of Pegasus Personal Finance.

‘When buyers are working out their budget for a future home move, forgetting the significant costs associated with stamp duty, solicitors fees or similar can really put a spanner in the works at the last minute,’ he explained.

‘Our advice is to do your research and carefully list all the associated costs so you go into home ownership with your eyes wide open. It may be tedious but completing this homework is essential to everything going smoothly,’ he added.