Eight ways to make potential savings when taking your next step on the housing ladder.
This article is part of our Master Your Move Zooploma - a series of free guides, insider advice and inspirational stories delivered straight to your inbox.
Moving home can be an expensive business. But it might actually save you money in the long run if you make smart choices.
But there are other reasons it could make financial sense, too.
A lifestyle change as a result of moving home, such as cutting back on those daily flat whites and midweek Nando’s, could also give you a savings boost.
Find a home with an office
The shift in working culture created by the coronavirus pandemic has meant that 86% of us are working at home. And what many buyers are looking for in a home has consequently changed, with a home office now high up on the buying agenda.
If you anticipate working remotely more often - or permanently - in the future, then buying a property with an office could cut your commuting costs significantly.
After all, the average commuter spends £37,399 over their working lifetime, according to YouGov and Lloyd’s “How Britain Lives” survey.
If you can work from home on a more permanent basis, then why not invest in a house with a home office?
This two-bedroom house in Stroud, Gloucestershire is on sale for £275,000 and comes with a home office/ studio in the garden.
You could also use it as an opportunity to reduce the money you spend nipping out for coffee or lunch at the likes of Pret A Manger or Greggs.
Brits aged between 30 and 60 spend an average of just over £20 a week eating out at cafes and restaurants (not including alcohol) according to the Office for National Statistics. That works out at just over a grand each year.
An average kitchen refurbishment costs £5,635, according to research by the National Association of Estate Agents.
So if there are two people in your household, each saving just over a thousand pounds a year, it’ll take you three years to save up for a new kitchen - adding appeal to your new home along the way.
Fewer meals out might save you other kinds of pounds, too.
Take advantage of the stamp duty holiday
You could save thousands of pounds if you buy a home before 31 March 2021 thanks to the stamp duty holiday announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July.
The new rules mean that nearly nine out of 10 transactions will no longer be subject to stamp duty, with the average bill falling by £4,500.
Just think of the fancy sofas and mid-century modern furniture you could spend that money on instead.
Embrace the outdoors
Even the most committed gym bunny would be hard-pressed to choose a treadmill over running through rolling fields.
If you move home to an area with access to the great outdoors, you could save yourself the average £40 a month it costs for gym membership and get some fresh air to boot.
It’s impossible to put a price on cleaner air, a fitter body and better life balance, but living close to nature could certainly save you money in the long term.
Weekends away? There’s no need if you already live at the seaside or have the best possible views over beautiful countryside.
If you move to a different area with children, you may need to arrange new childcare - which could lead to further savings.
Nursery fees are typically cheaper outside big cities. A full-time day nursery place is about £210 a week for a child aged under two years old, but in London, the average cost rises to £280, according to Babycentre.
If you buy a bigger house with a spare bedroom, then hiring an au pair might suddenly be an option. With two or more children, this can often be cheaper than combined nursery fees each month.
And if you move closer to grandparents or other relatives then a bit of free babysitting might also be on the cards.
Lock in cheap interest rates
You could take advantage of low mortgage rates and secure a new, more competitive deal.
The Bank of England reduced the base rate (the bank’s set interest rate for lending to other banks) to a record low of 0.1% in response to coronavirus. And the average interest rate for two-year and five-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a record low in May.
It could be very affordable in terms of monthly repayments, especially if you have a longer mortgage term.
Downsizing could unlock capital from bricks and mortar and enable you to scale down your mortgage repayments, become mortgage-free or minimise costs to free up cash.
For movers such as retirees, empty nesters, small families or singletons, moving to a home that has fewer bedrooms or reception rooms might also provide a better life balance.
This two-bedroom house (main image and above) in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire is on sale for £200,000.
Get better value for money
Moving to a bigger home in a less expensive area could give you better value per square metre for your property.
Households in London were most likely to spend more than 30% of their combined income on housing and those in the North East were the least likely to, according to the latest English Housing Survey.
A clever geographical switch (perhaps one that brings you closer to relatives or friends?) might give you more bang for your buck and save you money long term.
Snap up the best utility deals
Your new house might be bigger, but you may actually pay less on your rates.
Use a home move to compare suppliers to make sure you get the best available deal on your gas and electricity, water, internet provision and insurance.
London and Manchester are the most expensive cities to insure your home, according to Urban Jungle, while Edinburgh or Cardiff are the cheapest on average.
It’s also worth finding out how much council tax is likely to set you back before you buy.
Doing a bit of homework on your home move could really pay off in the long run.
You may also be interested in...
- 8 ways to predict the next big property hot spots
- How lockdown has changed home priorities
- First-time buyers to get 30% discount on first homes in proposed housing scheme
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