On the move: costs you don’t expect once you’ve found the right house

With the house search over, it is time to move on, but before I sign off with the column, I thought it might be worthwhile to go through all the costs you can expect along the way – something I would have found useful some months ago.

The purchase
So you've found the property of your dreams – or the property you can afford – and you've skilfully negotiated your way to going sale agreed. Unfortunately, before you can enjoy this moment for too long, you'll be forced to put your hand in your wallet – and it is pretty much going to stay there for the next few months until it has been emptied.

First off is the initial deposit. When you go sale agreed you’ll typically be asked for an initial deposit of about €10,000 – and if you are buying a property that attracted several bidders, you’ll be asked to come up with this in a hurry so be ready. This comes ahead of your mortgage so you will need to have these funds already saved.

If you’re getting a mortgage, the bank will also ask you to pay for the cost of a valuation at this point– typically about €120.


Next, you’ll need to get a survey done. If you buy a new house or apartment you’ll possibly need a surveyor to do a snag list for you. And if you’re buying an older house, you’ll definitely need one done to catalogue the house’s faults and defects.

If it is an older house you’re considering, my tip is to be sure to get your surveyor to give estimates on the cost of the work that needs to be carried out – as well as their advice on how it might be done.

It seems that some surveyors do this, and some don’t, so ask before you enlist their services. You’ll still need to get proper quotes thereafter but it can give you a better idea of the scale of work needed – and might result in you looking to renegotiate the purchase price downwards. You can expect to pay about €500 for a detailed survey in Dublin.

To complete the transaction, you’ll need a solicitor. Typically, you can expect to pay about €1,200 or a little more, again in Dublin. Be sure to agree a fixed fee – rather than the old way of paying a percentage of the purchase price – and remember that the fee you’re quoted is not the only cost. When you go to close the purchase, you’ll also have to have funds for: Land Registry fees (about €1,000); stamp duty (1 per cent of purchase price); law searches (about €160); and commissioner for oaths fees (€22). And, when you go to sign contracts, you’ll need to pay the full 10 per cent of the purchase price deposit. One point to note about the legal process is that when you sign contracts, your 10 per cent deposit is non-refundable. However, a clause is typically added to most contracts these days indicating that if you can’t proceed with the purchase because you can’t borrow the funds, then you will be entitled to get your full deposit back. So, check your solicitor puts this is in your contract, just in case.

The move
When it comes to actually moving house, you have some options. Firstly, depending on the scale of your possessions, you could try and do it yourself or rope in some friends and family to help. If you need a van, you can expect to pay about €100 to rent one for a day.

If you have a fair amount to move however, it can pay off to bring in the professionals. You can use an auction website such as anyvan.ie to get some quotes. Or you can rely on a recommendation. We took this option and it did make the whole affair that bit easier as the removal people knew exactly what they were about. We possibly did it too soon, however, as we under-estimated the amount left behind– and which we had to transport ourselves. So bear this in mind when you plan your move. You can expect to pay about €100 an hour for a removal team in Dublin.

The final option is to go for a premium service whereby all your possessions are packed and moved by the professionals, leaving you free to do whatever you want. One friend I know opted for this service because it meant she didn’t have to take any holidays from work. It cost her about €1,000.

If you can, budget for having at least one month where you’re paying both a mortgage and rent (or longer if you need to do more renovations), as it’s likely that there will be delays, or you’ll find that moving is taking longer than you had envisioned.

The house
This is where you can really start to burn through your money – it is possible that in the heat of the moment you may have underestimated the amount of work needed to be done when you agreed to buy it – which means deep pockets won't go amiss.

But this is also where the fun really starts. So enjoy.