Hidden costs of owning a home in UK

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, or you’re taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, the costs for your new home don’t stop once you’ve got the keys and paid the conveyancer.

Owning a home can be a costly affair. Whether you choose to redecorate every room, add an extension, or simply replace the bathroom.

Here are some of the hidden costs you might not have considered when putting in an offer.

Water, gas, and electricity bills

choosing a boiler

Water, gas, and electricity bills can be expensive monthly costs, adding up to a few hundred pounds a month for larger properties. Although they are pretty much impossible to avoid, there are ways you can cut costs.

From taking shorter showers instead of baths to washing clothes using a lower temperature setting,  switching off devices at the sockets when not in use, to switching lights off when leaving a room.

Council tax

Council tax can range from a couple of hundred pounds a year for a small property in low-cost local authorities to several thousand pounds for bigger houses inexpensive councils. Every property is graded from A-H in England and A-I in Wales. But there are some ways to cut the cost of your tax.

From saving 25% for single occupancy to complete exemption if you’re on a low income.

Buildings and contents insurance

Things to Look for When Finding Home Insurance

Often overlooked or low on the list of priorities, investing in buildings and contents insurance is an important, and sometimes costly affair.

Depending on what you are insuring, how much your home is worth when it was built and the materials used, and the rebuilding cost etc, insurance costs can be anywhere from a few hundred pounds to thousands every year.

If you do any work to your property this could have a significant impact on the value of your property, so your insurance should be adjusted accordingly.

Maintenance and building work

gas engineer

In an ideal world, nothing would break or need replacing. However, wear and tear age, and accidents can all conspire.

From roof repairs to redoing the wiring, fixing subsidence to boiler repairs. Sometimes things go wrong and need putting right. Instead of eating into your savings, consider taking out a long term loan for unexpected repair bills.

Setting repayment terms that can be easily incorporated into your monthly outgoings will make it much more cost-effective.

Ground rent and service charges

If you live in a leasehold property, you have to pay ground rent and service charges to the freeholder.

Whilst this may mean they are responsible for the upkeep of the building and the plot; you may be liable for special contributions to work on common areas or the structure of the building.

Depending on how long you plan on living in the property, these extra charges can add up. And high ground rent and service charges can make reselling the property difficult.