The Fixer: Buying your first home

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The Fixer logo Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.


Dear Fixer,
After years of saving, I finally have enough money set aside to buy my own home.

I have found a flat that I like and that is within my budget, but I am a bit worried about how much I will have to spend on the actual process of buying it.

I have the deposit ready to go, but I am already stretching myself and I don't want to take on any extra debt than the mortgage itself if possible.

Can you tell me how much the purchase is likely to cost me? The flat I want to buy is on the market for £125,000.

A Black, Scarborough

Dear Mr Black,

The good news is that, as the flat you want to buy comes in on the first stamp duty threshold, you do not need to worry about one of the biggest expenses related to buying a home.

While purchases of properties worth up to £125,000 are stamp duty free, the tax is charged at 1% on properties sold for up to £250,000, 3% on those worth between £250,000 and £500,000, and 4% on homes with a price tag of between £500,000 and £1 million.

That does not mean there will be no costs associated with the purchase, though. You will have to find the cash to cover a valuation, which can be up to £500, a survey, which starts at about £250, local searches at about £300 and solicitor's fees of up to £1,000.

Depending on your mortgage deal, you may also need to pay mortgage fees (although these can often be added to the balance of your loan). So you need to budget at least £2,000 on top of the price you pay.

If that makes the flat out of your reach, I would suggest trying to offer less so that you can keep some of your savings for your buying costs. Good luck!

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.