Buying a new property takes a lot of planning, consideration, and, in most cases, money. Think of stamp duty, mortgage fees, and a raft of other charges you have to pay. Indeed, it is almost impossible to own a home in the UK without shelling out a minimum of 5% deposit.
The same is true when you are selling your property. The cost, including estate agent commission and renovation, can be staggering. But don’t let this discourage you. Whether you are buying a new property, refurbishing your home, or selling and moving to another house, here are three ways you can save money.
1. Cutting Out Stamp Duty Land Tax
Anyone buying a residential property in England and Northern Ireland should pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). From July 8, 2020 to March 31, 2021, anyone getting a new home qualifies for the revised stamp duty rates.
If you’re buying your first property within this period, you do not pay stamp duty as long as the property does not exceed £500,000. If your property is over £500,000, you pay a reduced amount. Those buying a second house will pay an extra 3% in stamp duty in addition to the reduced rates. Take note that you need to complete your purchase by March 31, 2021, to enjoy the adjusted rates.
In Wales, stamp duty is called Land Transaction Tax, and Lands and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland. The rates and thresholds are different.
2. People Using Online No Commission Estate Agents
If you plan on moving and selling your current property, consider an online agent. You may get a higher price for your house from a high-street agent, but after commission, you could end up getting a lot less than expected.
The most obvious advantage of hiring online agents is you save a lot of money. High-street agents charge around 1.5% of the final selling price of your house. Compare this with online agents who can market your property for as little as a £99 fixed fee. Some online estate agents even offer a no-sale no-fee package. Moreover, online agents allow you more control over the selling process.
The downside to choosing online agents is they tend to have inadequate local market knowledge. Their lack of information could pose a problem when it’s time to set the asking price for your house. However, you can remedy this flaw by asking high street agents to value your home before opting for online services.
3. People Doing More Refurbishing Themselves
How can you renovate your house beautifully without having to spend too much money? You do it yourself, of course. However, refurbishing is no easy task and could go very wrong, especially when you attempt a project beyond your capacity. One way to side-step this is to breakdown your entire renovation scheme into smaller plans – bathroom now, kitchen next, kitchen last.
If it is your first time renovating, do a lot of research before you start knocking down walls or repainting your entire living room. The web has a plethora of tips and techniques to give you ideas. But do not lose sight of your goal. It is easy to get distracted on the web, especially if you have been eyeing those pretty skylights on sale for some time. Remember, you want to improve your home without splurging.
Not sure where to start? Try DIY classes online. If you’re upgrading your kitchen appliances, a simple online training course on PAT Testing would be beneficial.