Planning a move to London? Here's what you need to know:

Planning a move to London? Here's what you need to know:
Whether you are currently renting or living at home and hoping to move out soon, buying a property is an exciting experience and signifies the start of a new chapter with plenty of opportunities. 

London is no different. However, the capital is an economy in itself and you will need to do your research before making a move into the Big Smoke. 

Compare My Move is an online comparison site which helps movers find a reputable removal company and save up to 70% on the cost. In this post, they outline the costs of moving to London and give you some pointers to help make sure you're prepared for your big move:

Is the location suitable? 

Once you have saved a sufficient deposit for a house or flat in the area you wish to live in, the first thing you need to do is to establish where exactly you would like to live and what your budget will stretch to. Think about the following:

Are you near friends and family?

Amongst the excitement of moving to London, it may not seem like an issue, but staying connected can make a huge difference to how much you enjoy living somewhere. 

Transport and access

Do you have a car? Will you be bringing it to London? If so, you will need to look for homes with suitable parking. 

If you use public transport, calculate how long your commute to work will take and establish which transport links you will need to be close to, how much it will cost, and factors like noise pollution.


Is the house you have your eye on near parks, restaurants, cinemas and leisure centres? You will need all of these things to keep busy and maintain an active social life. 

Compromise is key

You will have to be flexible when it comes to choosing a property. Space is a luxury in London, so approach your house hunting with an open mind and consider which factors you are willing to compromise on.

The Costs

Once you have found the perfect property you will need to think about the following:

Surveyor's fees 
When you buy a property you will need to instruct a survey to spot any issues you may have missed and verify that the home is structurally sound. There are different types of surveys that can be carried out:

  • Home buyer report. 
  • House purchase survey
  • Condition report
  • Full building survey. 

How much can you borrow?
Your mortgage provider will need to assess how much the property is worth to determine how much they can lend you. The cost can range from £150 to £1,500, this figure depends on who your mortgage lender is and what type of mortgage you choose. However, depending on the type of mortgage you apply for, the lenders may not charge you as it will not be an extensive survey. 

We've teamed up with London & Country to give you fee free mortgage advice.

Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty is a tax on all land transactions and if you are buying a house worth more than £125,000, you will be required to pay Stamp Duty on it. 

Conveyancer Fee
A conveyancer will have to take care of the legal transfer of ownership from the seller to you. They will also carry out local searches to check whether there are any plans for future building work in the area which may affect your property. 

London & Country also offer a competitive conveyancing service

Home Removals
Hiring a professional removals company will save you a lot of time and stress, because they offer a variety of services such as dismantling, packing and reassembling your furniture.

Before making a decision on which removal company to hire in London, do some research and get several quotes to ensure you are getting the best price. In general, most reputable companies will:

  • Conduct a home survey and take a detailed description of the requirements of your move. 
  • Provide an easy to understand quotation with no hidden charges. If it's unclear, gain some clarity on whether the quote includes VAT, waiting time and dismantling of furniture etc. 
  •  Have trained, punctual and polite staff.
  •  Have insurance to cover the true value of customer belongings, unless you arrange it yourself.
  • Provide high quality customer service
Using storage can speed up the sale of your current home and help you declutter the property while people are viewing it. Plus, some removal companies have their own storage facilities, so check if you can obtain the best price possible!

Moving to London is undoubtedly expensive. However, by setting a realistic budget and doing your research, you will save money and stress. 

For bespoke advice and support with finding your dream home in London contact your local Ellis & Co office who is ready and waiting to hear from you. 

Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Ellis & Co blog are written by external companies. Ellis & Co do not endorse the products or services of these companies.