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  1. #1
    sterioma's Avatar
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    Question to people living in the UK

    Hope this is not too off topic...

    I am considering moving to UK next fall/winter with my family (wife and 2 pre-school children) for a career move (I am in the IT field). This is just a little more than a thought right now, but I have started my investigations.

    I have one question for all the people living there. Suppose I buy a house which is advertised for 200.000£. How much taxes should I expect to pay? Any other hidden fees, like commissions, etc...? Also, are there any yearly taxes on the house?

    I am trying to understand which is the total cost of buying and ownership, and decide whether the move would be financially sound or not. If it matters, I am considering West Sussex (Crawley) and Surrey, to commute to central London in less than 1 hour. If you have any other suggestion, I would be glad to hear.
    Stefano Ricciardi
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  2. #2

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    well the costs of moving house in the UK are quite high.

    Some are:

    stamp duty: 1% on £200,000 http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/so/rates/index.htm

    Conveyancing/Solicitors fees: ??? depends but I would allow at least £2000 but could be less depending on who you get to do it.

    House survey: ??? several hundred pounds.

    If you take a loan/mortgage for the house, you will also have to pay for a survey by the lendor. This is a basic survey to check the house isn't falling down etc. But they nearly always find some work that needs doing unless its a new property, and that work has to be carried out as a condition of the loan so there is cost involved.

    Moving costs from Italy.

    £200,000 won't buy very much in sussex or surrey. A very small house if you are lucky otherwise a flat. They are very expensive areas to live.

    Then yearly you have to pay Council Tax which would be at least £1000.00 and probably more in the area you are planning on.

    Commuting costs to London are very high. You should check with British Rail website. And if you have to leave car at station they will charge a lot for that.

    Then fuel costs are very high because of very high fuel tax. Currently £1.30 a litre and rising fast.

    VAT 17.5% on almost everything.

  3. #3
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    You don't say how long you plan to stay but renting a property may be a better option for you to consider.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  4. #4
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    I was brought up in Horsham, the next major town south of Crawley, so you can take it as a combination of partisanship but also experience when I tell you Crawley ain't exactly the most beautiful part of West Sussex and isn't somewhere I'd choose to raise my kids ;-).

    That said, that line and area is major commuter belt - the downside is that house prices reflect that, the upside is that for all it's traditional for us to moan, the trains are fast, frequent and run all day and late at night (anyone in the south who complains about trains needs to spend some time here up north...) Ferrovia also have the honour of making our trains look like a model of reliability in my experience, so you shouldn't have any surprises on that score :-)

  5. #5

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    The main ongoing tax associated with owning a house is what is called council tax. This tax covers all the amenities provided by the local(town/village) and county council such as street maintenance, libraries, street lighting etc. Each house is classified into a band ( A,B,C, etc). All houses were placed into bands by valuations made some years ago and these bands do not depend on the current or future house prices but on the property's current address. I don't live in the area you mention but currently in the Sussex, Surrey area I'd be surprised if you could get a house for £200,000 for a family requiring at least two bedrooms but of course I am wrong if you have a specific house in mind which is currently advertised at £200,000.

    We are at the start of a "property market price correction" in the U.K. I have every reason to believe that property prices by the next autumn/winter( 2009) will have fallen. I take it you mean 2009 and not this year.

    There's no question that London is where the high salaries are. It is also where the highest house prices are and the most hassle in terms of commuting etc.

    Those who have lived in the South East within say 25/30 miles of London all their lives might regard that area as the best place to live and I have no means of comparing London and the South East/South coast with what you are used to in Italy but the overall quality of life may be better in other areas if you can secure a job outside London and the South East. The world and his uncle seem to live and work in London and it shows in terms of congestion, pace of life etc.

    I live in the South Midlands near where the two main motorways called the MI and M6 join and on a Sunday evening and I have seen close to traffic jams caused by the rest of the country driving back to London from the Midlands and North for another 5 days of work. This is still some ^amin

    When I visit there occasionally, one day is enough!

    pentaxuser


    pentaxuser

  6. #6

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    Sorry pressed the wrong button. I meant to finally say that this is still some 80 miles from London where traffic congestion is caused by this mass weekly migration to London.

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
    tim_walls's Avatar
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    Oh, as a guide to prices - quarter of a million will buy you a two bedroom semi in the nicer part of Croydon walking distance from the station and fifteen minutes train from central London; somewhere like that and you don't even need a car or to worry about fuel costs (I've never even learnt to drive.) I'd expect you to get significantly more for your money than that in somewhere like Crawley. A large three bedroom detached walking distance from the station is about 400k+ depending on condition in Horsham.

    Be warned though, the stamp duty tax is an evil thing that jumps from 1% to 3% *on the whole value* as soon as the purchase price goes above 250k; the only upside is that makes 249k the magic number for doing deals as vendors know buyers aren't willing to pay the added tax.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_walls View Post
    Oh, as a guide to prices - quarter of a million will buy you a two bedroom semi in the nicer part of Croydon walking distance from the station and fifteen minutes train from central London
    I didn't know there were any nicer parts of Croydon

  9. #9

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    I would recommend renting a house for at least the first six months to give yourself time to familiarise yourself with the UK, to find somewhere you wanted to live and to make sure it is the right decision for you. At this point in the market you should have plenty of choice in properties to rent. It will be a while before house prices start to rise in the UK and a family such as yours sounds like it will be very attractive to have as tenants so you should be able to negotiate a good price.

  10. #10
    tim_walls's Avatar
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    Meeow ;-). Although I like the snobbery against Croydon - it means I can afford to live there and be in London in fifteen minutes while the snobs are stuck on their boiling Northern Line train for 45 minutes congratulating themselves on their choice of places to live ;-)

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