How much should you save up before looking for your dream property?

Buying a house, or should I say getting a mortgage, is going to be expensive.

I think that is something everyone is going to know before they even start saving, but how much do you really need to save before you can go out and start looking?
Your mortgage deposit
The first total you’ll need to meet before you can buy a house will be your mortgage deposit. This can vary from mortgage to mortgage but in the majority of circumstances, you will be expected to have at least 5% of the houses total value.
For example, if the property you want to purchase costs £100,000 then you will need at least £5,000 as a deposit. However, it is strongly advised that in more expensive properties, you save up at least 10% instead. The more you can put down for your deposit, the cheaper your mortgage will be, so the more you can save the better.
However, while the mortgage deposit is going to be your main concern, it unfortunately isn’t the only expense you’ll need to consider when saving up. The other expenses will vary on a case-by-case basis but in general, the other expenses are:
•    Survey Costs
•    Solicitor’s fee
•    Removal/ Transport costs
•    Home Insurance
•    Furniture and decorating costs
•    Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
Let’s look at these different expenses in more detail and work out exactly how much you will need to save up before you can comfortably buy a house:
Survey Costs can vary which makes them a bit of a wildcard when it comes to getting a mortgage. The good news is that in some cases your mortgage provider may add the survey total to your total mortgage so you won’t always have to pay it straight away. However, in the majority of circumstances, you will be expected to the pay right away. The property you want to buy will play a big part in the surveys cost- a bigger property or an older one will cost more to survey than a smaller, newer one.
In general, you can expect to pay around £2000 at the high end for a housing survey and around £400 – 500 at the lower end. You can expect to hit the middle ground of around £800 for a survey.
Solicitors fees again vary wildly and the type of mortgage and size of your property will again play a big part in the amount you’re charged. In general, you should expect to pay around £1500 at a maximum and around £800 at the lower end. There will be VAT fees to consider as well which are charged at 20%.
Next, you have to consider removal/ transporting fees- this can be very cheap if you’re willing to do it yourself. This isn’t always going to be an option, but if you can’t do it yourself, grab a few friends to help you and you’ll save costs on professional movers.
Prices will again vary depending on the number of things you need moving but in general, most movers charge around £40 - £60 per hour. The average home insurance cost is £135 per year in the UK, which works out at around £11.25 per month. Of course, there is a lot of variables to consider depending on the amount of cover you want but this gives you the average expense you need to consider.
Next, we have furnishing and decoration costs, which again can be very cheap if you are bringing a lot of furniture with you and don’t need to or plan to do any decorating. However, even if the house/ flat you’re moving into is fully decorated, saving up a little extra to put towards possible furnishings is still advisable.
Finally, we have the mortgage arrangement and valuation fees to consider, the good news is valuation fees should already have been taken care of in the housing survey fees. Which leaves the mortgage arrangement fee and the average price you can expect to pay is around £1000 although in some case it can be much higher at around £2000.
So, that covers everything you need to think about when buying a house. Focus on getting your deposit saved first and then save up enough for the additional costs and you’ll be ready to start viewing properties.