Buying a Home: What Costs (Disbursements) to Expect

Disbursements are simply all the fees and taxes your conveyancing solicitor will be expected to pay throughout the life of your transaction. Broken down into many components, in this section we break down the various elements that comprise a buyer’s list of disbursements.

Local search fee: This request is made the local council at the property’s district. A local search is important because it uncovers any surprises such as a new road schemes affecting the property, whether roads adjoining the property are publicly maintained, planning decisions affecting the property and a variety of other topics.

Drainage and water search fee: this is paid to the organisation that looks after local drainage and water supply. The search is required to obtained information of water and drainage connections to your property.

Land registry search fee: The buyer’s conveyancer will check HM Land Registry (HMLR) to ensure that the seller is entitled to sell and that there are no changes to the register since the issue of copy title.

Bankruptcy search: This applies if you’re getting a mortgage. Your conveyancing solicitor will check to ensure that you were not made bankrupt.

Land Registry transfer fee: At completion of your purchase, your conveyancing solicitor will register a change of ownership, along with any mortgage details, at HMLR.

Stamp Duty Land Tax: As part of the conveyancing process, conveyancing solicitors are required to submit Stamp Duty Land Tax, a payable tax, to the government on most properties over a certain threshold.

Depending on the property, the following searches may also be required:

Environmental search: This search will show whether the property is exposed to any environmental issues such as industrial contamination.

Planning search: In the event a buyer required planning consents and applications on properties within the vicinity, including details of loca planning zoning, a planning search is made.

Flood risk report: If the property is situated by the sea, or a river – most conveyancing solicitors would recommend obtaining a flood risk assessment.

Coal search: If the property is situation in an area where coal deposits have been identified, a coal search is carried out.

Mining search: Certain metals are mined in various parts of the country, like in parts of Devon and Cornwall. A mining search is recommended in areas that are known mining areas.


Key takeaways

Buyers of residential property in England and Wales should be prepared to cover search fees, tax and any other fees associated with a transaction. Purchasing property can be a complex and drawn out process. If you have a question about any aspect of the conveyancing process, please contact JP Goldman Specialists in Property and Housing Law now.