By Daniel Hunter

Expensive legal fees are the number one unexpected cost most likely to catch home owners out, followed by surveyor fees and stamp duty, according to new Money Advice Service research.

Almost two in five (38%) British home owners named legal fees as a higher than expected moving cost when moving to their current home, while around one in five said surveyor fees had caught them out (21%). Among 25-34 year olds buying a home, half of them said legal fees were higher than expected.

Looking at the costs of hiring a removal firm, buying boxes and using self-storage, around one in six (17%) people said those moving costs were much more or more than expected. While around one in five (18%) people who knew the amount they spent said moving costs amounted to £100 or less, around one in ten (9%) spent an eye-watering amount of £3,000 or more.

Those living in the East and the Midlands were most likely to get their moving costs in under £100 while Londoners were the least able to get their moving costs to £100 or less the last time they paid for moving costs.

The research also looked at how people are managing to pay for a deposit on their first home. More than a third (37%) of adults used savings to buy their first home, while one in eight (12%) people used their family to help raise a deposit. Few people were tempted to use a credit card (1%) or bank loan (4%) although Londoners were the most likely to do so with one in 12 (8%) choosing one of those payment options (7% using bank cards).

Those living in the West Midlands were most likely to use savings for their first home deposit with almost half (46%) of them doing so, while people living in Wales were least likely with just a quarter of them choosing to use savings.

Of those who have purchased a property, one in eight people took between one and three years to raise a deposit for their current home, while the same amount took less than a year to fund a deposit.

The Money Advice Service research is based on a YouGov report that surveyed more than 2,000 British adults online in August 2013.

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