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Whether you are buying a house, buying to renovate or building a house there are several costs that you might not know about. 

Each situation is different but here are 10 hidden costs we found that you should consider when buying a house.

  1. Solicitors Fees
  2. Stamp Duty
  3. Land Registry
  4. Architect/Engineer
  5. Planning
  6. Surveyor Report
  7. Mortgage cover
  8. Life Insurance
  9. Valuers Report
  10. Connection Fees (Water, ESB)

Solicitor Fees

Solicitor Fees can vary depending on who you choose but most have a standard house purchasing fee. This will be a set price for example ours was somewhere around the €1200 mark.

This included all dealings with the vendor’s solicitors, paperwork and dealings with auctioneers (if you have any).

However, I have heard that some solicitors can charge 1-2% of the purchase price so be sure to ask first what their fee is.

There are also fees that solicitors will add on such as 

  • File Plan Folio (this is the map basically outlining the property you own. Approx €40)
  • Commissioner for Oaths (This is for your mortgage provider. Approx €20)
  • Closing Searches (Approx €60)
  • Miscellaneous (postage, telephone calls, forms, sundries, photocopying & insurance. Approx €90)

So all in all the solicitor’s fees cost quite a bit.

It is worth keeping aside at least €2500 for this alone.

Stamp Duty

Unfortunately, this is another thing you have to pay for. The stamp duty of a house is 1% which can not be avoided. I know 1% doesn’t sound like much but if you are buying a new house with €400,000 your Stamp Duty is going to cost about €4,000 which is definitely a bit of a sting.

If you are like us and are buying an old cheaper house that is around the €60,000 mark then your stamp duty is €600. Nice.

The solicitor will also take care of this for you. It should be included in their final bill sent to you.

Land Registry

According to citizens’ information

“When title or ownership is registered in the Land Registry, all relevant details about the property and its ownership are entered on documents known as folios. These form the registers maintained in the Land Registry.”

What the solicitors are charging is to complete these transfers and registry of new ownership.

You can find out more about this here.

The solicitors will also take care of the Land Registry which in our case was €600.


Unfortunately, you might need both in your case which will be even more expensive. To figure out which one you need click here and read my article on how to choose between an Architect and an Engineer.

What we did was contact a company that had an architect and engineer working for them. Explained our situation and then asked for a quote.

These quotes came in around the region of €2,500 to €10,000 excluding VAT.

Also, another thing to bear in mind is the price will go up if planning is involved. Basically, they will have to do more work so it will cost extra.

Because we were purchasing an old house to renovate it is similar to a new build in that the engineer needed to sign off in stages.

Another thing to take into account is the location of the house and the size of the house.


Planning permission can be costly. If like us you plan on staying under the 40m2 size extension off the back of your house then you can skip this.

If you are not and need to apply for planning permission then this section is for you.

First thing to consider is doing you need planning permission.

I would suggest visiting citizens’ information to determine this. Here

The next thing to consider is that your engineer will charge you more.

This is just to apply.

Then it is possible that you need to test for percolation which can cost several hundred.

Then you need to pay to apply to the Building Control system and pay a fee for that also.

The cost keeps adding up.

Then there are planning contributions which also vary on the price of your house/build and the area. Each council have different prices it is worth checking this with your local council on whether you need to pay and how much.

Survey Report

If you are buying a house or renovating then you will need a survey done. Most mortgage providers actually require this now.

Basically, the mortgage provider wants to know you aren’t buying a house that has significant flaws in it.

This can be seen in a structural survey.

The best thing to do is to contact your engineer and ask for a price to carry out this survey.

Also what you can do is a snag list.

This is a report an engineer will make with all the flaws in the house you are about to purchase.

He will provide this to you and you can then use this for bargaining down the price of the house.

Also, it’s good to know what exactly you are buying.

So in short surveys are a good idea.

A structural survey cost us about €350+VAT

Mortgage Cover

This is a must-have for anyone getting a mortgage. Your mortgage provider will not give you a mortgage unless you have it.

Thankfully our provider covered us already on this.

But it is something that most people have to pay for.

Mortgage cover cost roughly €20 a month.

This can vary roughly on the amount of mortgage, age and health.

Life insurance

Again another thing you can’t get a mortgage without.

Basically, Life Insurance covers you if you get ill and are unable to work and also if you die it will cover you that way too.

Banks want to know that they will receive their money back if anything was to happen to you and you are unable to work to pay back the mortgage.

When you are going through your plan you will see typically 3 different price points.

The different prices will determine how much you or your beneficiaries will be paid if something were to happen to you.

Also, this differs for everyone.

It is mostly determined by age, health, job type and mortgage amount.

This can range from €15 a month to €150 a month.

We went with the middle plan which is about €38 a month.

Valuers Report

Another cost that you might not have factored in is a valuers report.

We had to receive this report before we purchased the property and will need to receive one for afterwards also.

The reason for receiving one beforehand is because the mortgage provider wanted to see the location, condition of the property and see its current value. If we were paying too much for it.

We will also have to get a Valuer Report for afterwards when we have completed the renovation and construction to see if our house is now worth more than the amount we took out on a mortgage.

In other words, the bank wants to know if we were to sell the house they would get their money back.

For one report we paid €150.

Connection Fees

Connection fees are often forgotten about but if you are building a new house or like us renovating an old one that hasn’t had an electrical connection in over 10 years then there can be some pricey fees to be paid.

ESB cost approximately €4000 to reconnect a house like ours which hasn’t been connected in over 10 years.

A new build can cost €4500 +.

I was told that water connection fees can also cost a similar price depending on your set-up and how far away the house is from the water mains.

Irish Water fees can definitely be among the highest on this list.

I have heard of people being quoted in excess of €60,000.

Of course, this all depends on many factors such as

  • New build or reconnect
  • Distance from main line
  • Whether the main line is on your side of the road or other
  • Whether or not you need wastewater taken care of

Irish water have a minimum of €2,272 connection charge for a single domestic connection.

To find out more about the fees click here.


So there you have it. All the fees you might not think of.

Take all these into consideration when purchasing a house.

All these fees add up considerably to add to the price of the overall house.