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Key Moving Terms All First-Time Buyers Should Know

At Easymove of Derby, we understand that moving home has the potential to be very stressful. This is especially the case if you’re a first-time buyer and you’re unfamiliar with the terminology used by estate agents, mortgage providers and removals companies. To make your life easier, we’ve compiled this list of all the key terms you need to know if you’re a first-time buyer!


This refers to the increase in a property’s value. Home improvements, developments in the local neighbourhood such as greater access to schools or public transport, and rises in the property market all contribute to appreciation.

The opposite of appreciation is depreciation, and it is caused by, for instance, a downturn in the property market or by ongoing local issues.

Arrangement Fees

When you sign up to a mortgage deal, you will have to pay arrangement fees. While you can have these fees added to the final loan amount, it is often cheaper to pay them up front to avoid higher interest rates and increasing your debt.

Base Rate

The base rate is the basic interest rate set by the Bank of England. Banks and building societies use the base rate to calculate their interest rates for some mortgage products.

Building Survey

Before finalising anything, you should have a building survey carried out on the property. This will highlight any faults with the property, saving you time and money if the property has any fundamental and costly faults with it. You should especially have a building survey carried out if the building is older or run down.


Not including interest payments, capital refers to the total mortgage debt repayable at the end of an agreed term. That means with a repayment mortgage the capital will reduce over the mortgage period, but in interest-only mortgage the capital will not decrease until you make additional payments.

Condition Report

A condition report is similar to a building survey, but it is far more basic. An RCIS-accredited chartered surveyor will assess the property you’re looking to purchase, ensuring it is structurally sound. Condition reports are the recommended survey for newer or conventionally built properties.

A home report, on the other hand, is a step between a building survey and a condition report. It will assess the condition of all permanent structures of the property and highlight all major issues or defects that would otherwise affect the property’s value.

Conveyancing / Conveyancer

Conveyance refers to the legal transfer of a property from one party to another. A conveyancer solicitor (whom you should ensure is registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority before employing) or licensed conveyancer handles this on your behalf, filing all major paperwork related to the purchase.


A deed is a document that details who owns a given property.


The deposit is a percentage of the purchase price of a property. It is paid to the seller’s legal representative when the contracts are exchanged.


This is an umbrella term for all fees paid on your behalf by the conveyancer to complete all essential checks like local authority searches, for which you are billed towards the end of the moving process.


The equity of a property is its overall value, less the mortgage or debt amount. It is possible to have negative equity on a property if the property depreciates in value so much that it becomes cheaper than the mortgage amount still owed.

Export Wrapping Service

If you’re moving abroad, your belongings are more likely to become damaged during transit. An export wrapping service ensures that your belongings are professionally packaged and therefore protected in preparation for overseas exporting.


A freehold contract names you as both the owner of the property and the land it sits on. A leasehold, on the other hand, merely provides you with a lease from the owner to occupy the property. At the end of the lease the owner will regain full control.


A guarantor, usually a parent or guardian, is a named person who pledges to meet your mortgage repayments if for any reason you are unable to do so. Having a guarantor can significantly increase the amount you can borrow.


If you are gazumped, the seller of a property will have found another buyer who has made a higher offer for the property than you did, even though the seller had already accepted your offer. It is not illegal to do this, but most certainly not a nice thing to do!


Defaulting on mortgage repayments could lead to the property being repossessed by the lender. The lender will likely sell your property at auction and at less-than-market price to recoup some of the debt.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The RCIS is the body responsible for accrediting professional home surveyors in the UK. It sets and maintains professional standards.

Self Storage

Moving home is difficult, with plenty of cumbersome items to lug around from property to property. Self storage helps to ease this burden by storing some of your inessential items securely during your move. You can then recover these items once you have settled into your new home.

Stamp Duty

This is a transaction tax payable on the purchase price of your new property and land. Your conveyancer will submit the payment and tax returns on your behalf to HMRC. Unfortunately, payment of stamp duty cannot be deferred or added onto your mortgage amount – it is paid at the time of purchase.

If you have further questions or queries about moving home beyond these key terms, the team at Easymove of Derby are more than happy to help! We have over 20 years of experience providing clients throughout Derby, Burton-on-Trent and beyond with outstanding removals services, including domestic and European removals. To benefit from our expertise and professionalism, contact our friendly team today!