Buying a house in the UK is an expensive business! Just when you think you have it all figured out, along comes Stamp Duty to plonk another unwelcome expense onto the purchase, and leave you tearing your hair out.
Figuring out where you stand on Stamp Duty is half the battle. So the first step is to figure out just how much you'll have to splash out. Since 2003 Stamp Duty has been referred to as "Stamp Duty Land Tax, or SDLT, in the UK. It's a common misconception that this is a tax on the house, it isn't. Instead it's a tax on vitally important documents that you can't complete the sale without.
If you're buying a house in the UK in 2011, you will incur the following Stamp Duty rates. Up to £125,000 - Zero and Zero for First Time Buyers. From £125,000 to £250,000 - 1% and Zero for First Time buyers. From £250,000 to £500,000 - 3% and 3% for First Time Buyers. From £500,000 to £1 million - 4% and 4% for First Time Buyers. Over £1 million 5% and 5% for First Time Buyers.
If you decide to purchase in what the Government deems a "Disadvantaged Area" the threshold before you'll have to pay any Stamp Duty will rise to £150,000.
You may have also heard of Stamp Duty calculators. These will help you figure out exactly how much you'll have to pay. To save you trawling the internet, here is one we have found highly recommended: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/stamp-duty-homes-calculator .