Whether you’re taking that first leap into home ownership, moving location or making that next step up the ladder, looking for a new home is always exciting. It’s a fresh start, a new life chapter.
Once that dream home has been found, reality kicks in. There are a seemingly endless amount of essential steps and legal processes to navigate through before missives are concluded and you have the keys to your new home. These elements to the buying process are all important, including the Home Report.
A legal requirement in Scotland, the Home Report – is a crucial pack of detailed information about the condition and value of a property. Commissioned by the seller, the Home Report contains three parts: the Single Survey, the Energy Report and the Property Questionnaire.
For buyers, a Home Report is a crucial tool to spotting any potential issues as well as planning ahead. However, here at the Home Report Company we understand that for some buyers it can be difficult to know what to look out for within these in-depth reports.
As the saying goes ‘knowledge is power’, so our Managing Director Andrew MacKenzie takes you through what you need to look out for in a Home Report to decide if the property is right for you.
The valuation of the property in the Single Survey is an independent value provided by a Chartered Surveyor. This valuation will provide the benchmark for knowing what to offer as this value will frame the seller’s expectations. But it’s important to remember that the actual sale price will depend on the level of interest in the property, and specific geographical market conditions.
Council Tax Costs and Factoring Charges
Within the Property Questionnaire there will be information on the Council Tax Band and any factoring costs. When it comes to affordability and budgeting, it’s always worthwhile looking into these added costs and cross checking what is supplied by the seller. Remember, in some cities such as Edinburgh, council tax costs can be more than £300 a month. Factoring costs are also important to research as these can add on extra monthly fees which can affect your budget.
The Energy Report details how energy efficient the property is so it’s important to read this thoroughly. This report can give an indication to unseen costs, such as the need to increase insulation or double glazing, in order to reduce energy bills.
Single Survey Repairs
The Single Survey provides a detailed report on condition and value of a home; this is where a physical inspection takes place. The purpose of this report is to provide both the buyer and seller comprehensive information about the property’s true condition, including any alterations that have been carried out.
The condition of the property is separated into three sections – Category 1 to Category 3:
Category 1: No immediate action or repair is needed.
Category 2: Repairs or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised.
Category 3: Urgent repairs or replacement are needed now.
The Single Survey also includes an accessibility audit which is helpful to families with young children, older buyers and people with disabilities.
It’s really important to read through this survey thoroughly to understand what work is required or recommended, and how urgently. Some works can seem extensive and expensive which can put buyers off, but in reality are pretty straightforward and inexpensive. Whereas some works can seem small but are major undertakings. It’s always best to discuss this with your solicitor and look into estimates, or further specialist surveys.
One of the key things to look out for in a Single Survey is urgent roof repairs. Roofs are a fundamental aspect to safety of a home, ensuring it’s watertight and windproof – they are also a central to a property’s structural integrity. Roof repairs can be really expensive so always investigate further and cost out in advance if the rating is 2 or 3.
Historic settlement is common in older properties and is nothing to be concerned about. It’s the newer-looking cracks and sloping that need attention. Large cracks on walls, damaged lintels and sloping door frames picked up on the Single Survey should all be investigated further as they can show recent structural movement which may result in extensive (and costly) repairs.
It’s often assumed re-wiring a property is inexpensive, or not important. But a home with outdated electrics can be problematic and should be tackled early on. It’s also always worth re-wiring before you decorate or do any improvements as remedial work is disruptive. Re-wiring can also be expensive too, so ensure you get quotes in advance.
Dampness / Timber Decay / Rot
These needs addressing immediately and can be very expensive to sort. If you see any of the above on a Single Survey then beware. Rot for example is a type of fungus that can compromise the structural integrity of the structure, and depending on its nature, can spread very quickly. It’s always worthwhile commissioning a specialist survey in advance of making an offer so you have a better indication on costs.
Before it was banned in 1999 when it was discovered to be an extremely hazardous material, asbestos was used in construction as an insulator and due to its heat resistant properties. If a Home Report details the presence of asbestos, any work done will be significantly more expensive as asbestos removal requires a specialist.
At the Home Report Company, our team of highly experienced Chartered Surveyors, all regulated by the RICS, offer Home Reports, Private Valuation Reports right across Scotland. The team are available 7 days a week, at times that suit you.
Get in touch today to arrange a time to suit you. We offer early morning or evening and weekend appointments. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us at email@example.com