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What Is A HomeBuyers Report

If you have been asked to pay for a HomeBuyer Report you should make sure you know what you are going to get for your money. We have put together the key points of what you can expect from your HomeBuyers Report to keep you in the know.

When buying a new home, your mortgage company will require a survey to be carried out on the property. This is to make sure the property is worth what you intend to pay for it. There are three main types of survey to choose from: of those three, the most common type of survey is a HomeBuyer Survey, known as a HomeBuyer Report.

This is a ‘mid-range’ survey which is more detailed than the most basic Condition Report which could involve as little as a drive by, but less complex than the full Building Survey, which will examine lofts, damp courses etc – formerly known as the ‘Structural Survey’.

What Is A RICS HomeBuyer Report?

Typically provided or accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a HomeBuyer Report is essentially a report made on a property. It’s suitable for most modern homes, as well as conventional older homes that are in a reasonable state of repair. The report will provide an independent account of the property’s condition and shine a spotlight on any problems.

You get a fairly detailed inspection of the property, more so than you would get with a basic Condition Report. This means you will get more extensive information about the state of the home. It should identify any obvious major problems and defects, such as damp, cracks in walls, subsidence, dry rot, etc, that might affect its value. Structurally, the surveyor will inspect areas such as insulation and damp-proofing as well as testing for any signs of damp anywhere in the building. They will inspect drainage, although they will not look specifically at the drains. They will see whether there are signs of rot or woodworm that may be threats to the structure. The surveyor will also note any urgent or major faults that need attention or that may affect the overall value of the property. If the survey recommends that the house is worth less than the mortgage lender’s valuation, you might be able to make a lower offer.

The surveyor will only look at parts of the property that are immediately visible. They won’t lift up carpets or look under carpets or behind furniture. It is unlikely that they would inspect the roof space.

The survey should also include an insurance ‘reinstatement value.’ This is the amount it would cost to rebuild if your home were to burn down or be destroyed.

It will also provide:

  • A list of issues that need attention
  • Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance requirements
  • A summary of any legal considerations

A clear traffic-light coding system to highlight defects.

How Long Do The Results Of A HomeBuyer Report Take?

Once the survey has been carried out, you should receive the report on the property within a matter of days.
Having given it some consideration, you can call the surveyor and discuss the findings with them, if there are things you need to query. You should also get any issues in the report in the investigated properly by an independent expert.

How Is A HomeBuyer Report Different From A HomeBuyer’s Valuation?

People often confuse a valuation with a HomeBuyer Report . They think it will give them enough information to make an informed decision about the property they wish to purchase, but this is not the case.

A valuation is ordered by the mortgage lender and is purely for their benefit. It’s purpose is to assess whether the property is worth the amount of money you intend to pay for it. A mortgage valuation is just a cursory inspection which may take just 20 minutes. In some cases, the lender may not even send someone to visit the property, thereby carrying out a remote valuation based on its database of addresses instead.
A valuation is not a survey. It won’t point out damage and repairs needed, or other problems.

Should I Get A HomeBuyer Report?

A HomeBuyer Report is not a legal requirement and it is an extra cost. It can save lot of time, stress and money in the long run if it highlights any problems you were unaware of. You will get peace of mind of knowing there are no obvious flaws beneath the surface of the property, and should reduce the risk of expensive repair work once you’ve moved in.

You can use the results of the HomeBuyer’s Report to renegotiate the asking price, for example, if it’s going to cost you £3,000 to repair damp walls, you may want to reduce your offer by £3,000 too. In some cases, the results could make you pull out of the purchase altogether.

How Much Does A RICS Homebuyers Survey Cost?

A Homebuyers Survey starts from around £350 for properties up to £99,000. The price will vary depending on the size of the property and some other factors. For a house priced between £100,000 and £249,000 it will typically cost £500.

For new builds/nearly new builds there is a chance that a Homebuyers Survey is not required, especially if the home is still under the builder’s warranty. However, in these cases you should pay particular attention what the warranty covers. Some areas such as damp and condensation are not always fully covered and it may be worth getting it looked in to.

Do I Need A Full Building Survey?

If you are buying an older or unusual property, or one that has obvious complications, you should always upgrade to a more thorough inspection.

The most appropriate option is a Building Survey, which provides a full breakdown of the construction and condition of the property, inside and out. The report will include any defects, with repairs and maintenance advice.

With a full building survey, the surveyor should lift carpets and floorboards, look behind cupboards, bath panels, and access the roof and other areas.

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