The HomeBuyer report is the most common type of survey carried out on a property prior to purchase. A survey is a requirement for all mortgage lenders.
Home ownership in England has dropped to its lowest level for 30 years, but over one million homes are still bought every year.
A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) HomeBuyer Report is appropriate for modern homes, as well as older properties that are in reasonably good repair. The report gives an independent view of the condition of the property and highlight any problems. It is described as a ‘mid-range’ survey – meaning that it is more detailed than a standard condition report, but less comprehensive than a full structural survey.
The report should identify any major problems that are obvious and that are likely to affect its value, such as damp, cracks in walls, dry rot, and subsidence. From a structural perspective, the surveyor will inspect the quality of insulation and damp-proofing as well as looking for any signs of damp. They will inspect drainage, look for signs of rot or woodworm, and note any major faults that need urgent attention.
The surveyor is only able to inspect immediately visible parts of the property, so won’t pull back carpets or move furniture, and they probably won’t inspect roof spaces.
The survey will also include what is known as a ‘reinstatement value’ for insurance purposes – effectively, the amount it would cost to rebuild the property if it was to be destroyed by fire or other means.
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In short, a HomeBuyer report should provide:
– A summary of any legal considerations
– Suggestions for repairs and ongoing maintenance
– A list of issues that need attention
– A simple traffic-light system to explain defects.
A HomeBuyer report should be available within a week of the survey being carried out. Such a report is not a legal requirement, but it can save lots of time, stress and money. The cost of a HomeBuyer report is dependent on the size and value of a property.