What a HomeBuyer report is and when you would need to get one

Often referred to as a Homebuyers Survey and previous known as the Homebuyers Survey and Valuation (HSV) a RICS HomeBuyer report is an in depth analysis of the condition of a property and will give potential buyers professional advice and the relevant information needed in order to proceed with a property purchase, or give them the tools they need in order to negotiate the price of that property.

Home For Sale

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Generally a RICS HomeBuyer report is needed for newer homes and more conventional properties, where as in-depth Building Surveys are normally conducted on slightly older properties. With a variety of professional surveys available it is always good to do a little research on the age and condition of the prospective property as that will give you an idea of which sort of survey to request.

The Difference
Full Building Survey:
Previously known as a Structural Survey, a Building Survey is a customised service designed to give a full report into a property including a thorough assessment into the actual structural integrity of the property in question. A Full Building Survey is highly recommended for anyone who is looking to purchase an older or listed property as naturally they often have more problem areas that need addressing due to their age. A Full Building Survey will take into account any potential problem areas, documenting all issues clearly in the report including providing advice on how to solve these issues. As the report is often dealing with listed or period properties, other inspections are taken into account with design features such as thatched roofing, the use of asbestos and timber frames.

RICS HomeBuyer Report:
Generally less in depth and therefore less expensive than a full building survey, the HomeBuyer report is suitable for newly built properties that may not suffer from the aging effects that older properties have been subjected to, for example mould growth, long term rot and damp. The HomeBuyer report includes a current property valuation as well as background information regarding the condition and location of the property. It will also include an estimate for the costs of re-building the entire property for insurance purposes (known as a Reinstatement Costs Assessment) and details of potential major faults of the property that may affect its market value.

When would I need to get a HomeBuyer Report?
Generally it is always advisable to request a HomeBuyer Report for any property you’re seriously considering purchasing. As it is a detailed report marking the overall condition of the property that includes immediate problem areas and potential problem areas that could go on to impact the value of the property. It also includes various damp and mould tests for properties at risk, a HomeBuyer Report is always recommended.

Homebuyers

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Buying a property is one of; if not the single most important investment many of us will make in our lifetime, so it is essential to do a significant amount of research into your new potential property to avoid further costs down the line. If you’d rather take a leap of faith and put an offer in on a house without requesting a survey or report, you may be subject to some nasty surprises in the not so distant future.

With the recent trend of buy-to-let investors buying up ‘fixer uppers’ and renovating them cheaply for profit, it is becoming more and more essential to request a detailed HomeBuyer report in order to ensure that there are no hidden issues with the property before you proceed with your purchase. A HomeBuyer report will provide you with invaluable information you need to enter into property negotiations, and should there be any issues raised in the report, you are then able to ask the vendor to reconsider the price of the property. So if you are set on making the property a forever home or a sound investment, the HomeBuyer Report will save you valuable time and money.

What can it tell me?
Although a RICS HomeBuyer report is not the most detailed type of survey you can purchase, it is economically beneficial as it provides a well documented report of what needs fixing in a property.

As it currently stands the RICS HomeBuyer Report currently has 3 condition ratings used to evaluate and describe the overall condition of the property as well as what may need repairing;

Rating 1 states that no repairs are currently needed.

Rating 2 suggests that there are some defects that need to be repaired or replaced, however they are not serious or urgent.

Rating 3 is the most urgent rating as it suggests there are a serious defects and issues within the property that need replacing or investigating urgently.

Where to go from there
In the case of Condition Ratings 1 and 2 it may be as simple as putting down an offer for the property minus the costs of repairing the property defects as flagged up in the report. A construction defect attorney in Colorado or elsewhere might be able to help you in this regard.

When it comes to HomeBuyer Report findings with a Condition Rating of 3 repairs and replacements may be costly and time-consuming, at this point it is absolutely crucial to re open negotiations with the house seller regarding the property price or even re-thinking your purchase of the property. Think about the potential costs down the line as well as returns and use the findings highlighted by the HomeBuyer report before you make a final decision. Always seek the help of a Chartered surveyor for professional advice when it comes to finalising a property purchase.

Mike James

Content Editor

www.rmasurveyors.co.uk

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