Purchasing a property may well be the most important investment decision your will ever take, so it pays to know exactly what you are taking on before you sign on the dotted line. At Gowers Surveyors, we offer the full range of home surveys by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Whether you are buying a family home or a rental property, a RICS HomeBuyer survey and report may be the right choice for you.
What is a RICS HomeBuyer Report?
- The HomeBuyer Report provides more detailed information than a ‘Level 1’ Condition Report and focuses on significant and urgent matters that require immediate attention or may prove expensive to repair.
- The HomeBuyer Report is less detailed than a full ‘Level 3’ Building Survey but provides sufficient information about defects and areas of concern for most homes.
The survey for a RICS HomeBuyer Report is based on a non-invasive investigation of all visible and accessible areas of the property. This includes internal and external areas but will not involve entering locked areas or moving furniture or décor.
The report is laid out in a prescribed format and gives information on all areas of the property, including structural movement, damp, ceilings, walls, floors, electrical and other services etc. It also gives information as to legal concerns such as boundaries and access which may need checking further by your conveyancer.
The RICS HomeBuyer Report follows a very clear, easy-to-use structure. A traffic light system indicates the urgency of any defects that are found, with a summary of these given at the start of the report.
When is a HomeBuyer survey the right choice?
The HomeBuyer Report is suitable for the majority of homes in the UK. It is designed for properties that are of conventional construction and in a reasonable state of repair. This typically applies to homes built in the last 70 years or so, though it is always wise to make a judgment on a case by case basis.
New builds and recently built properties that are still under warranty by organisations such as the NHBC, LABC or Premier Guarantees, may require nothing more than a RICS Condition Report, while non-standard homes, old properties or listed buildings will benefit from a detailed Building Survey. If you’re not sure which survey is the right choice for your property, take a look at our handy comparison table or ask us direct.
Moving house always involves a significant investment of time, money and effort. While it might be tempting to avoid the additional expense of a property survey, a detailed report by a qualified professional is the best way to understand the condition of a building before you buy it. That way, you will have the full knowledge of any expensive or significant works required to maintain the property so you can make an informed judgement about how to proceed with the transaction.
Does a RICS HomeBuyer Report include a valuation
RICS HomeBuyer Reports don’t always include a property valuation – it depends on the Chartered Surveyor practice you employ, so make sure you double check. At Gowers Surveyors, we always include a market valuation of the property, as well as a reinstatement cost assessment for building insurance purposes, in our HomeBuyer Reports.
The valuation given is based on the current condition as found in the survey. This may be lower than the agreed purchase price if expensive repairs are found to be needed. Should this be the case, you would be perfectly within your rights to approach the vendor with a proposal to renegotiate the purchase price, or ask them to carry out necessary repairs before exchanging contracts.
Of course, Gowers Surveyors can also carry out standalone residential property valuations for homes in Cambridge, Stamford and Peterborough. Our team can deliver an accurate market value and potential sale price, and offer a rental value figure too, if required.
Case Study: Werrington, Peterborough
At Gowers Surveyors, we recently produced a RICS HomeBuyer Report for a two-storey detached house in Werrington, built in the 1980s. You can download the full case study report here.
A comprehensive inspection of the interior and exterior found the only major concerns to be regarding the utilities and services at the property, many of which appeared to be original and were now considered to be in urgent need of inspection and modernisation.
With the help of the clear, easy-to-follow report structure and a traffic light system indicating the urgency of any defects found, the pressing need for a professional inspection of this property’s utilities to ensure their safety and compliance with current building regulations is immediately visible in the survey report.
This makes it very easy for potential buyers to see the extent of the works required, with further details available in the appropriate section to help them fully understand the issue at hand.
Get in touch
For more information about RICS HomeBuyer Reports or any of our property surveys or to arrange an appointment, contact us here or simply complete the form below and one of our friendly team will be in touch to discuss your survey options.