Contents of a Home Report

Understanding the Home Report

When arranging a viewing for a property it is possible for the estate agent to provide you with a copy of the home report free of charge.  You can ask for a copy in advance of the viewing to allow you to do your own assessment of points raised by the surveyor.

The document will be split into three sections – Property Questionnaire, Single Survey and Energy Performance Certificate.

The Home Report contains a large amount of legal terminology, a lot of which is standard across each Home Report and when assessing the properties will begin to become a blur!

Property Questionnaire

The property questionnaire is undertaken by the current owner or appointed person dealing with the sale.  This outlines a number of important considerations and may answer a lot of questions you have about the property.

Length of Ownership

  • Consider how long the owner has been in the property, if only a relatively short time you may wish to ask the current owner about their reasons for moving.

Council Tax Band

  • Council Tax can vary from area to area, use our Scottish Council Tax Calculator to figure out how much this will cost you each year. Even a relatively low-value property can command a high council tax band so make sure to factor this into your budget.

Parking

  • Parking permits are often required in densely populated areas where a yearly fee may need to be paid.
  • Costs for these differ between councils and between areas and can usually be found on the local council website.

Conservation Area

  • If the property lies within a conservation area you may have difficulty getting approval to make improvements or internal structural changes should you wish to do so.

Listed Building Status

  • If there is historical significance to the building it may be deemed ‘Listed’ this also may result in difficulties in gaining approval to make alterations.

Alterations/Additions/Extensions

  • Shows that changes the current owner has made within the property during their ownership.

Central Heating

  • Informs you of the type of the central heating system installed within the property (if any). Installing a Central heating system can be an expensive undertaking.  Without Central Heating you might find the property harder to heat.

Energy Performance Certificate

  • As a legal requirement, the property requires a certificate when being sold so this should be contained within the wider home report file

Issues that may have affected your property

  • Fire, Flood, Structural Damage and Asbestos are things you want to avoid when buying a property unless you are looking for a project!

Services

  • Services are things coming in/out of the property such as Gas, Electricity, Water, Drainage, Phone/Broadband and Cable/Satellite TV.
  • The presence of Septic tanks is also outlined within the section. These are waste tanks outside of the property which require specialists to remove their contents.

Responsibilities for shared or common areas

  • Factors fees are another source of outgoings which need to be factored into your affordability. These costs range dependant on the factoring company/age/facilities such as lifts/size of garden or anything else out with the property that is not directly maintained by you.
  • Not all homes will have factors fees however it is still likely that a communal buildings insurance policy will be held if it is a flatted property.
  • Roof repairs and replacement during the current ownership is noted here. Roof replacement on flatted properties is the responsibility of all owners within the building and not just those on the top floor.
  • Replacement on older properties tends to happen every 100 years and replacements can get costly, even for new properties.

Access Rights

  • Surrounding land to the property may become a complicated legal matter as to who owns what and who can walk where. Reaching an understanding in advance with neighbours where you must walk across their property can make sure annoyance is not being caused.

Charges associated with your property

  • Details of Property Management company being utilised to manage communal areas.
  • Common Building Insurance and Fees
  • Upkeep of Communal Areas/Residents Associations/Other Maintenance

Specialist works

  • If there has been treatment for dry rot, wet rot, damp during the current ownership this needs to be outlined within the home report. If there has been requirement recently for specialist works then quotes for a deeper assessment of future requirements should be considered.
  • Similarly for Prevention measures for dry rot, wet rot and damp
  • Specialist Works undertaken may come with a guarantee or warranty. Any details of such should be noted in this section.

Guarantees

  • Newer properties or elements which have been recently replaced may have warranties associated with them. Electrical Works, Roofing, Central Heating, National House Building Council, Damp Course, Cavity Wall Insulation, Underpinning etc.
  • More information on the Guarantees available to buyers of new homes can be found at National House Building Council website.

Boundaries

  • Changes in boundaries during the past 10 years need to be informed to the prospective buyer within the home report.

Notices that affect your property

  • Neighbouring property planning applications See Planning Portals
  • Notice of planned works that directly affect the property.

 

Single Survey

Owner Details

Details the seller of the property, who conducted the survey and when.

Details of the property are outlined including the number of rooms, Gross Internal Floor Area, the area which the property is located, how old the property is, what the weather was when the survey was undertaken before going into greater detail around the construction of the property.

Condition

This section outlines the condition of the property during the inspection undertaken by the surveyor on a scale of 1 to 3.

Category 1 = Currently in good condition.

Category 2 = Repairs/replacement will require attention soon and as such estimates should be received on the costs of improvements.

Category 3 = Urgent repairs or replacement is needed now. Failure to deal with the issue may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repairs or replacement are needed now.

• Structural movement

• Dampness, rot and infestation

• Chimney stacks

• Roofing including roof space

• Rainwater fittings

• Main walls

• Windows, external doors and joinery

• External decorations

• Conservatories / porches

• Communal areas

• Garages and permanent outbuildings

• Outside areas and boundaries

• Ceilings

• Internal walls

• Floors including sub-floors

• Internal joinery and kitchen fittings

• Chimney breasts and fireplaces

• Internal decorations

• Cellars

• Electricity

• Gas

• Water, plumbing and bathroom fittings

• Heating and hot water

• Drainage

Accessibility Information

This section outlines the level of accessibility which may be of interest to first time buyers with restricted

mobility and gives you an understanding of the floor space within the

1. Which floor(s) is the living accommodation on?

2. Are there three steps or fewer to a main entrance door of the property?

3. Is there a lift to the main entrance door of the property?

4. Are all door openings greater than 750mm?

5. Is there a toilet on the same level as the living room and kitchen?

6. Is there a toilet on the same level as a bedroom?

7. Are all rooms on the same level with no internal steps or stairs?

8. Is there unrestricted parking within 25 metres of an entrance door to the building?

Valuation and Conveyancer Issues

This section gives an opinion of market value and an estimated reinstatement cost for insurance purposes.

This value is one of the most importance sections of the report as this will influence what the property is actually worth rather than the figure listed by the estate agents. A key consideration here is that if you feel the property is worth more that the home report value you can pay above it.

However, anything over and above the home report value needs to be funded out with the mortgage.

To make sure you have sufficient cash to contribute to you deposit use our Deposit Calculator tool.

 

Energy Performance Certificate

The Energy Performance Certificate provides details on the energy performance of the property and what you can do to improve it. These cover things such as the efficiency of the boiler, types of windows, insulation and lighting.

There will be two rating given, One for the current state of the property and what you might expect to pay over the course of three years without improvements and a second target rating and a rough amount you might save if you make the suggested improvements.

If you have the reference number for the Energy Performance Certificate you can search for the details at the EPC Register