What is a Home Report?
A Home Report is a pack of information about a property, put together by the seller of a property in Scotland. It contains information about the value and condition of a home to allow potential buyers to make an informed decision about whether they want to purchase it.
There are three distinct parts to a Home Report:
The Single Survey – an expert assessment of the condition of the property
The Energy Report – information about the energy efficiency of a property, and how it might be improved
The Property Questionnaire – logistical information about the property, like parking arrangements and council tax banding
Read more about Home Reports.
What to look out for in a Home Report
Home Reports can contain a lot of information, and you might feel a bit overwhelmed by it. Here are some key things to look out for.
The valuation is an assessment of how much the property is worth. It’s often a key thing people look out for in a Home Report. It can be a useful factor when you’re thinking about what offer you’ll make if you decide you want to go ahead and buy the property. It may also affect how much you can borrow from a mortgage lender, although they might carry out their own mortgage valuation instead of relying on the one in the Home Report.
The condition of the property will be very important to your decision. Whether you’re looking for a fixer-upper or somewhere you can move straight into, being fully informed of the condition is key. Pay particular attention to things like dry rot or the presence of asbestos which might be costly to fix, and might even pose a health risk.
The Single Survey will give different parts of the property a numerical value between 1 and 3.
Category 1 – no immediate action or repair is needed
Category 2 – work will be needed in the future
Category 3 – urgent work is required
If any aspects of the property are in category 2 or 3, you’re strongly advised to get estimates for the cost of the work before committing to the purchase to allow you to make an informed decision.
It might seem like a small thing, but having a property with poor energy efficiency is something that could cost you a lot of money in the long run. Be sure to check the energy efficiency and how much it might cost you to improve it.
Similarly to energy efficiency, this could end up costing you more than you expect in the long term so it’s a good idea to check it out. Things like the cost of maintaining any communal space, as well as council tax banding, are certainly worth taking into account when you’re deciding whether to buy a property.
The Home Report will contain environmental information, for example, the flood risk to the property. This is very useful as it impacts things like your insurance and mortgage options. It’s definitely good to assess it before you’re legally bound to the sale.
Also pay attention to how the property’s location might affect what you can do with it. For example, if it’s in a conservation area there may be limitations to what alterations you can make to the outside of the property.
The Single Survey will contain information about how accessible the property is to people with limited mobility. Even if this doesn’t apply to you, it’s worth casting an eye over it. It will take things like the number of steps to the home into account, as well as proximity of parking to the property.
There’s a lot of information in a Home Report and it might feel overwhelming, but it’s all useful. Even though you might pay more attention to some parts than others, do make sure you read the whole thing if you’re seriously considering buying the property.
If you’ve got questions, check out our Home Report frequently asked questions.