HomeBuyer Report sample

Home Buyers Survey

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The content of survey reports will vary considerably due to factors including the age, type, location and condition of the property, and materials used in its construction.

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Download sample HomeBuyer Report HomeBuyer Report sample

Download sample Building Survey Building Survey sample

Download sample Property Valuation Property Valuation sample

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  Mortgage Valuation
  Property Valuation
  Homebuyer Report
  Building Survey
  Mortgage
Valuation
Property
Valuation
Homebuyer
Report
Building
Survey
Help you make a reasoned and informed decision
as to whether to proceed, reconsider or renegotiate on the purchase
  Tick Tick Tick
Identify potential problems
such as any repairs or replacements the property needs including inspecting roofs, chimneys and other surfaces on the outside of the building from ground level
    Tick  Tick
Can help you negotiate a better property price
Where problems are discovered or a lower valuation is given, buyers are enabled to negotiate a lower buying price
  Tick Tick Tick
Show traffic light ratings
which give you a green/amber/red condition of your property in an easy-to-understand format
    Tick  
Prepare you
for potential costly repairs after you move in
    Tick Tick
Completed by a RICS Surveyor
Surveyor Local’s national panel of surveyors are fully qualified and highly experienced chartered surveyors
Tick Tick Tick Tick
Independent valuation
gives you a professional valuation of the property, helping prevent you from paying too much for the property
  Tick Tick  
Exhaustive report
a more indepth survey on construction, issues and defects
      Tick
Appropriate for all properties
a suitable survey, irrespective of age, construction type, condition and level of modification
      Tick
Highlights urgent issues
Reports on any defects needing urgent attention
    Tick Tick
Ongoing maintenance
Professional recommendations on repairs and maintenance
    Tick Tick
Building reinstatement costs
Included for insurance purposes
    Tick  
Appropriate for standard property types
Suitable for properties built later than1900 of standard construction (brick and tile)
    Tick  
Appropriate for unusual property types
Suitable for a older, unusually constructed (e.g. thatch roof) or extensively modified properties (e.g. extended) or those in need of modernisation
      Tick
Advice for your solicitor
Observations that may impact the legal title investigation conducted by your solicitor.
    Tick Tick
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HomeBuyer Report

Should we go for a Full Structural Survey, Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report on a home in UK and which is cheaper?

The Full Structural Survey has been renamed by RICS as a Building Survey, although it is essentially the same level of survey.

If the UK property is an apartment, or is 100 or more years old, or has been substantially modified, or is of non standard construction, RICS advise the cheaper Building Survey.

If you are planning to do any major works on the UK property, you should you go for a Building Survey. The Building Survey is less cheap but it will offer an in-depth analysis of the UK property's condition as well as advice on defects as well as maintenance options .

For more detailed advice get a UK Home Survey Quote via our website or call 0800 038 6667 to speak to our survey team.

What is a home survey, and what will the surveyor actually do?

There are three main types of home buyers survey, the HomeBuyer Report, the Building Survey and the Property Valuation Report. Each of these has a different focus, so buyers should consider which of the three is the right choice for them:

HomeBuyer Report - A general survey of a home, including any visible defects or issues. If the property to be surveyed is of standard construction, and was built after 1900, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommend that the HomeBuyer Report is usually the best choice. The report is delivered in a standardised format for easy reference. The HomeBuyer Report includes a valuation.

Building Survey - A more in-depth survey of a property, including all accessible areas of a home. RICS recommend the building survey for older properties, or those of non-standard construction. Building survey reports are tailored by the individual surveyor, and can address any additional questions or concerns. Note that this home buyers survey does not include a valuation as standard.

Property Valuation Report - The most basic of the three, this report is primarily a valuation, and will not include details of particular defects.

For more detail please see the detailed survey comparison table.

Subsidence resulting from soft clay soil

What are the problems associated with properties built on clay soil?

Surveyor Local handle more enquiries relating to subsidence than any other single factor. Subsidence typically relates to subterranean factors, such as soil types, and can creep up or sometimes even appear dramatically out of nowhere.One of the most common causes is from underlying clay soil. Although the softness of certain types of clay can be a contributory factor, the real problem is due to the contraction brought about by a local drop in the water table. This can result from protracted dry periods or even from the root system of a local tree absorbing excessive water. Some large and mature trees can drink 50, 000 litres of water a year.

Controversially, recent hosepipe bans have also contributed to the drying out of soil in affected areas and subsidence claims have actually increaseed as a result. Most of the South of the UK and London especially are built on clay soil. Here different types of clay with differing water absorption properties expand and contract at different rates. This adds the further risk of one half of a building 'settling' whilst another part 'heaves'. The biggest concern is the risk that the home will need underpinning which can cost 10's of thousands of pounds. Buildings insurance will typically cover some or all of a subsidence claim, often assuming it can be established that the subsidence is ongoing. However insurance premiums will be substantially higher where there is an increaseed risk. It is critical to use a local surveyor with knowledge of local soil types. This will give the surveyor a context as the surveyor will know what to look for but won't over dramatise the situation

The surveyor will also look for indications of shallow foundations, poor drainage, proximate trees (Willow trees are the worst and have been known to affect properties up to 40 metres away!) A Homebuyer Report or building survey will also point out where a crack is perhaps evidence of historical movement but the house has subsequently stabilised. Where there is doubt, further investigation or monitoring will be advised. If you have any specific concerns please contact us before booking your survey.

Wood boring House Longhorn Beetle

Does a surveyor check for insect infestation, e.g. house longhorn beetle?

An infestation of wood boring insects can be a serious problem if left untreated. There are 3 main types of insect that account for the majority of infestations discovered by surveyors: Furniture Beetle Account for approximately 3/4 of infestations and particularly common in mid 20th century homes. In fact surveyors find evidence of insect activity in most period homes. Deathwatch Beetle is more common in period properties i.e. 19th century and earlier Wood Boring Weevil common where timbers have had prolonged exposure to damp.

It is worth mentioning that during a HomeBuyer Report, the surveyor does not take up carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, move furniture, remove the contents of cupboards, roof spaces and so on etc. This means that if not exposed, the surveyor will not pick up on insect activity. The Homebuyer Report will however consider all aspects of the construction to assess the potential for damage to hidden timbers. However if you are buying a property in a higher risk category (e.g. over 100 years old) we will advise you to carry out a more extensive 'Building Survey' which is slightly more expensive but more in depth.

If an insect infestation is discovered, surveyors are often able to suggest less costly remedial action than some specialist firms might suggest.

Chemical treatments or replacement if timber treatment may not required and often the infestation is no longer active. It might be that a change to the environment will be sufficient to kill off the insects. This is a good example of how a Home Buyers Survey could save you money as you may otherwise be convinced of a need for more costly action. If infestation is discovered, your surveyor will advise you about your options.

Asbestos roof tiles

The vendor has mentioned there may be loose asbestos containing roof tiles at the flat. What is asbestos, what are the risks and can it be removed?

During a HomeBuyer Report or building survey, the surveyor will check for asbestos, and will confirm if they suspect any is present in the structure. Given the serious risk asbestos poses, a surveyor may be unable to categorically state that a home is asbestos-free, and may recommend that an asbestos specialist be called in to investigate further. Once asbestos is identified, an asbestos removal specialist can be called in to deal with the material.

Asbestos is rightly feared by homeowners, as exposure to the substances' tiny fibres can lead to an increaseed risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and symptoms may not be felt for decades. Some properties are more at risk than others, particularly homes built from the 1930s to 50s, but asbestos has been used for a very wide variety of purposes, from pipe insulation to textured paint.

Importantly, it is not possible to always identify asbestos-containing products on sight. Your surveyor may suggest removal or, possibly, repair. Undisturbed asbestos-containing products can be quite safe, as the fibres are not exposed, but where such a material is damaged the risk increasees significantly. Therefore, asbestos in a home should be monitored regularly, and treated appropriately if and when any damage is found.

HomeBuyer Report

Should we go for a Full Structural Survey, Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report on a home in UK and which is cheaper?

The Full Structural Survey has been renamed by RICS as a Building Survey, although it is essentially the same level of survey.

If the UK property is an apartment, or is 100 or more years old, or has been substantially modified, or is of non standard construction, RICS advise the cheaper Building Survey.

If you are planning to do any major works on the UK property, you should you go for a Building Survey. The Building Survey is less cheap but it will offer an in-depth analysis of the UK property's condition as well as advice on defects as well as maintenance options .

For more detailed advice get a UK Home Survey Quote via our website or call 0800 038 6667 to speak to our survey team.

What is a home survey, and what will the surveyor actually do?

There are three main types of home buyers survey, the HomeBuyer Report, the Building Survey and the Property Valuation Report. Each of these has a different focus, so buyers should consider which of the three is the right choice for them:

HomeBuyer Report - A general survey of a home, including any visible defects or issues. If the property to be surveyed is of standard construction, and was built after 1900, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommend that the HomeBuyer Report is usually the best choice. The report is delivered in a standardised format for easy reference. The HomeBuyer Report includes a valuation.

Building Survey - A more in-depth survey of a property, including all accessible areas of a home. RICS recommend the building survey for older properties, or those of non-standard construction. Building survey reports are tailored by the individual surveyor, and can address any additional questions or concerns. Note that this home buyers survey does not include a valuation as standard.

Property Valuation Report - The most basic of the three, this report is primarily a valuation, and will not include details of particular defects.

For more detail please see the detailed survey comparison table.

Subsidence resulting from soft clay soil

What are the problems associated with properties built on clay soil?

Surveyor Local handle more enquiries relating to subsidence than any other single factor. Subsidence typically relates to subterranean factors, such as soil types, and can creep up or sometimes even appear dramatically out of nowhere.One of the most common causes is from underlying clay soil. Although the softness of certain types of clay can be a contributory factor, the real problem is due to the contraction brought about by a local drop in the water table. This can result from protracted dry periods or even from the root system of a local tree absorbing excessive water. Some large and mature trees can drink 50, 000 litres of water a year.

Controversially, recent hosepipe bans have also contributed to the drying out of soil in affected areas and subsidence claims have actually increaseed as a result. Most of the South of the UK and London especially are built on clay soil. Here different types of clay with differing water absorption properties expand and contract at different rates. This adds the further risk of one half of a building 'settling' whilst another part 'heaves'. The biggest concern is the risk that the home will need underpinning which can cost 10's of thousands of pounds. Buildings insurance will typically cover some or all of a subsidence claim, often assuming it can be established that the subsidence is ongoing. However insurance premiums will be substantially higher where there is an increaseed risk. It is critical to use a local surveyor with knowledge of local soil types. This will give the surveyor a context as the surveyor will know what to look for but won't over dramatise the situation



The surveyor will also look for indications of shallow foundations, poor drainage, proximate trees (Willow trees are the worst and have been known to affect properties up to 40 metres away!) A Homebuyer Report or building survey will also point out where a crack is perhaps evidence of historical movement but the house has subsequently stabilised. Where there is doubt, further investigation or monitoring will be advised. If you have any specific concerns please contact us before booking your survey.

Wood boring House Longhorn Beetle

Does a surveyor check for insect infestation, e.g. house longhorn beetle?

An infestation of wood boring insects can be a serious problem if left untreated. There are 3 main types of insect that account for the majority of infestations discovered by surveyors: Furniture Beetle Account for approximately 3/4 of infestations and particularly common in mid 20th century homes. In fact surveyors find evidence of insect activity in most period homes. Deathwatch Beetle is more common in period properties i.e. 19th century and earlier Wood Boring Weevil common where timbers have had prolonged exposure to damp.

It is worth mentioning that during a HomeBuyer Report, the surveyor does not take up carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, move furniture, remove the contents of cupboards, roof spaces and so on etc. This means that if not exposed, the surveyor will not pick up on insect activity. The Homebuyer Report will however consider all aspects of the construction to assess the potential for damage to hidden timbers. However if you are buying a property in a higher risk category (e.g. over 100 years old) we will advise you to carry out a more extensive 'Building Survey' which is slightly more expensive but more in depth.

If an insect infestation is discovered, surveyors are often able to suggest less costly remedial action than some specialist firms might suggest.

Chemical treatments or replacement if timber treatment may not required and often the infestation is no longer active. It might be that a change to the environment will be sufficient to kill off the insects. This is a good example of how a Home Buyers Survey could save you money as you may otherwise be convinced of a need for more costly action. If infestation is discovered, your surveyor will advise you about your options.

Asbestos roof tiles

The vendor has mentioned there may be loose asbestos containing roof tiles at the flat. What is asbestos, what are the risks and can it be removed?

During a HomeBuyer Report or building survey, the surveyor will check for asbestos, and will confirm if they suspect any is present in the structure. Given the serious risk asbestos poses, a surveyor may be unable to categorically state that a home is asbestos-free, and may recommend that an asbestos specialist be called in to investigate further. Once asbestos is identified, an asbestos removal specialist can be called in to deal with the material.

Asbestos is rightly feared by homeowners, as exposure to the substances' tiny fibres can lead to an increaseed risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, and symptoms may not be felt for decades. Some properties are more at risk than others, particularly homes built from the 1930s to 50s, but asbestos has been used for a very wide variety of purposes, from pipe insulation to textured paint.

Importantly, it is not possible to always identify asbestos-containing products on sight. Your surveyor may suggest removal or, possibly, repair. Undisturbed asbestos-containing products can be quite safe, as the fibres are not exposed, but where such a material is damaged the risk increasees significantly. Therefore, asbestos in a home should be monitored regularly, and treated appropriately if and when any damage is found.

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